An impromptu last night in New York stop for us. Just a simple great meal.
This is a room shot of the crowd at the reception held at Mansion. We probably should have saved the $125 admission on this event.
Katsuya (Jose Andres' chef at Minibar) was the most down to earth guy at the event... not to mention a culinary bad ass. This man probably never breaks a sweat under any pressure.
Andoni Luis Aduriz and Dani Garcia were 2 of the chefs from Spain doing demonstrations. Both presentations were incredible.
Undisputably the best closing act to have. Andres not only delivers informative culinary knowledge along with his team, but also conveys wisdom. Although he is from Spain, he spoke as the voice of the American chef with his comments in reference to the use of new ingredients.
Bennett is from Australia (Vue de Monde) and was amazing to listen to. He demonstrated guest-interactive concepts that he currently uses and have been proven hits. The screen behind shows his kona bouillabaisse.
When not writing down information ferociously or snapping pictures, this was my position the rest of the time.
From restaurant Arzak in San Sebastian, Spain. Elena is the daughter of Juan Mari Arzak. They are re-inventing (or re-interpretting) the cuisine of Basque. Techniques demonstrated were the benefits of freeze drying over heat drying and the use of earth and compost in cuisine.
From Sao Paolo, Brazil, Atala promoted the cuisine of the Amazon. He gave us a taste of tucupi (probably the only taste most of us will ever have in our lifetimes).
Barber is the chef at Blue Hill Farm which is surprisingly in New York City. He had the entire auditorium focused on his words as he spoke of the benefits (or more to the point, the necessity) of practicing sustainable farming. He was an encyclopedia of food knowledge from dirt to plate.
Here is Edgar Leal and his wife, Mariana Montera de Castro, with Chef K at one of the walk-around networking lunches. Chef Edgar has a great resume and is one of the nicest guys we spent time talking to. He owns and operates Cacao Restaurant in Coral Gables, Miami. Mariana is the pastry chef.
Scott Boswell stands in the center holding the glass of champagne that he probably regrets (New Orleans boys really know how to party). On the left is Chef K and on the right is Mariana from Cacao.
An opportunity that could not be passed up.... getting a photo with the founder of sous-vide cuisine. Dr. Bruno Goussault is the chief scientist of Cuisine Solutions.
On the last night, there were only 4 of us who made it out to eat the incredible food of David Chang at Momofuku noodle bar. Chadzilla on the left. Fabian above. Jenny below. Chef K on the right.
Everything at Momofuku was great... including the Japanese pickles.
A bowl of pork ramen at Momofuku. The pork is from Niman Ranch (if my blurry memory is correct) and the house-made noodles were like none I have ever had... even in Taiwan. Just look at that perfectly cooked egg in the center.
Just a cool photo taken by Chef K.
It's so simple here that there's no secret to its perfection. The kitchen staff hands you the food over the counter. We made it there 5 minutes before closing, and the crew welcomed us in... how many kitchen staffs do that?
This was Andoni Luis Aduriz's dessert interpretation of vanity. Most amazing was his perfection of the 'air' or light foam. He uses large glass vessels and an aquarium air pump to achieve this... along with some other ingredients.
Although it's a bit rough, this is the only shot I have of farmer Lee from Chef's garden. He is the nicest guy... well, he is a farmer.
Chef Aduriz's use of and interpretation of nature were of zen-like perfection. He was the first to mention white clay as an ingredient... which was mentioned twice afterwards by other Spanish chefs.
Time limits did not allow Jose Andres to explain this dish although the mystery adds to it's appeal. What looks like a quail egg in the back is actually something else, but I have no idea what. The little white asparagus tips are kind of phallic.
This was another Jose Andres demonstration. It's not about making orbs out of sun-dried tomatoes, but making concentrated tomato liquid orbs and dehydrating them to perfect what nature does.
I took a moment to speak with Akiko, Japanese food writer and sometimes judge on Iron Chef America, about Jose Andres' mind-blowing demonstration. I also plugged my favorite Miami Japanese Izakaya, Yakko-San. Maybe she will call us if she ever visits Miami.
We had some great photo opportunities after the last demo.
Fabian took seized the opportunity to be photographed with Andoni Luis Aduriz and Jose Andres.
Chef Yamamoto surprised everyone with his demonstration which took technique up 8 or 9 levels. A little research showed that when he did his presentation at Madrid Fusion, even Ferran Adria had a look of awe on his face. That's understandable after watching him.
You can only have more respect for this chef after meeting him. He is an incredibly personable guy.
So much talent in one small space.
Of all of us there, Fabian was the only one who could benefit from the conversation in Spanish.
Japanese food writer living in America. She is sometimes a judge on Iron Chef America. She also translated for Seiji Yamamoto during his presentation.
Another opportunity seized to get a photo with the founder of sous-vide cuisine. Thanks, Dr. Bruno. Thanks for making things that really suck.
Yeah, I stole it. The dining room here was probably filled with about 98% chefs all having the tasting menu. The amount of chefs eating at this restaurant for 3 days straight says a lot for the reputation of Wylie Dufresne.
Richard was a great guy to hang with us. He is one of Chef K's mentor chefs and still kicking ass in D. C. He feeds people who blow stuff up.
A substantial amount of our time in New York was spent deciphering subway maps.
We met Kevin less than a year ago at a Taste of the NFL event in Miami. He showed up with a 5 foot tall liquid nitrogen tank, and we immediately had to talk to him. He is the chef at Alchemy in Pittsburgh and someone we will definitely stay in touch with.
Despite his rebuke of modern ingredients in food, he is still the mafioso godfather and a certain level of respect is mandatory. His demonstration was on sous-vide benefits, but we were more entranced with having Bruno Goussault on the stage.
Goussault stands behind a vacuum sealer... father and son.
Chef Daniel was present only to accept the award of Mentor Chef for all of his time spent teaching and inspiring other chefs. Just ponder how many accomplished chefs are out there who worked under Boulud.
After reading ideasinfood.typepad.com for so long, it was cool meeting Aki and Alex. They were one of 6 contestants in the Paco Jet competition, and you can view their cool creation at the ideas in food website.
Unfortunately, this horrible shot was the only one I was able to get of Samuelsson. We only saw him once at the cocktail reception.
Bouley, on the left, did a presentation about the use of Japanese technique and components in Western cuisine. The use of kombu is something I would definitely like to explore further.
Concept Cake was the name for his demonstration. Using advanced techniques in simple applications.
A view from one of the windows of the 52nd floor of WTC 7. The interior of the building is still under construction.
In the center in black checking out products.
Here's a shot of the hydrocolloid master (as much as anyone can be who's doesn't have a phD in the subject) in his kitchen at WD~50. Although not being able to resist looking behind the scenes after our dinner, we didn't want to impose... well, not too much.
Antoinette Bruno, Star Chefs CEO, advises David Burke's sous chef that inviting a room full of a thousand chefs to come up and sample some 80 day dry aged rib from the stage was probably not a good idea.
Burke knows bull. He explained that they built an entire wall in his dry-aging room completely out of bricks of Himalayan pink salt. The salt actually diffuses into the air and seasons the meat. The 80 day beef had a flavor of blue cheese... incredibly good.
Behind the scenes and below the floor of WD~50's dining room. This is part of the prep kitchen.
This was the beginning of Yamamoto's presentation which left everyone's lives changed forever. Sounds drastic, but I'm dead serious.