Stop and Think

Mentha Spicata

Mentha Spicata

It is important to know where our food comes from in order to fully appreciate it. Today, it is easy to forget that the apple you pick up in the grocery store started as a seed at least six years ago.  That Rib Eye doesn’t cut itself into that perfect shape . While your looking for ingredients take time to think about what it took to produce those them.  Where did they come from?  Who handled them?  How were they grown or raised? Thinking about these things will take your appreciation for ingredients to a whole new level. 

Posted in: Ingredients by Simon 1 Comment

The Pocket Book

Once an idea is written down in this book it becomes real.  In it I write ideas for flavor combinations, techniques, and occasionally sketch’s of what I think a dish should look like.  With life coming from every direction it is often easy to forget these ideas. I have this book so that I can always be reminded of the ones I forget. It is the starting point from which most everything on this site comes from.

The Pocket Book

The Pocket Book

“Composing is like driving down a foggy road toward a house. Slowly you see more details of the house-the color of the slates and bricks, the shape of the windows.”

- Benjamin Britten

Peas and Carrots

Carrot Cone and English Pea Ice Cream

Carrot Cone and English Pea Ice Cream

As it begins to warm up outside I felt it was appropriate to do another dish based around ice cream (I’ve had a recent obsession with ice cream). The natural sweetness of the english peas make for a fantastic ice cream base.  The flavors are light and refreshing. 

English Pea Ice Cream, Mint Sponge Foam, Vanilla Mascarpone, Crispy Carrot

English Pea Ice Cream, Mint Sponge Foam, Vanilla Mascarpone, Crispy Carrot

Mint Sponge Foam

  • 100 g whipping cream
  • 28   g mascarpone
  • 20   g flour
  • 150 g egg whites
  • 15   g mint powder

Blend all ingredient together until smooth.  Put the mixture in a whipper and charge with two NO2 cartridges.  Chill for two hours.  Cut three slits in the base of a plastic cup and fill the cup up 1/3 of the way with the foam.  Microwave at 1000 watts for 35 seconds.

Posted in: Creation, Interpretation by Simon 1 Comment

Crispy Carrot

 

Carrot Croquant

Carrot Croquant

A crisp, a crack, and a crunch, and then… carrot.  I am excited for what this crisp has to offer in an upcoming dish.  It will be a play on peas and carrots.  And the crispiness will add some great texture.  As for the flavor,  it is pure carrot.

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References

Cook Books
Cook Books

A few of my favorite cook books that inspire.

Musical Notes

Music is and extraordinary source of inspiration for me. I was very fortunate to be raised in a musically inclined family. There is a great connection between music and food. As with a song, a dish is built up of individual components (the instruments) to create a finished product that could not exist without the contribution of each of those ingredients. Like a song, a dish can have high notes and low notes. It can be powerful or subtle. It can take the person  experiencing it through an array of emotions. I can’t imagine a world without music and food in perfect harmony. I most often find myself listening to Miles Davis, Led Zeppelin, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart when I am cooking and searching for inspiration.

Posted in: A Place to Stand, Inspiration by Simon 1 Comment

Texture and Memories

One of the most powerful experiences of food is when a dish brings up a memory. This dish consists of porter ice cream, smoked chocolate-whiskey pearls, and burnt chocolate at 94°.  It has very mature flavors that are presented in a way that reminds me of childhood.  Two of my favorite desserts when I was younger were ice cream and tapioca pudding.  This dish brought that childhood experience back through texture.

Porter Ice Cream, Smoked Chocolate-Whiskey Pearls, Burnt Chocolate at 94°

Porter Ice Cream, Smoked Chocolate-Whiskey Pearls, Burnt Chocolate at 94°

The burnt chocolate was a wonderful mistake.  Sometimes when things go wrong something amazing is discovered.  I toyed with different ways to heat the chocolate, the last being a torch.  It got a little to close and burnt the edges of the piece I was heating.  I tried it and discovered that it took the smoked chocolate to a whole new level.

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Questions

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

- Albert Einstein

Posted in: Inspiration by Simon No Comments

Lamb, Porter, Honey, Rhubarb, Mint, Smoked Chocolate.

 

Lamb, Black Butte Porter, Honey, Rhubarb, Spearmint, Smoked Chocolate

Lamb, Black Butte Porter, Honey, Rhubarb, Spearmint, Smoked Chocolate

This is a dish I have had in my my mind for a while now.  It originated from a porter-honey braised lamb dish I made while catering my senior prom dinner for twenty close friends.  Since then, I have expanded on the dish and this is the result. 

  • Sous-vide lamb
  • Black butte porter-honey froth
  • Hot Rhubarb pudding
  • Morrocan mint gelée 
  • Smoked chocolate compound butter

Thoughts of the upcoming coastal road trip present themselves in the plating.

Posted in: Creation by Simon 2 Comments

Breakdowns

In any experimental process there are inevitably many breakdowns.  I have noticed how easy it is to want to give up in the face of these breakdowns.   More often then not things don’t come out quite how you expected and it can get very frustrating. One must see the breakdown for what it is; a pathway to the next great breakthrough. You never know what might come out of a breakdown.  Use it as an opportunity, not a loss.

Posted in: A Place to Stand by Simon 2 Comments