First night of Chefdance 2012: Chef Chad White of Sea Rocket Bistro and Jeff Bonilla of Kitchen 1540 from San Diego! Chad killed it at Mimi's Chefdance 2011 kick-off birthday last year and he's back with his SD crew tonight for six dishes.
Let's sneak up on Chad as he plates the first course uni ;')
How does Chefdance work? First of all, these insane gastro evenings are invitation-only. Arrive at the nondescript entry on Main Street next to Harry O's, hope that your name is on the List, get through security and the doorman and climb downstairs to enter the Monkey Bar for tray pass and sexy cocktails by Snake Oil Cocktail Co. Sip these divine liquids while you mingle, network and shmooze, and wait in another line for dinner wristbands. Lots of celebrity sitings...Yogurtland is in town for Sundance! Swing by for free (yes, FREE!) amazing frozen yogurt and sample flavors and toppings at Yogurtland's self-serve kiosk. Chill out on white leather couches in the chic Chefdance lobby while you sample the best frozen yogurt of your life.
Yogurtland. Plain Tart topped off with fresh strawberries, dark chocolate chips and granola. Sophisticated and addicting.
Kimchi Cotton Candy. Insanely delicious pop Korean hors d'oeuvres. Grab a cone from a palette, pick up by the fork handle and bite into a mouthful of spiced spun sugary bliss and finish off with an unexpected surprise, a succulent peppery shrimp. Omg! This was one of the coolest things I've ever seen and eaten. Fun presentation. Phenomenal.
Also assisting in the kitchen are Tommy Fraioli of Sea Rocket Bistro, Daniel Barron of Blue Point Coastal Cuisine and Flor Granados-Franco of Indulge Bistronomy.Vegan substitute...?!
Kenny Griswold and Mimi Kim with Jorge D'Garay and Chef Javier Plascencia.Danyi Deats of MeowMeow will have lots to comment on ;')
They just kept pouring and pouring. So many beverages to choose from...Sea Urchin Ceviche. Roe, gelato, shisho, cauliflower foam, candied ginger, caper salt. Don Wilson said it best, "...like a bite of the entire ocean...in your mouth...so fresh and delicious!" It was an explosive burst of ocean flavors and textures. Looks like the cauliflower foam dissolved by the time I snapped this pic, so you can't see that it also looked like the ocean! Luxurious, cold, briny, bubbly, sweet—absolutely mind-blowing. One of the best things I've ever had in my life. What a starter.
Cascal. Paired with the sous vide cod was Cascal, a hip noncaffeinated delicious bubbly drink. They come in posh foodie flavors like Crisp White (pear, apricot, Magnolia) and Fresh Tropical (mango, jasmine, kaffir lime). Delicious, this is all the rage.
Black Cod Confit, smoked banana, grapefruit, serrano, smoked shrimp dust. The texture consistency of the the cod was new and dense and I realized that I've never had cod sous vide before. Birds eye chili enabled a lingering fire in my mouth that resulted in outrageously satisfying bites. Generous portion of black cod was garnished with juicy segmented grapefruit. Fish was oily and dense (versus flaky) with a sashimi taste and texture, very buttery and ridiculously rich.
Pork Cheeks, brussels, lardo blanket, apple pop rocks, mustard paint. The mustard accent was reminiscent of a Chinese dish. The coy aftertaste of spicy mustard pop rocks made it one of the most exciting dishes. Micro explosives setting off in your mouth! Weird and I love it. "Pork cheeks...lardo blanket..."
Normandy, a Happier Version. Zacapa Rum 2 and crisp apples. Snake Oil paired this awesome cocktail with the pork dish. We guzzled and asked for seconds.
Chef Javier Plascencia.
Elivis, PB pot de creme, burnt banana paper, grape air, brioche strussel. This was a decadent combo of a million sugary flavors and textures—sweet, gooey, nutty, moist, dense, crisp, wet, sticky, candied. Close your eyes and picture the sweetest most wild event that could be happening in your mouth! Ridiculous.
The fabulous host Mimi Kim, owner of Chefdance, demos the new Chefdance app for iPhone.Danyi with big shot Chef Daniel Barron of Blue Point Coastal Cuisine.
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