Thornhill Farm

The source of many of McCrady’s wonderful vegetables and fruits. Also the home to Chef Brock’s heirloom plantings.

Plants and Flowers

Sea Island Red Peas

Wild Redwood Sorrel Flowers

Bacchanalia

During my trip to Atlanta I was lucky enough to stop by Bacchanalia and be shown around by Chef Andy Carson. There charcuterie program is AMAZING!

Cochon 555

This past weekend I was lucky enough to compete with Sean and Travis in Cochon 555. It is a cooking competition with 5 chefs 5 winemakers, and 5 pigs. There are 10 different locations throughout the country with the winners competing in Aspen at the Food and Wine Classic (check out the website http://www.cochon555.com). I’ll start off by saying it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. They give you a whole  pig  and one week to prepare as many dishes as you would like to present at the competition. Needless to say we did not get a lot of sleep during the week preparing the 13 dishes that chef decided to do. However, it was well worth all of the effort because we won! I had such a great time and it was an honor to work next to chefs like Sean and Travis in a competition. I would love to put up a lot of pictures but I was a little busy during the event so I didn’t get a chance to take that many photos and the ones I do have will be posted at a later date once I get some rest. I dont really know when that will be since we are now starting to prepare for Aspen which will be a challenge to say the least. Were all very excited and can’t wait to do it again.

Spring

Beautiful tomatoes like these get me very pumped up. It lets me know spring time is here. Along with spring comes one of my favorite things about cooking at places like McCradys, we get the biggest variety of veggies I’ve ever seen. All are grown locally and most of them on our farm (just look at Chef Brock’s arm). I’ll be posting a lot more this spring to make sure everyone gets to see all of the wonderful veggies.

Star Chefs

This was the view from the hotel I got to stay at with chef Brock when we went to Star Chefs last year. It was an amazing time and one that I’ll never forget. I’ll continue going to Star Chefs every year as long as they have it, the information I learned there was incredible.

Star Chefs

This is a picture of Chef Brocks vegetable garden dish from Star Chefs. Dishes like this are the reason I wanted to work for chef Brock.

Black Garlic

This is black garlic bbq sauce that we use to coat the  pork belly on the 4th course of the tasting menu. It’s served with turnips, cilantro, malted barley powder, and worschester powder. Black garlic is a wonderful Korean ingrediant that Chef Brock has been using for years. He first introduced me to it during my first stage at McCradys and its uses are endless. The garlic is aged for 4 months and develops a delicious sweet molasses flavour as well as turning jet black which is super cool.

Ginger Root

Happy 1st Birthday to our Root!

1 year McCrady’s Ham

This is our year old McCrady’s ham made from our own pigs. The fat on it was amazing. You could smell the acorns the pigs had been feeding off of.

Country Pate

Country Pate with pickled ramps and sicilian pistachios. This is wrapped in sheets of sweet potato that have been compressed with ramp pickling liquid.

Cutten Pig

Chef Brock and the Sous chef Travis breaking down one of our pigs.

Getting back in the game

I realized that I have thousands of awesome random pictures  concerning everything we do in the restaurant on a day to day basis. I have decided that I will try to put a new one up everyday that I can. This time it’s 50 pounds of pickled ramps. Chef has the best ramp pickle recipe. I could eat these all day! Last year during the ramp season we got well over 500 pounds and pickled so many that we’re still using them now. It’s pretty cool to have these delicious treats on hand year round.

Broth

Turn all starches into broths. Rice, potato, grits, and so many more

Fat Back

townhouse 029

Pig

townhouse 023 Look at the  loin we pulled off oneof our pigs. Needless to say we were all pretty surprised.

Coming soon

Meal at McCradys with my mother. Pictures of Chef, Travis and myself breaking down the 473 pound pig that sean raised, and many more new exciting things going on at McCradys.

