Ahi Tuna "Nachos"

Simple, Fresh Flavors
Wontons, seared tuna, avocado, cilantro, lime, wasabi mayo, kecap manis

Red Door Woodfire Kitchen & Bar

Some Ideas Need Time To Evolve

It's interesting to connect the dots and see how an idea starts and ends, well, it actually never ends, it's always a static idea subject to further change by myself or someone unknown, someone who takes it in a whole different direction. I like the idea of constant movement, it might be uneasy for some not having finality, but if there were finality we might never taste great things, we would just settle.

About 5 years ago I ate at Daniel Boulud's restaurant, Café Boulud, in Palm beach. I had some chickpea fries. Great idea, I stored it away. I was eating Poutine at Salt House in San Francisco and was still thinking about the chickpea fries, somehow fries and gravy had an opportunity.

If you've followed my blog you might remember a post I did called Doritos Jenga, it was about the extension of the chickpea fries and the mad path of ideas and development. Still, the idea and convergence of ideas was still very much in motion.

In some recent menu development many ideas came together!

crisp dorito “fries", Carniceria Lupita chorizo gravy with serrano chiles

Red Door Woodfire Kitchen & Bar

Green Chile & Chorizo Mac and Cheese

SERIOUSLY! This is absolutely over the top!

Serrano chile, local chorizo from Carniceria Lupita, abundance of cheese, ancho breadcrumbs, pico de gallo, and cilantro! baked in a 500 degree oven until "Volcanic"

Red Door Woodfire Kitchen & Bar

Alton Brown's Turkey Derrick

You have to love any recipe that includes the following text.

WARNING: Failure to follow these instructions could result in fire or explosion which could cause property damage, personal injury or death.


A Thanksgiving Story

Some stories from the trenches are worth telling. This happened to me at one of our former restaurants on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City.

Thanksgiving Evening 1984
It's now 6:00 pm and we've fed over 1200 people, the restaurant is still packed with people waiting for the Plaza lights to be turned on. They're in the holiday mood and thrilled to be in the warmth of one of the highest acclaimed restaurants in the country, this is a special night. I'm standing on the line in the display kitchen with an exhausted crew, partaking in some complimentary post shift drinks. All of a sudden there's a loud scream as a lady darts out of the restroom with her pants halfway down around her knees, it's more of a waddle than a full-out run. She manages to pull her pants up as she rounds the charcuterie station, past the dessert case, and into the middle of the dining room. She now begins to stutter hysterically, T-T-T-T-T-T-T-TURKEY!, her hands are gesturing wildly towards the restroom and she continues to scream TURKEY! TURKEY! TURKEY!. The entire dining room breaks into applause as if the curtain had just been lifted at a Broadway show. I'm thinking, our turkey was pretty damn good today, but not good enough to announce it to the whole dining room in the semi-buff, perhaps she is really drunk.

Now there's more screaming from the bar area.....THERE'S A LIVE TURKEY IN THE WOMEN'S RESTROOM!!!, with that I instinctively bolt off the line flanked by two blood thirsty cooks with french knives. We are now in hunter-chef mode. Right outside the display kitchen our hunt is halted by Doug, the GM,....."What the hell do you think you're doing!!??", Doug doesn't realize that after 8 hours of hacking turkeys from their roasted carcasses we've become very numb, crazed and vengeful towards the birds....."Dougy, it's F*$%ING thanksgiving, someone yelled LIVE TURKEY, we're on re-con". My partners in crime put down their knives because Doug was panicking; the mob scene at the bar-restroom area was escalating. We made our way to the women's restroom, went inside, and indeed there was a live turkey!! Someone had put it in one of the stalls and evidently climbed out from underneath and left it trapped inside. The bird was crazed (like us), banging around inside the stall, making screeching-gobbling noises, and crapping everywhere except in the toilet! Doug kicked the door open, my cooks lunged at the bird and held it down, I took off my apron and threw it over the birds head and tied it with the apron strings. The police were called but couldn't get there because the streets were jammed with a couple hundred thousand people. Plaza security was sent in to take custody of the bird. The crowd was cheering as the apron hooded bird was hauled off......I'm not sure if the applause was for the bird, or us and our SWAT-like tactics.

The women who first encountered the bird said she went in to use the restroom, entered the stall and took her appropriate place on the commode......and then it happened, the bird began to gobble and bang against the walls of the stall next to her, she could see it's feet and wings as she looked down under the partition!! She was in such a state of shock that she opened the door and ran out without thinking to pull her pants up....and then, like a bad dream, she was in the dining room without the proper attire.

The next day the story appeared on local television. This incident became a favorite after-work-drinking-war-story-conversation, the conspiracy theory runs deep. To this day I don't know how someone could have made it through the restaurant undetected with a live turkey, slipped into the restroom and disappeared.

Happy Thanksgiving,