Bring It

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Ahhh, another day and another little adventure.  With “little” being the operative word; I was assigned the task of cooking a multi-course birthday dinner for four lovely ladies in the kitchen you see above.  This was a kitchen in a bungalow at Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach.  I was pretty stoked to go; being a native, I’ve always seen those cool little houses but never actually went into one.  They’re cute and cozy but still full of energy since the pier is open to the public.  This kitchen saw this menu:

Roasted grapes with fresh ricotta and French bread with oregano and thyme
Asian glazed chicken wings

Salmon/corn soup/salted avocado/citrus supreme salsa
Raw salad: Shaved and pickled beets, cucumber, shallots/julienned kohlrabi, fuji apple, pistachios, herbs
Whey poached chicken breast/peeled blanched celery/smothered with sour cream dumplings, fava beans, caramelized sweet onion
Chile seared yellow fin/garlic butter sautéed fresh artichoke hearts/capers and red walnuts
Mint syrup/strawberries/mascarpone/fresh sweet butter biscuit

Even though the food was delicious, fresh and fun; the party was great because the people were great.  That’s why my job is rad.  Oh yeah, I had this little table as well…

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Military Love

I’m a Military lover.  Not only do I respect and appreciate what they do, but my brother still serves.  Recently I cooked dinners for two wonderful Military couples anniversaries. One was a first anniversary while the second was a fifth anniversary/belated honeymoon. Myself being married with children, I get fired up when parents get away for a couple days with just each other; giving them time to let go of some of those daily peripherals.  What made the belated honeymoon extra cool was they had rented a beach bungalow on a private beach. I’m a native and I didn’t know about this place.  Camp Pendleton has a beach for the exclusive use of Military members with their family and friends; super cool and very reasonably priced.  Next summer I’ll have my brother come down and spend a weekend there…maybe he can babysit the kids.

Here are the menus I created those two nights.  As per usual, most of my ingredients are procured at local farmers markets and butcher shops.  Whatever looks in season, cute, ripe or glowingly fresh makes the menu. Review up on Yelp for this one :-)

Asian caesar salad
Truffle, garlic parmesan and herb potato skins
Seared pork with French gnocchi, fava beans and squash blossoms
De-boned and stuffed chicken wing filled with sunchoke mash served over Black lentils and sherry butter sauce
Lamb stuffed carrots with purple snow peas and chermoula
Asian marinated skirt steak with chinese broccoli, caramelized shallots and pickled persian cucumber
Vanilla mascarpone stuffed strawberries with maple lemon glaze and honey tuile

Some pics below to go along with this menu.
Grand Cru Original crostinni with thyme, sherry gastrique red onion
Garlic, herb, parmesan and black truffle potato skins
Chicken fat hollandaise smothered roasted orange cauliflower
English pea soup with granny smith apple, soft boiled duck egg and togarashi tempura squash blossom
Honey roasted salmon with roasted pickled baby turnips, egg yolk gnocchi over lemon, truffle chicken broth
Sea bass ceviche with avocado and granny smith apple
Grilled ribeye, beef fat/thyme roasted carrots, chile/garlic/dark soy gai lan
Chocolate torte with roasted almond whipped cream and Justin port wine

cauliflower pea soup ceviche