Townhouse

townhouse 065

Oyster and salmon with spring flavors

Oyster and salmon with spring flavors

Foie Gras, corn, balsamic, and chocolate

Foie Gras, corn, balsamic, and chocolate

Mackerel with various seeds and berries

Mackerel with various seeds and berries

Turbot, honeydew melon, and turnip with unidentified roe

Turbot, honeydew melon, and turnip with unidentified roe

Carmelized Eggplant with indian flavors. Canteloupe soup

Carmelized Eggplant with indian flavors. Canteloupe soup

Squab with egg, earl grey tea, black garlic, bee balm

Squab with egg, earl grey tea, black garlic, bee balm

Prime cap of Beef with arugula kim chee basil cucumber spring flavours

Prime cap of Beef with arugula kim chee basil cucumber spring flavours

Yeast sponge with bentons bacon and frozen bananna

Yeast sponge with bentons bacon and frozen bananna

Mint, chocolate, buttermilk different textures and tempatures

Mint, chocolate, buttermilk different textures and tempatures

Thank you John, Karen, Charlie and the rest of the staff at Townhouse this was an amazing meal. I apologize for the picture quality I was having such a good time I couldn’t focus on pictures at all. Besides i would have needed a pro photographer to do this food justice. It was an eye opening meal and I recommend that anyone reading this should make plans to go there as soon as possible, and be ready to have your mind blown.

Country Pate

pate 039 I was really happy with the way this country pate came out . All of the pork is from pigs that Sean raised. The pate has pickled ramps, pistachios, and perigord truffles in it. I then wrapped it in our lardo which I had cold smoked with birch.

Lots of cool stuff going on.

Sorry for the lack of posts I’ve been extremely busy at work latley. We just killed 2 of our pigs one of them dressed out at 472 pounds it was amazing.

On Thursday I’m going to Bristol with Sean for an SFA dinner and I couldn’t be more excited I promise to bring back lots of pictures.

Day at the farm

tomato 016 I love our farm, its half the reason why I moved here. Wadamalaw island is a very special place. I can’t begin to explain the feeling I get when I’m there. I met chef at the farm yesterday and pulled up to 750 tomato plants that Sean had planted by himself the morning before (what a mad man). The amount of work I’ve seen him get done in a day by himself is stupid. tomato 027

I needed a little help from Jenny, but we got most of the plants staked up before I spotted a copperhead in the stake pile. This pile by the way is about 10 feet away from 10 boxes containing the 500,000 bees that we have on the farm. After seeing the snake it got a little dicey but all in all a kick ass day at the farm. Can’t wait for many more to come!

Morels

tomato 006 I was cleaning morels at work yesterday when I realized that I was up to my elbows in beautiful delicious Morel mushrooms, and as cheesey as it sounds I was extremley grateful for it. Working at McCradys has opened up a lot of great oppurtunities to work with great produce and people.  I wanted to say thanks to Sean and the entire staff. My culinary world has been expanded because of you and I think that is f**king awesome!!!!!

The Farm

farm-012 There is something so satisfying about spending the day at the farm weeding the plants, and planting new seeds its truley a remarkable experience and its one of the many reasons I moved to Charleston to work for Sean. Time in the garden is sacred and I make a point not to waste a minute of it. Everybody should take more time to spend out in the garden its a wonderful wonderful way to spend the day and something that makes life much more enjoyable for me.

Rabbit

farm-022 Rabbit Mortadella made by Travis this is absolutley delicious and its a pleasure to be able to serve it to people.

Charcuterie

farm-027 This is one of the main reasons I came to work at McCradys there charcuterie program is wonderful. This is a picture of the plate we’ve been putting out lately but it changes obviously because different sausages finish at different times so the picture shows Salamie Nostrano, Spicey Fino, pumpkin spiced lonzino, Waygu Bresola, Rabbit Mortadella. The garnishes are craneberry and apricot mostardo, pickled beets, radishes, pickled carrots, pork rillette, and red ribbon sorrel. Having access to these types of things has truly been a dream come true and I’m very thankful for the opportunity.

Trout

farm-025 This is our current Trout dish it comes of the cold apps station that I work. Smoked Trout seared with potatoes cooked in our own bacon fat with parsley and creamy mustard dressing, hard boiled sea Island farm egg, and trout roe, garnished with arugula flowers from the farm.

Chef Brock

ccharleston-mccradys-021 This is the reason I moved to Charleston. Sean Brock has amazing talent. In the month that I’ve been here I’ve seen some truley awesome things in the kitchen and a lot of them were the result of Sean throwing something together of the top of his head. Above is a picture of a dish he threw together for a vip customer which was rabbit terrine ( I’ll go into great length to describe it because it deserves that. Its not just simply a rabbit terrine what it is. Is an entire rabbit boned out and meat glued back together covered in chicken skin that has been cooked in the c vap and then fried to crsip the skin and it is unbelievably delicious) he paired that with a rabbit liver parfait cylinder sauce perigord morels and ramps. This dish took him all of 5 minutes to come up with which I thought to be very impressive since I’ve seen many dishes like this that have had hours of thought put into them. But for Chef its just natural talent and I’m going to learn as much as I can for as long as I can and I hope to keep you posted in the process.

