Saturday, March 26, 2011

VIP Winter Menu

When you work at a restaurant that is corporately owned that leeway to change the menu or items is very difficult. Chef and I try to alleviate that annoyance with weekly specials that go above what we "normally" do at the restaurant. While I have been here only 5 months, we have written down countless dishes that we would like to create. Wreck fish with farro, braised short ribs with organic veg, ramp tagliatelle, fava ravioli with morel ragu. So we were approached by the Executive Chef of the resort and were told we had to create a winter menu for VIP people and events at the restaurant. Initially we created what we thought he would want for this restaurant so I didn't really utilize much modern techniques. Come to find out it was just a test of our collective minds and he already had a menu in place he wanted us to do. PREP PREP PREP PREP and then the tasting of the 4 course VIP winter menu.
Carne Crudo - Waygu Beef, Truffle Salsa, Parmesan 2 Ways(Disk and Kiss) Oyster Mush.

Zuppa - Prosciutto and Fennel Soup, Fregola, Razor Clams, Baby Turnips

Canestrelli - Nantucket Bay Scallops, Braised Endive, Pomegranate, Pistachios 3 Ways

Bistecca - 50-Day Aged Waygu, Bone Marrow Panzanella, Heirloom Tomato, Sunchoke Vin.

The prep put into this menu was well worth it, great opportunity to utilize other ingredients that aren't a regular thing. We now have a meeting in 2 weeks to create a VIP summer menu, which may be the same situation as this one, but I will be ready with a great menu of my own if it's not.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Prior to my vacation we had a VIP function which required us to create a cheese platter, passed apps, and wines to pair with them. We stay traditional with Italian cheeses, which in my opinion isn't a bad choice since I am a huge cheese lover. We started with:
Gorgonzola- A cow's milk cheese, streaked with bluish-green veins, rich and creamy with a pungent flavor.

Biancosardo- A sheep's milk cheese, earthy, sweet and nutty flavor.

Fiore Sardo- A sheep's milk cheese, a firm cheese with a slight similar profile like Parmigiano.

Caciocavallo- A sheep or cow's milk cheese, hard edible rind, tear drop shape, an aged provolone.

Once we received all the cheese, we let them sit out and come up to temperature so that the full flavor could be achieved. We added some dried fruit and candied walnuts that I made the night before, overall the cheese display went great and we got a lot of requests for a cheese platter on the menu.

OF COURSE........... Ask and we will deliver, so chef and I played with the plate up and we added some toasted cibatta bread 2 ways. 1 was with honey and the other was with minced thyme and roasted garlic oil. We also added some Cherve and used it 3 ways, which was with a Chianti gastriqe, herb rolled and regular. Simple,but great flavors.

On a side note I added two more hot sauces to my collection from other countries.
Busha Browne's Pukka Pepper Sauce (Jamaica)- Intense vinegar taste, really spicy and thick.

Walkerswood Jonkanoo Pepper Sauce (Jamaica)- Full of flavor heat, but mellows out.