Brioche - The King of Bread

I call it the king of bread for several reasons, 1). There are large amounts of butter in the dough so you don’t need to serve butter with it, 2). It’s a complete meal because there’s an extraordinary amount of eggs in it, 3). It wears a crown, and 4). It’s just great bread.

Below are some different shapes & sizes we’re working on. The last picture is not brioche, those are asiago cheese puffs coated with parmesan.

Dining - Naples Florida

Coconut Shrimp Tempura
Passion Fruit infused Sweet & Sour Sauce

Short Rib Bi Bim Bap
Kim Chee, Mung Beans, Scallions, Fried Egg & Ko Chu Jang

Seared Hawaiian Nairagi
Macadamia Nut Gremolata, Meyer Lemon Sauce and Baby Vegetables

Roy’s Original Hawaiian Blackened Island Ahi
Spicy Soy Mustard Butter Sauce

Baked Goat Cheese
tomato sauce, baguette

chicken livers
apples, onions, bacon

Pommes Frites
Béarnaise, Aioli,
Smoked Tomato Ketchup

Loaded Potato Skins
Bacon, Cheddar

Chorizo Empanada
Red Pepper Aioli

Potato Pancakes
Apple Chutney, Sour Cream

Pork Carnitas
Cabbage Slaw, Warm Tortillas

Warm Apple Fritters
Caramel Ice Cream

St. Patrick's Day - Sean McGillick’s Night Out

A dear friend and fellow chef, Larry Bowen, wrote a book several years ago and he was kind enough to share this chapter with me before he passed away.

Memoirs from culinary apprentices who lived and worked together at the Buck Hill Inn,
Buck Hill Falls, Pennsylvania—
Their legendary tales and recipes.

Chapter Seven
Sean McGillick’s Night Out,
An Everglades Bar Story

I was never one to drink much on the designated drinking holidays such as New Year’s Eve, St. Paddy’s Day or Mardi Gras. As a general rule most hard drinkers, professional drunks and lushes, of whom I was one, are prone to avoid the rabble on such occasions. St. Paddy’s Day is a prime example. Bars are overrun with people who generally don’t drink; and, because most of these people choose to drink in excess of their normal limit at these times, things have a tendency to quickly get out of hand....Read the rest of this story

Street Food of Puerto Rico

On the road between El Yunque where the rain forest is and San Juan there are several street food vendors cooking some really tasty food. Most of the roadside grub is fried with selections like alcapurrias, bacalaitos, rellenos, riononos, tacos and some grilled chicken skewers with sweet-spicy BBQ sauce. Everything is either $1.00 or $2.00......this is the "Dollar Menu" worth eating!

The sign makes it official

Master of the ancient fryolator arts
Serving up the alcapurrias, dough made with plantains and yautia, then stuffed with a meat filling and fried. This fryer setup predates anything you might have by at least 100 years. You thought the turkey fryer was a rudimentary piece of cooking equipment?....think again, this primitive fryer doesn't require propane. The lack of trees on the island has street food vendors burning lumber.

More alcapurrias

Freshly fried bacalaitos
which is salted cod that is shredded into a flour batter and formed into large flat discs and fried. I've made the classic French Brandade de Morue as chronicled in this post. It's interesting to note that the Spanish version is called Brandada de bacalao, both use a salted cod batter but the taste and texture of the bacalaitos is so much better than their European cousins.

Sweet & spicy barbequed chicken skewers

It's a family affair....mother in-laws and all

Puerto Rican Staples

Pork Mofongo
This is a "National" dish made from green plantains which are mashed together with broth, garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings or bits of bacon. The mixture is the formed into a fluted cylinder mold. Mofongo relleno is mofongo stuffed with stewed beef, chicken or seafood, with stewed sauce poured over.

Sofrito Marinated Churrasco
This is a grilled skirt steak that's rolled up when it's finished. I saw a lot of restaurants offering the same dish with fillings in the middle like shrimp or cheese.

A Few Small Plates - San Juan, PR

Grilled pear and gorgonzola cheese with whole grain mustard

Fried sardines
with aioli

Best pork tacos ever!

Fried Beef Empanadilla's

RM Seafood

A few notes on Rick Moonen:

As executive chef and owner of New York City's rm, Moonen earned critical acclaim and received three stars from The New York Times. In 2005, he was drawn to the rapidly developing culinary scene in Las Vegas and closed his doors in New York City to bring his unique flavor and specialties of the seafood world to the West Coast.

