Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The 25th Hour

Last week I snuck away for a little vacation to go back home for my brother's wedding. Sorry for not telling you before, but when people know that the chef is away they tend to expect the quality of food to go down, and when you already have negative expectations, they usually come true for you.

Obviously southern Indiana isn't an ideal place to summer for a week, but I had other matters to attend to, the biggest of which was the arduous task of making the wedding cake.

Fear not dear reader, I have done this before, even at my own wedding, and I hate to say it - this one came out better. With the requested kelly green ribbons, fleur-de-lis molded fondant and the fresh green rose topper this cake sure came out sharp!!

The bad side of the trip was the return; not that I didn't want to leave but because my wife and I had to go through Atlanta, GA to get here, and since they had more rain in 12 hours than we get here in December and January COMBINED, we had to leave Louisville at 2 am (Seattle time) just to get here in time for me to start work today. Now that's dedication!! Lucky for me, I already had this week's special mapped out.

The foundation of this dish starts with purslane, considered a weed here in the US but is now being cultivated by local farms that has a herbal, slightly sour flavor that makes an amazing puree when I blend it with shallots, garlic and cream.

As I've stated before I am now officially moving into fall flavors, so I continued building another layer of flavor for this dish with a light saute of sliced fingerling potatoes, baby fennel, bacon, thyme and scallions to showcase some earthy components of fall.

To top it all off I pounded portions of boneless lamb and cooked them sous vide to perfect medium rare and tender medallions which I dusted with a fine mixture of ground fennel seeds, black pepper and coriander.

During our layover at my mother's house last night she made us a favorite cocktail of a friend of her's - the French Martini - a blend of vodka, pineapple juice and Chambord to ease our traveling woes, which reminded me about a new type of flavored vodka that has hit our restaurant's shelves: Effen Black Cherry (as in "This effen situation sucks!"). So I thought that it would be fitting to merge the two into one great cocktail!

So I would like to dedicate this drink to my brother Craig and his new bride Heather: may your lives be sweet, together and forever.

With Love,


and cheers to the new bride and groom!!!