I had the pleasure of sitting down with Chef Mina for a few minutes in our lounge today to shoot the shit and also to help him out with a casual dinner he will be cooking tomorrow for friends, team, and family.
My wife and I went to San Francisco in 2004 with a spot on our friends couch and a reservation at The French Laundry. We took a couple days and explored San Fran then went off to Napa for the day. After one of the best meals of my life and the descriptions we provided to our friends they wanted to experience something similar. We made our way to Restaurant Michael Mina at the Westin, his flagship of trio goodness. If your counting the trios I had over 25 courses, some plates were trios of hot and cold so 6 entirely different courses on 1 plate. The plate itself was designed by Mina with the help of some folks in Limoges to accommodate his style. We went to the bar for a couple of drinks and if you sit to the far left you can see part of the kitchen where Mina was on expo that night checking all the plates, tasting, pen behind the ear, pointing, marking tickets, instructing captains and controlling the flow.
As a younger chef it was inspiring to watch. I had back to back incredible meals and it was a trip I will never forget. Two years later I was taking over bluezoo as executive chef and the first week I was to be chef we were doing a media dinner with Michael Mina and Todd. So no pressure at all with a 2 michelin star chef coming to your restaurant to cook with you along with your boss. It was a great challenge and experience. Michael is a chef with high expectations but very personable and approachable. His sous chef Junior was a machine and informed us he was on his way to open up the restaurant in Mexico City after this was said and done which seemed appropriate, the guy was good!
So needless to say it is a great honor for myself whenever Chef Mina is around. Here is one course I had a chance to take a shot of for his 20 top in the restaurant tonight.
Sous vide lone peak beef, methocel truffle gnocchi, cauliflower puree, foraged maitake, FORVM glazed pearl onions.
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