Foie Gras Rabbit Liver Parfait

This parfait tasted so good! It’s an adaptation of the foie gras chicken liver dish on the McCradys menu. We had some extra rabbit liver so we made the parfait and set it into a cylinder. It was Travis Grimes’s idea to set it into the cylinder. He is one of the sous chefs at McCradys and knows everything about meat production and he heads up their charcuterie program. I’ve already learned a great deal from him (and everyone else there) and hope to continue that learning.

New Home

charleston-mccradys-009 Some of you might be wandering why I haven’t posted anything in a month. There is a good reason and its not that I’m just lazy. About two weeks ago I moved to Charleston SC to work for Sean Brock at McCradys restaurant. I started out there as a line cook about 10 days ago and I absolutely love it. Some people might think its strange to take a big pay cut and drop down to a line cook job after having already worked hard to become a sous chef but if you know anything about Sean  Brock and his level of cooking you would understand the experience is well worth it. The amount of tools and ingredients in this kitchen are amazing, and I feel very grateful to be there. So from now on I will be updating my blog with the things that I’m working on at McCradys, which will be very interesting, but if you want the whole picture go to chef Brocks  blog pingislandstrike it is listed as a link to the right of this blog and it’s incredible.

By the way this is a picture of chef Brock with some hams and bacon that just came back from the smoke house at his farm they were gorgeous.

French Laundry

The French Laundry, what an incredible place. I was lucky enough to be granted a stage there because of my good friend Ben Thompson (who by the way is a total bad ass cook) He is currently the poissonier there. I am told that they normally do not allow stages unless you are trying to get a job there (which wasn’t the case for me) so I am very grateful to Ben for his hard work which is undoubtedly the only reason why the chef  granted his request that I be allowed to come and stage.

5 30 am That is what time my first shift started. I showed up at the back door to the comis kitchen and was escorted in by the head comis. Let me just say that I have never and probably will never see a kitchen that clean and organized in my life . Everything and everyone had its place. The attention to detail there is second to none, and not just for the food. I tried to place some asparagus back in the reach in that had a label tilted at a 10 degree angle and the sous chef noticed from across the room and instructed me to fix it immediately before placing in the fridge.

This attention to detail is what shot that restaurant to the top and has kept it there for over 10 years now. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to bring my camera or any other device into the kitchen so there is no pictures from inside but you can always read the book ( It really is that clean all the time) It was an incredible experience I learned a great deal about organization and cleanliness and the perfect production and execution of great food. However I will say that spending time with my good friend Ben in the mountains alongside the Napa valley doing wine tasting at little hidden vineyards was the highlight of the trip. Thanks Ben and Reagan you were amazing host, I’ll remember this trip for the rest of my life.

Stage

I just recently returned from my stage at the French Laundry and will being heading straight into another at McCradys restaurant. Wily Dufrennse and Johnny Izzuni will be there, doing a dinner with Sean Brock. (sorry if I butchered the spelling of there names). Should be a great learning experience. Sorry got to go lots to learn plenty of pictures coming soon.

Meat

truffles-and-friends-1371 Chef Angelo is taking this charcuterie program very seriously I came in the other day to over 100 pounds of pork and beef from Polyface farms designated for charcuterie lots of ideas in the works should be a lot of fun to see what we can pump out.

Amuse

truffles-and-friends-025This is our current amuse, house-made olive oil cracker, herb emulsion, smoked Trout mousse with micro sorrel and flowers. Obviously on busy nights its dumbed down a bit. Doing this 130 times isn’t really feasible

Hedge Hog Mushrooms

truffles-and-friends-061 Sauteed Hedge hog, and mini shitake mushrooms with roasted peppers, smoked and roasted garlic, micro garlic chives and some really delicious manchego. Inspired by the Chicken dish Angelo had on the menu when I started at the Ivy Inn. Olive soil garnish not pictured.

Scallop

truffles-and-friends-013Months ago Sean Brock fed me a poached and chilled scallop with mango and nasturtium. It was one of the best things I’ve ever had so naturally I wanted to go home and create my own version. Poached and chilled Scallop with guacamole, blood orange gummy , crispy blood orange, micro shiso, yuzu, and viola. I served this as a course on a recent tasting menu. Thanks for the inspiration Sean.

