Still testing for the fall menu. This will be similar to but not the exact flavor profile we will be using but had some VIPs in so had to give them some of our sous vide octopus. Abondoned the red wine braise for sous vide. Why not, it's perfect every time.

After it cooled we removed the skin and suckers. Then a little olive oil, herbs, seasoning, and on the plancha. Stayed super tender, hit it up with the old ACG powder, heirloom tomatoes from chef garden, and some red ribbon sorrel.



I have written briefly of menu testing and the rigors of hotel menu changing, here are some thoughts

Aaron is working some german influence on berkshire, creamed apple kraut, pumpernickel, braised red cabbage puree. I want to incorporate some beer, honey crisp apple slaw, and smoke.

four story hills beef with a surf supplement
popcorn sweetbreads, sunchoke 2 way, sorrel, royal trumpet
octopus, red wine braise, grilled, chickpea, spicy, dirty martini vin
kobe flank steak, chipotle, salsa verde
breakfast flatbread, quail eggs, country ham, parm
bacon wrapped corvina, heirloom beans, tasso, frisee
tuna, nicoise components, anchovy gribiche
brandt beef, baby brussels, mixed marble potatoes, celery
monkfish, stewed root vegetable, red pepper noodle
chilled salt block lobster, citrus, honey, clover
caramelized fennel jus finished with orange butter, as an option for our simply grilled fish sauce, I sense agar clarification
heritage poulet rouge, turnip, bitter greens

new product coming out of Hudson Valley Foie Gras called Lola, male mallard duck crossbred with female peking. The yeild is a 3lb bird supposedly with greater flavor. Sample will be in on Friday, I'll let you know. Limited production and only a few distributors carrying this bird as it has not yet hit mainstream production.

Lots of ideas floating around, especially with the addition of the gastrovac. Nothing but testings, tastings ,costings, and specs to come in my near future.


Salt Block Scallop

Amuse tonight was ox heart tomato, glazed purple carrot, kohlrabi, spinach, corn silk, chanterelle, and some scallops finished on our newly acquired salt blocks.

I've been wanting some of these for a while now. Just put them in the oven for 20 minutes on 400, then on a serviette and finished cooking while seasoning them as they were on their way out to the table.


Menu testing

It's that time of year to start thinking about our fall menu. We'll be picking up some dishes with heartier earthy tones for the upcoming season. We brought in some Four Story Hill Farm Cote de Boeuf. It has been dry aged for 28 days and has become one of my favorites pieces of meat.

We did a traditional bordelaise and a carrot caraway puree that came out really nice. The veg will change with whatever we have in house on top of a couple of staples that will always be on the plate(shrooms, turnip, eg..) Thinking about some carrot noodles as well to drape over and around the veg.

Part of being in the hotel environment everything has to be tested, documented, costed, and ran as a special to see what kind of feedback we get from our guests. When we get our dishes together then we do a tasting for f&b key players, exec chef and exec sous of the hotel, everything gets ran by Todd and he throws in what he wants. If everything is good then we go for a big change at once, if not we re-tool and look at problem dishes individually. Once everyone is happy with the pricing, the look, and the taste we schedule staff meetings for training. We'll go over all the products being used, their origin, what's special about them, any allergy concerns and substitutions for the FOH and BOH. Then we prep and put it into motion. It's a long process, of course we are always tweaking dishes and changing little things but the initial revamp is massive. This is the time of year where I wish I was at an independent restaurant, change everything all the time, tell the servers at pre-shift what is going on and the cooks will get a list of what they have to do that day and figure it out. Would be nice.


Pick a Peck

It's not everyday you come back from a week off and there are 2 hotel pans full of all kinds of peppers waiting for you. Then I went into our mise en place cooler to find some already pickling. Those little purple peppers will put you down, but for the most part the others have good heat and not over the top.

What to do with a ridiculous amount of peppers but make rellenos. Rock shrimp rellenos, black bean risotto...

Can't go wrong with that. The meticulous peeling, de-seeding, and stuffing brings me back to Flagstaff,Az when I was working at a little mexican joint back in the day. Perfect bar food, now I need a cerveza.


jamon, melon, cherry

The hotel owners were in tonight with some friends so we put together this little taste. Iberico ham, "melons under less pressure than normal"**, port and balsamic pickled cherry, whipped watermelon, mint blossom, radish green, and miel d'Acacia vin.

Simple, and can't really go wrong with a sliver of the iconic spanish ham on just about anything.

**Note, Dave Arnold dislikes the term compressed in relation to vac sealing. So what do we call it? Melons that were at some point in time under their normal atmospheric pressure? I see his reasoning, he understands the process and why call it that if it is not that at the time it is served. Do we have to call it anything? I see why chefs call it that with the action of the bag in the vac machine but how do we reverse this widely used misconception? Is there is a better way of describing it to our guests in a way they will understand.