Saturday, August 14, 2010

New Position

Today will be my final day at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort and I'm extremely sad to close this chapter in my life and begin anew. Living in Colorado has been an amazing experience and I've had the pleasure of creating and implementing my own style within this amazing property. I feel that I've put a huge amount of passion into this place and now the culinary team understands the true importance of "guest experience". I'm excited to see how they take it to the next level and will definitely keep tabs on all the talented individuals I've had the pleasure of working with. I'm now off to the windy city of Chicago as Executive Chef for a private facility downtown. The actual property is "meeting space only" and will focus on creating a "WOW" factor for every client that comes through the door. I will be working with a much smaller staff and challenging my creativity daily by taking each event to the limit. I'm positive that there will be many pictures to post on the blog from all the events I will be hosting and of course will keep updating the blog. Now it's time to start packing and begin the next chapter of our lives. Here is a photo of the historic building that's currently being renovated for our arrival. Only the rooftop and clock tower floors are going to be apart of this new project, how exciting!!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Black Mussels / Saffron Banana / Lemon Verbena

My favorite dish of the night was the starter course. Black mussels were steamed in white wine with shallots, butter, and lemon verbena until they had naturally opened. The broth was reduced down with the addition of honey, banana, and saffron. I added a dash of heavy cream and reduced the mixture by half. A few Tablespoons of butter were swirled in to finish the sauce and a pinch of salt. The color was amazing after straining the sauce and pouring over the mussels. I will most likely add some type of bread to really soak up that beautiful sauce at the bottom of the bowl.

Duck Breast / Blackberry Gastrique / Sweet Potato Fries

This is a duck breast that has been rendered down until the skin was extremely crispy and sliced thin. The sweet potato fries were lightly cooked until tender in boiling water and then fried at 350 degrees until golden brown. A salt infused with cracked pepper and fresh rosemary seasoned them to compliment the sweetness. A blackberry gastrique garnished the plate and gave the dish a unique fruity component to harmonize itself with the wine.

Caramel Apples / Foie Gras / Field Greens

Last night, we hosted a tasting for the upcoming wine dinner at the country and I was able to take some photos of the dishes in between descriptions. Here is the salad course that has a medallion of seared foie gras, tart green apples, caramel sauce, and field greens from our garden. I drizzled some of the fat after searing the foie gras to really give the caramel a fatty taste to enhance the richness of the wine. The green apples were a perfect crunch to the bitter leaves of red oak and baby romaine. Very happy with the finished dish and wine pairing.