Oregon Truffles

truffles-and-friends-002These Oregon black truffles were great. Wonderful flavour, obviously not the same as perigords, but still a great product none the less.

Till we meet again

january-0252 Jason Thraves has been with me through 2 restaurants over the past year. He is one hell of a line cook and loyal as a pit bull and anyone who works in this industry knows how valuable that is. He will be sorely missed but we also wish him the best of luck on his new adventures in Austin Texas. I know he will find a great restaurant to work at where he can continue driving his career forward. He has been a great cook and an even better friend so best of luck Thravsey I know I’ll see you again soon.

Mikuni Mushrooms

French Horn and Hon shemeji mushroom brown and white, absolutely gorgeous mushrooms

New Beef dish

beef1-001 Seared Beef Tenderloin with red and gold beets, goat chz pudding, micro fennel, french horn mushrooms (from Mikuni ) fondant potato, and micro matsuba.

Mikuni Wild Harvest

These are just a few of the wonderful micro greens we recently got from Mikuni Wild harvest. Mikuni is based out of Oregon and supplies some of the freshest and nicest ingredients I’ve ever laid eyes on. They also carry a wide range of mushrooms, seafood, speciality items , and farmers market produce from southern California . Call or email them today and they’ll  get you whatever you need http://www.mikuniwildharvest.com

Hanging in there

Soppresatta  and Rossette de Lyon

Charcuterie Production

Soppresata Calabria style and Rossette de lyon are the 2 salami that we worked on this morning. I have to say that working on making our charcuterie program a reality has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. It has almost been 6 months since the idea came to mind after spending a lot of time at McCradys restaurant with Travis Grimes who opened my eyes to the world of charcuterie. He was an amazing teacher which is a great deal of help in this area especially because of the inherent dangers that go along with dry cured meats. If you don’t know what your doing and you don’t follow every detail to the T you can very easily hurt somebody which is obviously the last thing any cook would want to do. He is quite a stickler for the details and he passed that on to me and I cant thank him enough for that. Those details are also the reason why we’ve taken so long to get the bowl rolling because until you have all the necessary ingredients and materials for any job you shouldn’t start it. So Thank you Travis  this has been a wonderful experience for me. Thanks to Angelo as well without his passion for cooking and his willingness to start making salumie this wouldn’t have been possible.

Komi Restaurant

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of dining at Komi restaurant in Washington D.C.  It was to date the best meal I’ve ever had. Johnny Monis is truly amazing, the simplicity of his food was captivating. No fussy presentations no frill just unique flavour combinations executed extremely well.                                                                                                                                            My timing couldn’t have been better since he just moved to number one in the D.C restaurant poles. The only downside to the entire evening was that there are no pictures allowed within the restaurant which for me is a huge disappointment. However it does make perfect sence with the minimalistic environment he has created there. After receiving the first course all of my issues disappeared. There is no written menu for the tasting menu and without the aid of a camera it makes it extremely hard to remember what exactly we had especially with the 8 glasses of wine that were expertly paired with my meal, and the over 18 courses we received. The meal started with 7 courses of raw seafood preparations all of them were of very high quality. Then we received a tray of small snacks including a savory goats cheese smore that was absolutely delicious. After that we moved into several pasta courses then into their signature dish which is a roasted baby goat shoulder with pita bread and traditional condiments. It was so good I would’ve eaten it all night . From there we went into several pre-desserts ending with several simple but delicious desserts.

There was one course that I left out, it was there house made charcuterie plate and it was absolutely delicious. Curry scented soppresata, mortadella, and hunters loop , with red onion charred mustard and house made charred sourdough. It was the highlight of the evening for me. This was an extremely wonderful meal that was well worth the money at 125 a person I recommend that you save up and go.

PS    Thank you very much Angelo for getting me up there.

Trout Almondine (Our version)

quail-019 Local Rag Mountain Trout Almondine with roasted root vegetables, poached and seared potatoes, lemon rind puree, roasted cippollini onions, harcots verts, brown butter almond blanket, toasted almonds and baby salad greens.

Brown Butter Almond Blanket

quail-014 Having fat as a major component of the blanket made this a little tricky but it worked out nicely for the new Trout dish. Which is in the post above.

Radishes

duck-005 Manikentown farms brought us some of the nicest radishes I’ve seen last week. English Breakfast are my favourite. They taste absolutley delicious with some truffle butter or herb infused egg cream which is what we’ve served them with as of  late.

