Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Peanut butter

Peanut butter. When I hear this word, I automatically associate it with American cuisine even though I am not sure where it was originally invented. My wife likes peanut butter a lot. I don't have too much experience working with this ingredients especially since I am not a pastry chef but recently I have been doing a good amount of desserts once I look at photos and notes I have taken recently.
Peanut butter custard, banana cream, dulce de leche, peanut butter powder, puffed rice brittle, maldon salt

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Cafe Mocha

Here is Cafe Mocha, new dessert dish.
Coffee is one of my most favorite drinks for those who don't know me well but I literally drink coffee all day long. Therefore, I have done few coffee related dishes before, but I think this is best of coffee dishes I have done yet.
This time, I made the coffee gelee really soft so that it will instantly melt as soon as it hits your tongue and back to liquid coffee. Other components are ganache paint, cinnamon fluid gel, whipped milk, milk foam, coffee soil, vanilla panna cotta.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Nowadays, slow food, buying local, organic produce have grown much more than it has ever been in minds of consumers here in the United States as well. I like seeing these things and supporting local farmers who work so hard to produce all these wonderful vegetables and fruits. No pesticides, No miracle grow, No big machinery. It takes extra care, time, and attention because of it. Therefore, I have always had a huge amount of appreciation for these hard working farmers so that we can use these wonderful produce in our restaurants, hotels, and etc.

Fresh seasonal produce which grown are just simply delicious and full of flavors. Also, very strong aromas which I can smell from blocks away. Where I live now, everybody's harvesting fresh produce now and market is filled up with vibrant colors and wonderful aromas. Not to forget the nutritional value as well. These are REAL vegetables, REAL fruits, unlike those others which are full of pesticides, chemical to prolong the shelf life, wax to make it shine, and etc.

Today, I went to Central Market to look for a raw milk because I wanted to make mozzarella from scratch but the stand didn't carry them today but they assisted me to go to this another store outside of market. I was like hmm I have never heard of this place but I walked to the direction which I was told and ended up with this little shop few blocks away from the market. Espressly Local... Sounds promising and there are signs for local produce, dairy and such. There were sages growing and thyme was flowering. I walked into the store and I was surprised by how much varieties of items they carried. I picked up raw milk and other produces there. At the register, I started to talk to this nice lady who seems to manage the shop. I told her that I am a chef and about what I do and my culinary philosophy and such. She was so excited and started to tell me about all the produce in the store like " we just picked these this morning"," my mother just hulled these peas", "I grow these, I grow those", " Look at these kohlrabis". She knew exactly where everything came from, how they were grown from produce, dairy, chickens. It was very interesting to listen to her tell me all the things about her vegetables and fruits which she produces proudly.

As a chef, I definitely need to be rethink about these vegetables and fruits which are grown by hard working farmers with their love and care. Center of the place doesn't necessarily have to be meat, fish, foie gras. Let these flavorful ingredients shine.

To everyone at Expressly Local, Central Market, I am very thankful and truly appreciate for your support and letting me use all these flavorful and beautiful fruits and vegetables.

Thank you so much.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I think skate is one of the underrated fish. This fish was a challenge for me since I am a huge fan of organized, geometric shapes but you know how skate wings are shaped? they are flat, thick on the one end and thin on the other end. Hmm.... What I did this time to create an uniform shape was to roll it from the one end to the other after applying transglutaminase on the inner surface of the fish. Afterward, I put it in a sous vide bag and seal it and let it rest and let TG to do its job.
I cooked it sous vide and sliced against the grain of the fish. Take a look at the surface. ( See the image above) I was pretty happy with the end result both doneness and appearance. Maybe next time I will try to make them little bit smaller in diameter and even throughout starting from first slice until the last slice.
I served it with more traditional and spring flavors: fennel, artichoke, dill, radish, lemon, parsley, pearl onion and etc.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Whipped yogurt, honey, chocolate, lavender, mint

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I like corn. I actually like corn a lot. In Japan, people even put them on pizza as a topping pretty frequently. I bought these local fresh corn and I was trying to figure out what to do with them. I like them pretty much in anyway too from soup, salad, grilled, raw, cooked....however else you can cook them and I started to realize how versatile they can be prepared. hmm... On this plate, I tried to capture the freshness and the sweet flavor of corn and present the versatility of this wonderful ingredient.

I made fresh raw corn salad, reconstructed corn(corn caviar.. whatever you want to call them), pop corn, crunchy corn bread, corn paper and corn air.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


It's Tuesday which is one of the days of week farmer's market in downtown opens. Especially since weather has gotten so much warmer in this area and plenty of rain, all the produce are looking fantastic. I was walking into the building and I can already smell the strawberries. So fresh. So sweet. As a chef, there was no way of no getting this. As I stand in the corner of the farmer's market, I started brainstorm a dish with this wonderfully aromatic and delicious produce. Rhubarb, balsamic vinegar, mint........ lavender, fruity e.v. olive oil.... I'll go from here. I bought a single stalk of rhubarb and lady over the counter was looking at me weird..... but I just don't need a whole bunch. I just wanted to get one and use it up for this dish and eat it within 1 hour after purchase. I am fast walking home and thinking I can't wait to work with these fresh produce.

I used strawberry and made a smooth sheet. Strawberries were so sweet that I didn't almost need any additional sugar. I only added very minimum. Rhubarb, fresh cut strawberries, lavender flowers, pulverized e.v. olive oil, balsamic fluid gel, spearmint, honeysuckle flowers, and vermouth foam. Most of these are from the market except for only few things. Few days ago, my wife and I went to state park and found those honeysuckles. It smells so sweet. We could smell them in the woods from so far away.

I tasted the whole dish together. It was great. All the wonderful local produce are just at their peak. Sweetness of strawberries and sourness of balsamic vinegar. Different textures. Aroma is so floral, fruity, minty.