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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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