Duck Dish

duck-013 Seared Pekin Duck breast with curried spaetzle, red wine braised cabbage, beet puree, sweet and sour Turnips, yellow pepper emusion, turnip milk, and baby tat soi.

Winter Scallop Dish

scallop-007 Seared Scallop with braised Kale, Beets in different textures, horseradish snow (thanks to Redzepi for the idea) yellow pepper, chervil, sumac.

Winter Vegetable Salad

pig-006 White Bean puree with baby Turnip, radish, cauliflower, and carrot braised in truffle butter with Olive and Chorizo soil, Brown butter powder and Micro Swiss Chard.

Charcuterie

pig-002 After months of preparation we have finally gathered all the ingredients and knowledge that makes a charcuterie program possible and we’ll putting it to good use over the next few months. Local Pork Shoulder from Polyface Farms, about to be broken down into the raw material for some great salumie. Thank you so much Chef Angelo I greatly appreciate it. I also am extremely grateful for the experience and teaching of Chef Travis Grimes from McCradys restaurant in Charleston SC. They have an amazing charcuterie program and I hope to learn even more from them in the future.

Liquid Center

beets-0134                Liquid Center Beet with truffle tremor goats chz, truffle puree, carrot puree, candied pecan, and micro sunflower sprouts.

Puffed Grits

jennys-mom-046  Puffed local grits from Wades Mill. The  idea is to coat them in a dehydrated Shrimp powder to create a new version of shrimp and grits. They are intended for the tasting menu as a snack between courses.

Beef Dish

jennys-mom-023     Grilled Beef Tenderloin with potato puree, carrot confit, arugula coulis, black truffles and black truffle puree, mushroom consomme foam, cippolinni onion, local micro kohlrabi. Beef tenderloin is probably my least favorite cut of meat but part of being a chef is respecting what your clientele wants and giving it to them in a unique fashion

McCradys dinner

charleston-099  

Sous Vide Caw Caw creek Pork with local field peas cooked in ham consomme, root beer sauce, housemade cracklin, red ribbon sorrel, corn bread pudding. This is without a doubt the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life. Everyone on the face of the earth should go to McCradys and order this right now!!!!!!

Foie Gras

jennys-mom-012 Hudson Valley Foie Gras with toasted Balsamic Marshmallow, Golden Raisen puree, Sour Cherry puree, warmed nutmeg infused milk whipped into a foam, violas, housemade oat granola, Micro Sunflower sprouts. I almost forgot Foie gras powder as well.

Lobster, Nasturtium, Coconut, Kaffir Lime, Sweet Pepper

jennys-mom-0892

Dinner at McCradys Charleston S.C.

charleston-125Housemade Charcuterie plate, this was amazing. I’ll be putting up the rest of the 13 course meal on a later post, stay tuned.

Pork Shank

red-hen-inn-044Local Pork Shank from Double H Farms  marinated in Bourbon and Molasses for 48 hours and then braised for 6. Savory local pumpkin pie puree, sweet potato chips, fried sage, brown butter powder, Jonathan Apple, and micro swish chard.

Red Hen Lexington

Its been well over a year now that i’ve been waiting to eat at the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington. Chef Tucker Yoder has been a friend of mine for a very long time. So from the moment I found out about the restaurant I’ve been brimming with anticipation to get down there and eat. Last Monday I finally made it and  the 2 pictures above are proof that it was worth it. Pork Belly cooked sous vide with poached apples, pickled chiles, blis, 2 types of baby carrots. The other is lamb in more ways than i can count all of them delicious. Thanks Tucker  Mikey and Tyler the meal was great.

Thanks Mom!

Nasturtium leaves, pineapple sage flowers, nasturtium flowers. My mom grows hard to find edible flowers for me to use at the restaurant. I can’t thank her enough!

Cappuccino Marshmallow

Kalamata Olive Paper

I used xanthum gum and a dehydrator to achieve this texture. It’s extremely crispy and dissolves on contact in your mouth.

Let the cleaning begin

Let the cleaning begin

Local Chestnuts

Local Chestnuts
Local Chestnuts

Bring on the cleaning

Bean Flowers

Bean flowers
Bean flowers

Perhaps one of the most delicious edible flowers i’ve ever had. Courtesy Harvest Thyme Herb Farm

Hen of the woods mushroom

Totally awesome local hen of the woods mushroom

Modern Caprese

Tomato gel, Basil ribbon, housemade garlic chive “capers”, balsamic, balinese long pepper, goat chz, all local except for the long pepper.

