Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Onward to New Adventures!

shed a tear.

Yesterday marked the last day of oue summer at Tutka Bay Lodge.  As a cook, it was one of the most inspirational places I have worked.  I served fish that had been out of the water for just 30 minutes, harvested fresh vegetables from our garden, collected mussels and oysters directly from our dock, and foraged wild land and sea plants that I've never had the chance to work with before.  It was a fantastic experience and I will be forever grateful to Kirsten and Carl Dixon whom allowed me to cook expressively and creatively.  We're at the end of the season and I can honestly say that we were cooking and serving food that was wholly Alaskan and Alaska, is an amazing place.  It's a place that has provided me with the opportunity to cook and discuss the importance of sustainable Alaskan Seafood in Japan, which I am so thankful for and was totally unexpected.

It's been an experience that has taught me about myself and how I think as a cook.  I feel so much more connected to nature and have a realized responsibility for what our profession's impact has on the environment.  Food is a constant revolving cycle that effects everything on this planet and I'm so happy that I get to work so closely with it everyday.  There is a much bigger picture than what is placed on the plate and I plan to be even more cognizant of this fact moving forward.  Onward to new Adventures!

The "Season" has drawn to a close...

Here are a few dishes that we're created over these final weeks:
Crispy Pork, Razor Clams, Marinated Turnip, Cabbage, Dill Broth

Dandelion Porridge, Squid, Wild Shoots and Flowers

Sugar Snap Puree, Salted-Dried Salmon, Nasturtium and Sunflower Blossoms

3 ingredients: Flour, Water, Salt

"Baked Alaska" Walnut Semifreddo, Torched Nougat, Fennel Meringue, Cardomom Sponge, Wild Blue and Crowberries, fennel blossoms 

Chocolate, Birch, Whole Wheat, Sea Salt

Dark Chocolate Reineer Cherry Torte, Chamomile meringue, White Chocolate-Borage Mousse, White Chocolate ganache stuffed Cherry

Smoked Oyster Jus and Charred Tallow.  This was used as a sauce for a roasted beef dish.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Scallops, Walnut Vinegar, Ribbon Kelp, Dill


Purple Porcini
Giant King Boletus!!

Fly Agaric Mushroom (Not edible but Psychoactive... man.)

Hedgehog Mushroom

Tis the season- Red Elder, Blue, Bogberries, and Currants

Sitka Smoked Brisket, Garden Carrots, Carrot Puree, Chickweed, Fireweed Blossoms.  Table side a consomme infused with Rose and Red Elderberries was poured.

Trailing Currants

Bog Cranberries

Wild Blueberries

Red Elderberries

Halibut, Shaved King Boletus and it's Emulsion, Currants, Bog Cranberries, Beach Pea Shoots, Shiso 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pickled Bull Whip Kelp

Bull Whip Kelp- flavor of brine-y oysters with the texture of raw jicama.  Unique and Fantastic!

King Crab and Pineapple Weed

A new edible weed that has been sprouting up on the property is Pineapple Weed also known as Wild Chamomile.  The yellow buds give off a sweet pineapple aroma.  It has a sweet pineapple/green apple taste and a bitter finish much like a tea.  It's always exciting to find a plant that gives off the aroma of a tropical fruit in a climate that isn't associated with those smells or tastes.  Since the flavor of the Wild Chamomile is rather strong it seemed to make sense to pair it with something rich and sweet like king crab.  I was very excited about this dish mainly because when you eat a few buds of the Pineapple Weed it creates a subtle numbing effect on the tongue which makes for an interesting dining experience.  It begins rich, vegetal, and oceanic, becomes slightly bitter and creamy, and then leaves a light numbing sensation on your tongue once you've finished.  It's also exciting to think of how the diner's palette reacts when drinking wine while eating this dish, the experience changes several times while eating one small plate of food!

Pineapple Weed/Wild Chamomile

Crab Pineapple Weed dish pre Broth

King Crab, Pickled Bull Whip Kelp, Crispy Seaweeds, Wild Chamomile, Beach Pea-Wild Chamomile Broth, Crab Oil