Archive for February, 2006

Ingredient Update

Monday, February 27th, 2006


From: David Blaine
There are quite a few items waiting on deck to hit the menu. Jeff put together a nice fire roasted puttenesca relish that has had auditions as a pasta and a crostini. I favor it’s use as an appetizer but it is time consuming to produce and chock full of expensive ingredients. Kumquats will be everywhere for a few more days at least. Kumquat chutney may fill in for the candied satusumas/clementines as their seasons draw to a close. Though pomagranite season is on the wane the Pom salad has been such a hit on the special sheet that I am tempted to roll it on to the menu. We are experimenting with some lamb options. My favorite idea so far is the Lamb Lollipop appetizer: two slices of lamb rack to be eaten by hand off of the bone with a black currant dipping sauce. Lamb tagine is also in the R&D phase. We have been making Maker’s mark ice cream round the clock in preperation for the Boilermaker Sundae: Whiskey ice cream with Guinness poured over the top and dusted with espresso grounds. Soon the local cheesemakers will be in stock again and the cheese plate will be resurected. Life without Sally Jackson’s Cheese is a life half lived.

Poet Party

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

Robert Bly

From: David Blaine
Yestarday’s talk at SFCC is behind me now but the calender is filing up with other events. The Chocolate Champagne Gala is just around the corner. We will be baking off 500 tiny ancho chili-chocolate cakes (makes me thankful for silicone mini muffin pans). Before that happens we will be hosting a gathering for the poet Robert Bly after his reading at SFCC. We have had our share of sport, television, and music celebrities come through the doors but never a famous poet. The informal event will start at 10pm on March 10th and continue on until someone cries out, “How happy he was! When he saw the Dawn Star!”

The Future of Food

Monday, February 20th, 2006

sally jackson cheese

From: David Blaine
This Wednesday I Will be on a panel discussion at SFCC for the Connected with Sustainability conference. Jeremiah will be dishing up his Sara Joe’s Sausage Gumbo that we had on the menu for the last month or so. The day is dedicated to raising awareness about the problems being faced in food production. As a chef I am caught between the purveyors and the consumers which puts me in a unique postion to influence the market place. Balancing community perspective with economic survival is tricky. Luckily, as members of The Chef’s Collabrative we have some resources. I am hoping to further my education in the area of sustainability by attending the Farm Culinary Programat Quillisascut Farm this fall.
Here is the press release for Wednesday’s talk. (more…)


Monday, February 20th, 2006

To butter or not to butter: that is the question.
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer without butter
Or to take up a knife against this sea of troubles, and butter.

We can’t decide and the guests seem split.
Do you want your toast pre-buttered or dry with butter on the side?
Please weigh in.

Thoughts Turn To Summer

Thursday, February 16th, 2006


From: David Blaine
Last night Heather and Dave gave me a Le Creuset Tagine pot. About a million years ago during the opening of the Bistro I had mentioned my love for Morrocan cooking and the unique cooking vessals that go with their most famous dish. Tagine is a method of braising meat, spices, vegatables, sometimes fruit and honey. Even though the thermometer outside is reading single digits I have already turned my thoughts to warmer days. Dan Jackson droppped by Tuesday with his seed catalog. It is great to have farmers willing to custom plant varieties just because I want to try them. Page after page of peppers, tomatoes and squashes got me inspired for hot weather cooking. I am sure I will have the tagine fired up tonight but I am looking forward to eating on my patio as the the sun sets and the scents of cumin, corriander, ginger and fennal drift in the breeze.

Breakfast Has Begun

Monday, February 13th, 2006

Breakfast is up and running. Beginning the breakfast program is a lot like opening a new restaurant because so much of it does not apply to the rest of what we are doing at lunch and dinner. Also, the development of a new clientele is an often overlooked element. A new restaurant generates lots of chatter around town. It will take a lot longer for the word that we have added breakfast to get out. We hit the numbers goals for covers and sales so no complaints. We had good luck in guessing the par levels. There were only 4 items we had to bulk up through the course of the weekend.

Things we learned:
Wheat toast is most popular bread and strawberry jam is it’s favored accompaniment
Tofu Scramble was the surprise hit selling 5 times as much as expected.
People like ketchup.
It is going to take a minimum of 100 lbs of potatoes, 40 lbs of butter and 60 dozen eggs to get through the avereage weekend.

New Artist Jeffrey Loyd

Thursday, February 9th, 2006


Come check out new artist Jeffrey Loyd showing at the Bistro

New York Times does chocolate

Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

Chocolate That Flashes Its Passport - New York Times. Good article on the Single-Origin angle of the chocolate explosion. We just got in a Limited Edition Valrhona Plantation series. The six bar, three variety set comes with a book explaining the growing regions and production process and a nice wooden box. It is always nice having something left over after the chocolate has been eaten.


Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Check out Tom Bowers’ Taste Of The Town

Coffee Porn

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Coffee is my longest successful relationship. Oh, the times we have shared. Recently, I was forced to give up the bean due to medical problems. So when I came across it was like pulling out photos of an old girlfriend.