Harvest Thyme Herb Farm

These pictures speak for themselves! No matter what the produce is, if Harvest Thyme is growing it, it comes out great.

Sunchokes Baby

Pepper patch

Trip to Harvest Thyme Herb Farm

This weekend i decided to make the beautiful drive down to Stauton VA to visit Harvest Thyme Herb Farm. Let me just start of by saying I’ve never in my life felt so welcome and comfortable at some one else’s house. From the moment I got there they were incredibly gracious and inviting. Im going to go on record saying that, that was the most fun i’ve had on a Sunday afternoon in years.

To be able to see where all there immaculate produce and herbs come from was truly a treat. It is very rare in life that you find people that dedicated to there work. But when you do it is really inspirational. They took my girlfriend Jenny Mooney and i on a tour of there property. Showing me every garden and bed they had it was incredible I took over 200 pictures and i was only there for 3 hours.

I have so much more to write and so many more pictures to come but i have to get to work right now so bear with me and ill have the rest of the post up tonight. i just had to get something up i was so excited.

Phil and Deirdre Harvest Thyme Herb Farm

Phil Deirdre and myself in the pepper garden.

Parsnip Palace

Fresh Amaranth

If your not careful this could easily occupy a lot of your time. Fresh amaranth grains are beautiful but extremely time consuming to harvest.

Lobster

Fresh Lobster ravioli, saffron vanilla emulsion, corn puree, leek  coulis, baby squash blossoms, and crispy carrots.

New Scallop Dish

 Pan Seared Sea Scallops with vichysoisse puree, sauteed baby squash, mustard bacon sauce, heirloom tomato gel, local amarenth seed pods.

Randys Produce

Cherry Toms from Randys Produce

Cherry Toms from Randys Produce

More Tomatoes

assorted cherry toms from harvest thyme

assorted cherry toms from harvest thyme

www.harvestthymeherbfarm.com

Squash Blossoms

Squash Blossoms

Methyl Cellulose corn gnocchi

No potato no flour no egg just methyl cellulose, corn, and truffle.

No potato no flour no egg just methyl cellulose, corn, and truffle.

Guanciale

Guanciale

Boston

Boston was really great town. I was pissed i only got to spend one night there and it just so happened that Ken Oringers restaurant Clio was closing for renovations the night i got there swell. The consulation prize was late night dinner at his steak house K.O. PRIME . Really great late night food. The most hard core charcuterie plate i’ve ever had. I mean it takes a certain person to really enjoy pigs ear terrine and blood sausage along with tripe and every other nasty bit of a pig but im just that type of person and it was great . So if you go to Boston go visit one of Ken Oringers many establishments.

Trip to DC

On my recent trip to Washington (which was extremely last minute) i had just enough time for 1 lunch and 1 dinner. Because of the fact that i decided to go on a Sunday my options were limited as well as the fact that most of the great restaurants require a reservation made at least a month in advance which left me with little to choose from I already new i would be going to Equinox for lunch because the Owner of the Ivy Inn Angelo is very good friends with Todd Gray the owner of Equinox (they used to cook together at Galileo) so that was planned and i was excited to eat there. Dinner on Sunday in DCwas a different story. With not many options i decided to try Cafe Atlantico based upon the fact that i hoped i would have been able to talk them into throwing together some extra courses or that some young sous chef would be working and just itching for the chance to cook for someone who asked to be hit with there best shot.

 All I’ll say about cafe Atlantico is don’t go there with any expectations or preconceived notions that it will be anything like Minibar. That having been said I had 11 courses there 6 of which were on there pre fixe tasting menu and 5 extra 2 of which i had to order on my own and 3 that i convinced to waitress to have the kitchen tag onto our tasting menu. I’ll first state the one thing i was very perturbed about. The second course on there tasting menu is “MINIBAR TREATS” so you think A. there will be more than one hence treats plural and B that it will be something exciting. Wrong the MINIBAR TREATS consisted of a deep fried ball of julienned beets, thats it. Most restaurants wouldn’t even have served it as an amuse.

Good, now that is off my chest I can move on the rest of the meal was okay with 1 very good course (that is pictured below). Oyster slightly warmed with pineapple, micro cilantro, and crispy rice, that was great. The rest were okay at best. With micro cilantro and crispy rice on everything as garnish(got old really quick). The rest really isnt even worth wasting your time with so Ill move on to much better things like Equinox.