In February 2005, Chef Moonen opened his multi-level restaurant Rick Moonen's rm seafood at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The lower level of the restaurant offers "State of the Art Sustainable Seafood" and a world-class sushi and raw bar. The upper level offers a more elegant dining experience featuring globally inspired cuisine from Chef Moonen's fun and whimsical tasting and á la carte menus.

Peruvian Lantern Scallops
Pork Confit, Mustard Greens, Anson Mills Polenta

Smoked Sturgeon And Heirloom Potato
Potato Cheese Blintz, Lemon Creme, Chive

Arctic Char
Heirloom Beets, Black Trumpets, Horseradish Pudding

Veal 3x
Veal Cheek, Veal Sweetbreads, Veal Marrow Flan

Chocolate Car Bomb
Guinness Ice Cream, Bailey's Irish Cream, Beer Suds

Nobhill Tavern

A few notes on Michael Mina:

Mina’s culinary and business vision led to the founding of his company, Mina Group, with partner Andre Agassi, in 2002. Under the auspices of Mina Group, he has opened 18 concept restaurants and a lounge concept: MICHAEL MINA in San Francisco, CLOCK BAR in San Francisco, RN74 in San Francisco, BOURBON STEAK in San Francisco, ARCADIA in San Jose, XIV (14) in Los Angeles, STONEHILL TAVERN in Dana Point, SEABLUE at MGM Grand in Las Vegas and SEABLUE in Atlantic City; BOURBON STEAK and SALTWATER in Detroit, BOURBON STEAK Miami and BOURBON STEAK Scottsdale, BOURBON STEAK Washington D.C., AMERICAN FISH at Aria, City Center in Las Vegas as well as STRIPSTEAK at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Mina also remains Managing Chef of MICHAEL MINA Bellagio (formerly Aqua Bellagio) and NOBHILL TAVERN at MGM Grand, both in Las Vegas.

Housemade Pate

Seared Day Boat Scallops
Butternut squash puree, brussels sprouts, pear, pecans, brown butter

Grilled Beef Shortribs
Stone ground grits, cole slaw


A few notes on Hubert Keller:

Born in Alsace, France, Hubert Keller is one of Americas most acclaimed chefs, known best for his world-renowned restaurants, Fleur de Lys (San Francisco), the Burger Bar (Las Vegas, St. Louis and San Francisco). Having caught the eyes, ears and palates of top food writers, Keller is the recipient of numerous awards including the James Beard Foundation’s lifetime achievement award of “Who’s Who” in the industry. His influence extends beyond his restaurant kitchen to the millions of people he reaches through his cookbooks and TV show, Secrets of a Chef.

Fleur is the home of the $5,000.00 - Burger FleurBurger 5000 wagyu beef, foie gras, truffles, with bottle of 1995 Château Petrus.

Cheese Platter Assortment of Artisan Cheese

Hummus Platter

Foie Gras Mousse
with huckleberry jam

Angus Sliders
Bleu cheese, onion, bacon, pear

Cheesecake Pops



A little info on Jose Andres:

José Andrés is a native of Spain and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup, the team responsible for Washington’s popular and award-winning dining concepts Jaleo, Zaytinya, Oyamel, Café Atlantico and the critically-acclaimed minibar by josé andrés, as well as Los Angeles’ exciting destination, The Bazaar by José Andrés, part of the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills. ThinkFoodGroup oversees all of José’s creative endeavors such as cookbooks, television programming, concept consulting and project development.

The "Paella Pit"
This is one of the focal pieces of the restaurant. It's a huge wood burning pit for making paella and doing some fundamental grilling.

Aceitunas rellenas y aceitunas 'Ferran Adria'
Olives stuffed with anchovy and piquillo and 'Ferran Adria' liquid olives.

Murcia al vino, Idiazabal, Garrotxa, Nevat and La Serena cheeses.

Lomo de buey
Grilled hanger steak with piquillo peppers

Dátiles con tocino ‘como hace todo el mundo’
Fried dates wrapped in bacon that you will want to eat every day.

Ensalada de coles de bruselas
Warm brussels sprout salad with apples, apricots, grapes and Serrano ham

Salmon crudo con huevas de salmon
Cone of salmon tartare and salmon roe

Flauta bread brushed with olive oil and fresh tomatoes with Serrano ham and Manchego cheese.

Chocolate Flan
Hazelnut ice cream