Monday, November 23, 2009

Epic's winter menu roll out!

Top-Cured/Bottom Seared Artic Char
Celeriac Puree, Onion/Thyme Jam
Tangerine Froth
Roasted Corn/Fois Gras Soup
Duck Confit, Sherry Gastrique

Braised Rabbit, Northern Woods Mushrooms
Aurora Sauce

(From Back to Front) Maple/Spruce Glazed Salmon
Wild Rice, Rhubarb-Truffle Foam

Guanciale Wrapped Diver Scallops
Chobai Lentils, Heirloom Beets
Arugula Pesto, Riesling Froth

Arugula Pesto

This has been somewhat of a crazy week. It's both really exciting and challenging to turn a menu over to a new season. The logistics are massive. The new products have to be brought in, everyone has to be educated about the menu, everyone has to start fresh at their seasoned stations, and no one is familiar with the initial start-up. You often pray for a soft-opening night that first service to the culinary gods. Knock on wood that they are gentle towards you. However ask any cook, and they'll tell you (If they are not Culinary Atheists/Agnostic) that the Gods - Problably a trio of Escoffier, Antonin Careme, and Julia Child - must have a dry, dark sense of humour.

Fun example! My first year wearing whites, during the first menu roll-over service I participated in, a Sous Chef at the mediterranean bistro I worked at caused a fire big enough to deploy the fire retardant system - ruining all the Mise En Place... 20 minutes before the booked service. So as of that first year in whites, I have seen this day get almost as bad as it can get.

However, this week has been much MUCH smoother. I am truly excited for the new menu. My personal opinion is that it offers customers a more welcoming local (Canadian) menu without losing the fun technical side of it for the cooks. In terms of BOH, it's a progression in the quality and sophistication of the daily minutia required for service.
Prime examples are the implementation of making the Gnocchi daily before service, all Char is cured 2.5 hours before service, we are bringing in whole rabbits to braise, and the veg station is being finessed more then any other station.

I am leaving off with a simple but lovely recipe from the new scallop dish.

Arugula Pesto

Yield: 1 Cup

1 Cup Compressed Arugula
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1 Garlic Clove
2 Tbs. Pine Nuts
1/4 Cup Parmesan Reggiano
Salt/Pepper TT

1) Blend until mealy. Taste for goodness.
-Store, covered in fridge. It will remain intensely green for for 72 hours.


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