My lunch there was extremely good. The 6 courses i had are pictured below in an earlier post. Everything was done perfectly i couldn’t pick out a problem with any of it. Just simple food with great ingridients extremley well exicuted. Todd Gray was also very hospitable i look forward to returning to his restaurant very soon.

1. Foie Gras in a jar with blackberry jam, pickled tomato salad, and toast points

2. Fried Green tomatoes with country ham balsamic syrup

3. BBQ smoked salmon with fingerling potato salad and greens

4. Pork loin with sweet and sour Eggplant crispy sweetbreads and buttered leeks

5. Peach dessert tasting

6. Bannana cheese cake ( best dessert i’ve ever had

Oyster Dish from Cafe Atlantico

Oyster Dish from Cafe Atlantico

Lunch at Equinox in DC

Back Log

Recently I’ve been extremely busy and have not had a lot of time to work on the blog. However i do have a huge back log of pictures and info from a trip to DC , Cape Cod, Boston and all the restaurants i had time for in between so please bare with me as i try to get up to date.

Recent trip to Provincetown on cape cod tons of fun many more pics to come

Recent trip to Provincetown on cape cod tons of fun many more pics to come

New beef Dish Smoked Fingerling potatoes, buttered leeks, banyuls ketchup, amarenth

New beef Dish Smoked Fingerling potatoes, buttered leeks, banyuls ketchup, amarenth

New Tuna Dish

Yellowfin Tuna with local peppers, Four different kinds, leeks, potatoes and tomatoes with micro arugula and espelette powder.( dry pepper powder from the Basque region of France, yummy. The yellow circle is roasted Doe hill pepper water thats been set into a gel. I learned this technique while doing a stage at McCradys in Charleston, thanks Sean

New Tuna dish

Richard Bean (Double H Farms)

Double H Farms provides us with everything from Pork, to beet greens and its all awesome thanks to Richards hard work. Ps If you live in the Charlottesville area you can find Richard at the farmers market selling his beautiful products every saturday morning.

Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatoes. (This is only half of them)

Black Olive soil

Crispy carrot

This new technique allows us to add a crispy element to any dish using any fruit or vegetables. Endless possibilities

This new technique allows us to add a crispy element to any dish using any fruit or vegetables. Endless possibilities

Ivy Inn Bloody Mary

Ivy Inn Bloody Mary

Local Produce

Long before I came to the Ivy Inn I heard mention of Executive Chef – Owner, Angelo Vangelopoulos and his passion for local ingredients. I never quite knew the full extent until I started working there. His interest could better be described as an obsession. These pictures represent just 1 day of the week, and with deliveries from different farmers on almost every day, well I’ll let you do the math. In the pictures above there are over 14 different types of tomatoes, petite patty pan squash, baby zuccinni, baby yellow squash, okra , apples, potatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, red jalapeno peppers.

      Double H Farm, Randys Produce, Polyface Farm, and many many others work tirelessly to bring us these amazing vegetables. I hope this gives everyone a better idea of the ingredients we use and the work that goes into growing and utilizing them.

Alaskan Halibut

Eggplant, Okra, Lemon rind, chorizo, balsamic, tomatoe

McCradys Restaurant Charleston SC

Recently I was lucky enough to visit McCradys Restaurant in Charleston SC for a stage. What a great kitchen Sean Brock and his team were simply the most hospitable people I’ve ever met before. You can learn much more there in one day then you can in one week in many other kitchens.

Ps In house charcuterie program SICK. Travis Grimes is his name and charcuterie is his game. The sous chef (Travis Grimes) heads up there charcuterie program and taught me more about salume in 10 days than i could hope to learn in a year on my own.

Okra

Okra

Summer isn’t it great

Double H Farms grows us amazing fruit. This is Watermelon is just 1 example. watermelon, sorrel, port syrup, pickled shallots, violas, fig.

Virginia Lamb, in the Greek Tradition

 

 

 

Grilled Lamb Rib Chops, Mustard Crusted Loin, “Keftedes”, Local Heirloom Tomato Salad, Black Olive, Grilled Halloumi Cheese, Homemade Pita Bread. One of the glorious dishes of summer that we get very excited about, everything on the plate, with the exception of the cheese and black olives was raised/grown within 50 miles. that’s awesome!