Category Archives: cooking

Fast Favourites

Now that I have started my new gig at Apple I no longer have the time to investigate and plan super elaborate meals like the Egg Dinner. However having done a bunch of these in the past we decided to make our March dinner a set of Fast Favourites – dishes that we have tried before and do not take too much time to prepare on the day of the meal. So without further ado, lets dive right into the menu.

Farm Egg
We got started with the classic Manresa Farm Egg. It was a huge amount of work and testing when I made it for the egg dinner, but now that I have a reliable method of topping the eggs I no longer had to prepare the yolks in advance and sanitize the shells overnight.… Read the rest

Alinea Kitchen Table Experience

Living in the Bay Area, I had heard of Alinea a few times but since I never had a reason to go to Chicago, I never investigated it as a destination restaurant like the Fat Duck. In fact when I did eventually go to Chicago for the first time we made a special trip to Moto instead since I was a big fan of Homaru Cantu’s Iron Chef episode with Morimoto. All that changed when I saw the Grant Achatz episode of Chefs table and Alinea instantly went to the top of my list based on its presentation alone. It took several months but I was finally able to get a group of 6 California friends willing to fly out to Chicago and do the full Alinea Kitchen Table experience on a cold night in December.… Read the rest

Egg Dinner

One of the dinner themes I have been toying with for a while is “Eggs” and I finally got to try it out over the weekend. It ended up being a 13 course meal over 6 hours where everything included eggs, looked like eggs or looked like something that should have eggs in it. It was fairly successful with only a few minor hiccups along the way despite several of the dishes being first time attempts. The spectacular photos were all taken by Nithya using her DIY lightbox setup. The following is a description of the dishes with any tips and tricks I discovered along the way.… Read the rest

The Fat Duck Experience

TL;DR summary – the Fat Duck is an incredibly theatrical experience that is as much about the “show” as it is the food. Highly recommended if you like complex meals and culinary surprises.

The Fat Duck "Menu" Map

I first heard about Heston Blumenthal when I tried a sous vide recipe for scrambled eggs. The dish is one of my all time favourites and became a go to dish to show the power of sous vide. I then saw a few of his BBC shows and loved the way he does molecular gastronomy with a deep exploration of the science behind each dish. Plus The Fat Duck had 3 Michelin Stars and was consistently mentioned in the same breath as El Bulli and French Laundry in the late aughts.… Read the rest

Spaghetti Carbonara Dessert

One of the concepts I have been toying with is creating a dessert that looks like a savory course but is actually sweet in taste. Since my next fancy meal is going to have “Eggs” as its theme, I decided to try making a new version of Spaghetti Carbonara as that is probably my favourite egg based pasta. The end result is what you see below, Spaghetti Carbonara Dessert with white chocolate spaghetti, candied bacon, crystalline honey, black pepper and lava salt.

Spaghetti Carbonara Dessert

The first step was to make white chocolate spaghetti using the recipe from the Molecule R kit (175ml water, 2g agar agar, 85g white chocolate, boil, extrude).… Read the rest

A guide to Frozen Reverse Spherification

Mango

After my recent Spheres and Circles dinner adventure I decide to put together a quick post on how to get started with frozen reverse spherification.

Process
The basic recipe for reverse spherification is really quite simple. First create your flavourful liquid that you want to spherify and add 2% calcium lactate to the mix. Next freeze the liquid in a mould to create frozen spheres. While the spheres are freezing, prepare a 0.5% solution of sodium alginate dissolved in distilled water (5g sodium alginate in 1000g of water). Let the alginate sit for at least 2 hours to fully hydrate and also lose any bubbles that were created while mixing.… Read the rest

Spheres and Circles

This was an interesting meal inspired by watching the Gaggan Anand episode of Chefs Table Season 2. Specifically we were watching a birds nest like dish which Nithya said might be a pani puri as well as his spherified yougurt amuse bouche. This idea of spherified Indian food combined with my fish in a barrel dish meant that this meal would have to be all about Spheres and Circles.

Spherified Mojito
Spherified Mojito
The first course was a straightforward mojito sphere encapsulating a mint leaf. Instead of using Xantham gum based preparations I decided to go the frozen reverse spherification route as described in this video.… Read the rest

Breakfast for Dinner

While planning my second home tasting meal I was investigating some molecular cocktails and really fell in love with a recipe for a deconstructed white russian with rice krispies. I loved the fact that diners have no idea what they were going to get and the fact that it was a drink but looks exactly like breakfast cereal. So with that as the starting point I decided to create the meal around the theme of “breakfast for dinner” and that I would skip the wine completely for more interesting alcohol.

Deconstructed White Russian
White Russian Krispies
Made from the White Russian Krispies recipe, this dish uses kahlua infused rice krispies with a half and half plus vodka “milk” to make a white russian that looks exactly like breakfast cereal.… Read the rest

10 course tasting at home

Last weekend Nithya and I made our first really complex dinner at home. It was a 10 course vegetarian tasting menu for 6 and it defintely gave me a much greater appreciation for what chefs have to deal with in getting a multi course menu on the plate at the right time. The following post is a quick recap of the various dishes we made:

Menu

Beets
Our first attempt at spherification pretty much followed the Beet Sphere and Goat Cheese recipe with the only difference being the use of straight calcium lactate instead of calcium lactate gluconate in the beet juice.… Read the rest

FamousFood.us: Find the restaurants featured on your favourite TV shows

As some of you may already know, I have recently launched a new website named FamousFood.us that allows you to quickly find restaurants featured on TV shows such as Best Thing I Ever Ate, Diners Drive-Ins and Dives, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, etc.. as well as Michellin guide rated restaurants. I figure it finally time for me to write a blog post explaining the site and what I hope to do with it.

The idea for the site came from my summer road trip to Seattle. Since Nithya and I were driving up there with no specific plans we decided that we wanted to try out as many of the Best Thing I Ever Ate restaurants as we could using my existing map as a guide.… Read the rest