I grew up in Hawaii and when I was a kid we spent a ton of time at the beach. There was a woman that would walk up and down the beach selling popsicles. I always went for the creamsicle. It was vanilla ice cream in the center, surrounded by orange sorbet. Heaven.
Kyle and I don’t like to waste anything. It’s a chef thing… I’ve never met a chef that wouldn’t freak out if they saw onion scraps in the trash or day old bread getting tossed. There is a use for everything! Onions can go into pretty much any stock. Day old bread becomes bread crumbs. Every piece of food that goes in the trash makes the food cost more to make. We strive to give value to our guests and saving by not wasting allows us to keep costs down. It’s that simple.
Opening GBD has left us thinking about all the chicken bits and pieces that we will have left after we butcher the chicken. Bones and feet go to stock. Skin becomes chips. Livers become mousse. Gizzards… What about gizzards? Kyle has that covered.
In the south they boil gizzards and deep fry them. It’s kinda disgusting. Chewy, no flavor. I guess you had to grow up eating it to truly appreciate it. So Kyle wanted to re-create that idea but WAY better. He cured the gizzards like you would duck legs for confit, then slowly cooked them until tender in duk fat. Then he breaded and fried them like the traditional deep fried gizzards in the south… But sooooo much better!
Just one of the reasons I love him.
In always nervous to start working with a new chef. Making sure my desserts flow with each restaurant requires building a relationship with each chef. The better the relationship the better the desserts.
One of the reasons I’m excited for Red Apron to open is getting to work with Nate Anda. I’ve known him for a few years now but I’ve never actually gotten to work with him. Not that I’ve been testing breads and talking desserts I’ve gotta say, I’m pretty stocked to get to be a small part of his operation. He is the most even keeled, clear headed chef. Best of all, he’s great to brainstorm with. Full of good ideas. I love that.
Most of the menus have some of my breads on them but Red Apron is set to be my biggest challenge to date. Its a ton of bread. Seriously. And Nate has worked so hard and so long on this project I want it to be perfect. So we started testing and tasting. Nate’s tastings are EPIC. The most recent tasting featured 8 types of bread and about 30 sandwiches. The only advise I can give you is if you are ever lucky enough to get invited to a Red Apron tasting DON’T EAT ALL DAY.
If you see sticky toffee pudding of any kind on any menu get it… Never met one I didn’t love.
We use dried black mission figs in place of the classically used dates. Gives it a richer flavor and I love the mini crunch from the fig seeds. It’s served with sour cream ice cream, walnut flan, candied walnuts and a caramel roasted seckel pear.
Winter on a plate!
Something a little different this time. Thanks for the great picture Samer!
Kyle and I love cooking brunch! But for once this post isn’t about us cooking brunch… We got to actually eat it!!! And when we get the chance to get brunch we take it seriously and choose carefully… Our choice? Dim Sum at The Source. On a Saturday morning while Kyle’s parents were visiting us to check out our NEW HOUSE (yay!) we wanted to take them to have an amazing meal. Scott Drewno never ceases to amaze. The Source is actually the first place Kyle and I ate when we moved to DC and from the remarkable food to impeccable service (their GM, Rikka, lives and breathes hospitality,) we knew we had made the right choice to move to DC.
We ate everything from octopus to frog, turnip cakes to insane dumplings and it was all to-die-for! The bacon was unreal. By the time we left Kyle’s father commented that he had eaten 5 things he had never tried before and didn’t think he would like and loved them all. Kyle and I weren’t surprised! Scott is not only a great guy but a wonderful chef as well. Plus, the first cocktail I had was garnished with a mini sausage link… I mean come on. If that doesn’t show you they take brunch/dim sum seriously I don’t know what does!
Cooking outside. It’s something I grew up doing in Hawaii since most of our meals were cooked on a grill. I’ve always found being outside very comforting. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a “roughing it” kinda gal BUT sitting outside and sipping a drink while Kyle fires up the grill is my perfect day off.
Outstanding in the Field is hands down our favorite event of the year! It pairs chefs with farmers and holds a dinner for about 200 guests on the farm. It doesn’t get more farm-to-table than that! The dinner is served family style at one LONG farm table. I love how bountiful the table looks when we send 60 platters of food to the table. Then people eat and drink until we practically need to roll them home. It’s a beautiful thing! As the sun sets lanterns are brought out so guests can enjoy the cool breeze while they enjoy dessert and after dinner drinks.
For a 2nd year in a row we were fortunate enough to host our dinner at The Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture. It is a non-profit farm that is near and dear to our heart. Kyle and I spent many hours with the farmers and our cooks weeding, planting, and foraging at Arcadia and we are always excited to expose new people to it. Arcadia brings young children to the farm to teach them about healthy eating. They also run the Mobile Market, a bright green bus that brings crates of farm fresh food to otherwise underserved neighborhoods and helps educate communities about how to prepare nutritious food for their families. Plus, there are 5 bee hives there that I get honey from for desserts at Birch and Barley so I like to have a reason to visit the farm to check on the bees
The weather was perfect, Kyle and I were surrounded by some on our favorite people and the guests seemed to really enjoy their meal. Greg was there to pair beers, which always blows people away… A few of the standout dishes were a farro salad with radishes and grilled cucumber that was to die for. Kyle also made a beautiful dish of seared skate served over lightly dressed baby dandelion greens. It was so fresh and flavorful. For dessert I prepared birthday cake with a twist. It was a cake layer with carrot cake, parsnip cake, cream cheese mousse and toasted walnuts. It was served with carrot caramel and ginger ice cream…
Outstanding in the Field comes to the DC area every year but they travel all over the US so be sure to get on their mailing list and if they come to your town I recommend buying a ticket. It’s a splurge but it’s a wonderful event.