Lots of pics i’ve been building up over the last couple weeks. Top left: Paul,Jay and i went to a demo of a piece of equipment we purchased for Uchiko called a Combi oven made by Rational. It’s an insane Jetson’s type technology that was originally designed by a German physicist in the last 1950′s for a cooking competition for the German national chef team. The basic idea is it’s a combination convection oven/ steamer and computer controls the exact temp and humidity levels in the cooking chamber to exact specifications for what your trying to do. The technology was updated later in the 80′s by KFC to hold their fried chicken when it came out of the fryer so it would be perfect for a longer amount of time. Honestly, i had minimum expectations for the machine…but after a fantastic demo we were all floored. The chef took the raw ribeyes and put them on a dry aluminum grill sheet and put them in the oven; bing! In less than 7 minutes they came out done and perfect! Unreal. Although i doubt we’ll ever use the oven for steaks or anything like that, we can’t wait to get in our new kitchen and start experimenting on our own on tons of new specs and applications.
Quick challenge for my sushi guys: Can you stack 5 apples upon each other? Yoshi and Camacho both took on the task, and although neither did it in the 60 seconds…Yoshi was a success in the end!
Lovely morels in this past week. Nice pairings with them; and although i hate to wash mushrooms and take away some of their natural woody goodness..we had to give these a good wiping and get any of the exess grit/sand washed away before use. Nothing worse than that mouth feel to me of raw sandy grit. It’s up there with the mucus ness of grated raw yamaimo and miely (sp?) tomatoes.
A product i’ve never seen or tasted before came in this week at Uchi: Icelandic skyr. It’s almost a cheese of sorts…with all of the milk fat removed. Gorgeous whispy palette and a crisp acidic finish. We paired it with many things during the week to experiment; but the best had to be the grilled rabbit terrine with gastrique.
2 dishes made on the fly for a photo shoot for the sommelier journal: Our new “Koviche”, a ceviche of raw diver scallops,tomatillos, black lime salt, red curry-apple gastrique and a cereal tuile.
Also, grilled norwegian mackerel belly with fleur de sel, truffle puree and hyrdoponic bitter greens. We’ll have a grilled mackerel on the Uchiko menu with tomato + salt similar to this as well.
Lots of fun teaching the sous chef’s at Uchi how to prepared “Uchi” style composed dishes; on point with each of them coming up with one spec per week on their own for us to try and tweek before putting on the daily menus. It’s educational for all of us and i can’t begin to describe what joy it brings me to taste such wonderful food every day made by my staff. Kudos!