Steve Marques (formerly of Burger Guys and Yelapa, now executive chef for Tasting Room Uptown) treated some friends and myself to a special dinner. It explored some ideas we had discussed earlier, and a few cultural challenges. And I learned that Steve salivates over the idea of a culinary challenge. With gusto.
Our meal progressed much like a cooking show judging session, with Steve explaining what each course was to be, and began with a sashimi of tilefish, dressed with salt, serrano chile, and heated olive oil. A simple start. Auspicious.
|The Best Chocolate Ice Cream in the World. Steve credits learning to make this ice cream to Fergus Henderson and reveals that one secret is the use of duck egg yolks. But there's so much going on with this ice cream - a dark chocolate profile that lingers on the tongue, accompanied by the tang of dried cherries, and crunch of pistachios. And the herbal complement of the fresh thyme. Strangely, I think a touch of fleur de sel would just finished it nicely, but that's splitting hairs.|
Though not quite kare-kare, this dish, in and of itself, is good. Instead of capturing a memory, it is creating a new one - one that a group has chosen to remember and describe for others.
Disclaimer: Dinner was provided gratis. Many thanks to the chef and to The Tasting Room Uptown for a wonderful dinner and experience.