Although he won't be selected as the next Iron Chef in October on Food Network (I've had inside information... fyi, neither will John Besh), Sanchez did a great job as master of ceremonies for the entire 3 day congress.
A technique that Wylie Dufresne demonstrated that allowed him to cut strips of foie gras terrine and tie it into a knot. You would think that the texture would be compromised, but I can assure that it was delicious and had great palatability.
Another Wylie Dufresne technique that he equated to Pizza Combos. The pebbles are flavored with bread, tomato, and cheese powders. They are aligned with pepperoni purée and mushroom chips. The only thing missing was the olive oil. Personally, I liked this dish very much.
Katsuya Fukushima, Jose Andres' chef at Minibar, actually made isomalt hummingbirds filled with olive oil a la minute for the chef's cocktail reception. That has to be one of the most gutsy moves I've ever witnessed. It is a testimony to his skill.
Here is a shot of me getting an autograph from Grant Achatz. Although I didn't want to look like a goofball, I couldn't resist the opportunity to get my Star Chefs pass signed by a chef that I admire so greatly.
Jose Andres and Dani Garcia socialize during the cocktail hour.
This is used to make antipasta... not really, but maybe. It's a flat surface that freezes things instead of cooking them. Another thing on the wishlist. Someone actually walked into our kitchen 2 years ago, and demo'd one of these for us. Although we wanted it, it was kind of hard to fit in the budget.
Another toy on the wishlist. This is basically a hot plate that spins a steel bar inside a glass vessel to create a vortex. Do I want one... yes. What will I do with it... I don't know. Damn you, Polyscience!!!
This one will soon be replaced with a newer model that we were not allowed to photograph... yes, it's that top secret. Actually, the only difference is that there is more metal in the casing. Yes, as we have all learned from experience... plastic melts when you try to burn wood chips near it.
Another far-out Yamamoto creation. He made a warm potato soup colored with beet and put it in a wine bottle. He made a cork by branding and coloring burdock root then sealed the bottle with it. The guest thinks the waiter is opening a bottle of wine, then he pours it into their garnished martini glass.
This demo was just a bunch of bull... but some damn tasty bull. Thanks to 'Prime'... the name of Burke's prized bull which sires all of the beef he serves in his steakhouse. That's control.
We ate at Les Halles (of Anthony Bourdain fame) after the first day of the Congress at Richard's suggestion. It was a damn good suggestion because we filled up on 2 preparations of mussels with frites, brie and honey, pate de campagne, and other French bistro goodies. The only downfall was that they ran out of every kind of beer we wanted, but the waiter bounced back.
Kind of an artsy photo. A cool shot of Deluca.
This demo was on the first day, and was quite interesting. Not many pastry chefs have the advantage of having worked for Grant Achatz and Wylie Dufresne before the age of 27. This was an application of liquid nitrogen.
This panel seemed to become more interesting to the right. I took the opportunity to shake hands with Jeffrey Steingarten and talk with him for a second. We also learned that Achatz is self-publishing a book that is due to release in fall 08.
I forgot what this discussion was about. I think it had something to do with opening a restaurant or running a restaurant.
Once the banter got going between these two minds, there was no way to mentally keep up. Iuzzini is the pastry chef at Jean Georges. Arnold teaches culinary technology at FCI in New York.
With a background in architecture and culinary art, Pichet (who is part of the dessert restaurant revolution) made great use of the Paco Jet as well as melting the wall between sweet and savory.
Chef Ong has cultural backgrounds from places like Hong Kong, Thailand, and Singapore. His dishes reflect this diverse influence.
This was a memorial outside the WTC site. It was my first time being there since 9/11.
From the 51st and 52nd floors of WTC 7, the former site of the twin towers reveals a very active construction effort.
Taken outside the building before the first day's events. Richard is a chef in DC.
Antulio is a machine in the kitchen. After working for us in Miami he moved to New York. It was great seeing him again. Jenny is a pastry chef for Marriott. She is also a proud Peruvian, and will quickly let you know that.
This was taken in front of the gate that protects the WTC construction.
The waiter suggested we order a bucket of beer and then showed up with this thing. No complaints! Viva el Presidente!
This is me on the rusted fire escape outside our ghetto hotel room.
Fabian outside on the fire escape. Maybe he shouldn't have been leaning on it considering how condemned it looked.
This is outside Les Halles. They made an effort to decorate the scaffolding outside which seemed to be everywhere in New York.
Well, without Chef K who was taking the picture. We are from left to right... Richard, Kevin, Fabian, Jenny, Antulio, Chadzilla.
2 admirable people for different reasons. This was during the cookbook panel discussion.
Pichet Ong opened up the ICC with a great demo. His personality and talent were a great way to start.
This was at a small hole in the wall called Big Nick's. We ate there on the first night after arriving late in New York. The menu was 20 pages long with every kind of food. The only question we had was where's all the mise en place?
This plaque was a simple but clean way to mark the cornerstone of WTC 7.
This was our little ghetto hotel room next door to the Amsterdam Housing project. We took turns sleeping on the floor and everyone had to put up with my snoring. At least they had a fridge to store our beers. This trip wasn't about luxury. It was about the congress. I would have slept in a cardboard box if I had to.