Crab is one of Jared’s favorite food groups next to fried chicken. So when he saw the the crab dish on the non-vegetarian menu, it was an easy decision for him on what to order. This dish is quite a playful dish as the chunks of king crab meat swam in a pool of cucumber consomme. To eat it, you must crack the thin layer of tangerine lace sitting on top with the wild steelhead roe. I felt giddy like the scene in Amelie, cracking into the sugar layer of her creme brulee. This is the perfect summer time dish, the cool cu
cumber juice, the tartness of the kalamansi puree, briny roe and crab meat and finally the sweetness of the shell complimented each ingredients. Last but not least, you can taste the spiciness from the togarashi at the end, which was a bit of surprise. This is also the dish chef Duffy will be serving at the James Beard Awards Dinner. I hope they like it as much as we do.
Next came a dish from the vegetarian menu courtesy of the chef. Boy were we in for a treat. Too bad we couldn’t order both menus so that we could have tried all the dishes. The vibrant green English pea soup was poured over the frozen coconut milk dome. The vine you see there is actually black mint puree drizzled into liquid nitrogen. I even saw chef Duffy fish it out with his bare hands…his bare hands people!! (Kids please do not try this at home and leave it to the professionals)
Once you crack open the dome, you will find ripe pineapple chunks, cashews for the crunchy texture and bread pieces to soak up the soup. As you take a spoonful of this chilled soup, the frozen coconut shell quickly dissolves in your mouth followed by the taste of the sweet and mild green pea soup. This takes the concept of the chilled english pea soup into the realm of… fantasy!
One of the requests Jared had for the chef was for us to taste the dish he envisioned when he and Leela created the cooking contest. Chef Duffy was generous enough to oblige with our request and make this particular dish in place of the salmon dish already on the menu. The chef’s description of his dish can be found here. When we first saw his version, we wanted to taste it for sure. The hardest element of this dish was pairing the dark chocolate with the fish. So we were naturally intrigued by his use of ingredients and technique to blend these them in a harmonious way. Let me just say chef’s Duffy combination lived up to his reputation. Sure, Jared’s version was tasty, but this was on a whole other level of awesomeness. The first thing we noticed was the perfectly poached Faroe Island salmon belly. I’m not sure where Faroe Island is located, but I want to go there and fish their salmon and then eat their belly. The fish was mild and so creamy, and then tasting it with the semi-bitter smooth chocolate custard and cool fennel sorbet, you can see why these ingredients that normally not seen together now seem so right.
The gnocchi was light and fluffy with a nice crunchy exterior. By itself it is mild in flavor, but when you soak up the salty prosciutto consomme, it was the perfect combo. The consomme was poured table side so the gnocchi wouldn’t be soggy when it arrives.
Ah, the Waygu beef from Shiga Prefecture in Japan. This was another dish we were really looking forward to ever since reading the tweet from chef Duffy. I guess there are less than 10 restaurants in the US serving this type of beef. Now, we have had Matsusaka and Kobe beef before in Japan, but never Ohmi. So we felt pretty special to be able to taste it here in the US and we were not dissapointed. The beef was tender and juicy from the oh-so-many layers of fat running through the meat. To make this dish even more extravagant, truffle elements were found throughout the dish. One of Jared’s favorite element was the white truffle creme caramel. It was sweet and creamy and the truffle taste takes it over the top. We could of eaten this dish all night even though we were so full.
The best dessert of the night I think goes to this dish. The raspberry sorbet log is filled with mascarpone cream. We were instructed to crack open the log before eating. As you can see the cream with chambord came oozing out onto the bowl. I am a big fan of basil and cream and this was truely outstanding. There were so many little elements to this dish and looked almost too pretty to eat.
A creamy rich chocolate dessert that will satisfy the cravings of all chocolate lovers. The chunks of frozen honey was a nice touch.
As a special treat for my birthday, chef Duffy prepared a frozen chocolate mousse dome. Again the caramelized milk came flowing out once dome was cracked open. It was the perfect way to end an epic meal on an epic birthday.