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.
But enough of that. Photos, right? OK, then, photos:
Their version tastes way better than my version. My centrifuge goes to 1200g, while theirs goes to 27000g. It makes a difference.
Vive La France!
This photo is courtesy of Edmond Sanctis, co-founder of Sahale Snacks. It floored me and I went a fevered dream state and forgot to take a photo. This course punched me in the soul.
Tasting Of Northwest Shellfish
This is one of the best things I have ever eaten. Blew my mind. The disc underneath is uni. It is a recent creation by Chef Johnny Zhu. I thanked him profusely.
This was before they poured in the broth. The geoduck was turned into noodles. Dr. Myhrvold brought a geoduck around for those who haven’t seen one.
More crazy modernist magic – the scallops were raw, but their surface was seared.
I’m happy to report that the soup tasted like the version I made at home. It shows that the cookbook recipes are accurate and that it can be done by home cooks as well. Nice!
A fake cappuccino that was another mind blower. This should be served at every Starbucks.
Just En Cas…
The flavor of this, too, I was able to successfully replicate at home. However, their stripes were PERFECT. Need to work on my presentations…
Time For Cheese…
Fruits And Creams
This was a very cool dish: a combination of ingredients that are coming into and going out of season. The sorbet is cucumber. A light and refreshing “soup”.
Notice the nice custom serviceware. You can do that when you have a fully outfitted fabrication studio in the same building.
So that was it. 29 courses. I thought there was 30 but I guess I was wrong. I made sure to thank every cook and service person. They were all awesome. Most kitchens are hidden behind the scenes, but they had to do everything in front of us. Really, just great. If any of you are reading this – thanks again! Special props to Scott, of course. You da man.
On the way out, we traded in our badges for a small box. I waited until I was home to open the box and see what was in it. The 30th course, of course.
Expanded Mind, Expanded Waistline
There’s not much to say except the obvious: Holy Crap Was That Amazing. I’m looking forward to continuing my way through the cookbook, and learning to emulate what I experienced. And upon further thought, the philosophy of Modernist Cuisine and its influences will…I think…well…um…
Holy Crap Was That Amazing.
Wonderful! Thanks for sharing this. One day perhaps in a bluemoon longshot. (dreamy sigh)
Dennis Foy said:
It being spring, I’m green with envy!
Dave Kliman said:
That was great! I’ve been making a few things from the book too, and I even started a modernist-cuisine meetup group… http://www.meetup.com/Modernist-Cuisine/ we have our second meeting tomorrow night and it’s going to be about eggs. We are making striped omelets, and I’ll be making that “instant hollandaise” with eggs Benedict. There are so many amazing recipes in that book and we will be experimenting with a few but I have to give you kudos for trying every single recipe. Have you made any videos (hopefully)?
Hey Dave, I have been wanting to start something like this here in Seattle. It looks like you have had good response with your group on the East coast. Were you all strangers, did you all cook at your place, or just warm up? We have a very successful cookbook club, in which everyone brings the mostly finished dish to the host house. Other groups where we prepare the entire dish at the host home have become a bit of a mess….
The group was pretty successful the first night and moderately so the second night. sadly nobody from MC ever responded to any of my posts on their boards… feel free to mention my group to them so maybe they can help us along a little. I think it will be effective to do your format, where people are bringing finished or at least par cooked dishes to finish off here at my kitchen. The people who came for the egg thing had a lot of fun, but it was only 5 that night.
I would also say the instant hollandaise really is instant, if you prepare it in advance and have a siphon sitting in the refrigerator, that you just stick into a 140F bath for 5-10 mins. It’s very convenient.
I also made the miso egg yolks, which actually are a really nice addition to things like soups, as a garnish, when cut up properly…
We dined by candlelight at the MC dinner last week. Candles may make for more attractive dining partners, but they didn’t do justice to the food, most notably with “Le Cru: white soy cured BC black cod, cobia tartar, herbs, melons, and whimsy.” Fantastic dinner.