So, I got a blast chiller. A reach-in blast chiller.
OK, I might have gone overboard.
I threw a big dinner party last weekend. Well, six people total (including our culinary teammate Scott), but seven courses. I totally brought it. But then I was brought down: three of the courses totally sucked. The pea consommé? At the last moment I overdid it with the cinnamon oil – it tasted like a bad scented candle. The Thai beef curry broth was watery and the beef over-tender. The sous vide vegetables were mushy and lifeless. Man, was I embarrassed. But one of the courses did come through: my deep fried chicken feet. Good thing, too – they took the longest to prepare. I don’t know if I was redeemed, but at least I wasn’t damned. In the end, fowl became friend.
You can’t make a reservation, and you can’t pay.
– Nathan Myrvold on having dinner at the Cooking Lab
Last night I had the rare privilege of attending one of the dinners at the Modernist Cuisine Cooking Lab. The phrase ‘rare privilege’ can be overused, but in this case, it is completely warranted. The purity and concentration of their flavors is off the charts. Twenty-nine courses of it. Needless to say, but it needs to be said: it was amazing.
Spring is taking its time arriving this year, and there seem to be more cloudy days than sunshine. But that’s not a problem – while I wait for the outside to warm up, I can just warm up my insides. With a Vietnamese pho, to be exact. Cooking Asian food can seem so different than what I’m used to making in the kitchen. Can my soup match the dish at my favorite local spot? I turned to Modernist Cuisine to help me in my quest.
Note: It’s way too easy to play on words with the pronunciation of the word “pho”, which is “fuh”. For instance, we have a chain of restaurants here in Seattle called “What The Pho?“. I will try to abstain.