Saturday, February 25, 2006

Tastingmenu gets schooled

So the guys over at tasting menu are taking a week long boot camp at the Culinary Institute of America to see what it's all about.

It's a great sneek peak into the culinary school.

I can't wait to enrol myself in say 3-4 years time with Jeremy.

It's making me shiver, just thinking about it. It'd be a dream come true.
Dreams do come true right?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Deep Fried Mars Bar

This is one snack that no doctor would approve.
Work was really slow today, and the greatest ever idea, for the day that is, hit me.
Buy mars bars, and deep fry them.
I remember a episode of a Cook's Tour, where this scottish lad shows Anthony Bourdain a chip shop that has those cholesterol laden gems.

The origin of the Deep Fried Mars Bar is shrouded in mystery, but it is believed to have first surfaced in Scotland's northeast, around Stonehaven.

Deep dried mars bars is no stranger in this land. There's a shop at Far East that has them, but I haven't tried theirs yet.

I made a simple batter consisting of hot milk, raw sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and flour.
Then I chilled the sliced mars bars for a while, dipped them in the batter and deep fried them.

When I offered the waitstaff / kitchen staff the deep fried mars bar, the reactions were mixed.
"What's that?"
"This is SO good."
"Huh!? I'm on a diet!"
"No thanks."
*smiles* after putting one in their mouth, without saying a word.

Deep Fried Mars Bars

All I can say is that don't knock it before you try it.
Give it a go, and decide for yourself.

Monday, February 20, 2006

A castle in the air, or maybe not?

I'm bored in class, waiting for the lecturer to figure out how to get the online quiz started, and I'm in that dreamy state once again. Yea, I'm talking about dreaming of your perfect home, travel plans, etc etc.
But right now in particular, I'm dreaming of the perfect kitchen.

I'd be crazy to have a walk in chiller installed at home. So here's what I think, is the next best thing.

Meet the Sub-Zero Pro 48.

I'd really love to install a Wolf Range too.

The Chocolate Indulgence Experience

Did anyone else go to the Chocolate Indulgence with Oriol Balaguer? I had an awesome time there, with an amazing story. I'll post about it later.

Here's a teaser.
The Bar, just before entering Jubilee Hall.

Check back soon!

Right! They weren't kidding when they said that the event was a chocolate indulgence.
I've never seen so much desserts in one room. Ever. It was an experience alright.

Chocolate Margaritas and Chocolate Mojitos at the bar.

World acclaimed pastry chef Oriol Balaguer from Barcelona has worked at three-Michelin-star Restaurant Martin Berasategui as well with the Adria brothers, Ferran and Albert of El Bulli.
He now runs his own studio in the Catalonian city.

Hand made chocolate masterpieces by Thos.S.B. Raffles Chocolatier Chui Foong

More of Chef Chui Foong's delectables.

Raffles Hotel's Executive Pastry Chef Kevin Curry demonstrates the art of chocolate painting.
3rd Picture from top: Papaya puree with hints of curry powder layered with coconut rice puffs and diced blood orange and mango with Cilantro.

Kevin Curry's chocolate art and young fans.

Vincent Bourdin, Valrhona Regional Far East's pastry chef consultant explains his dessert, a trilogy of marshmallows.
2nd picture from top: Chef Vincent hands out a skewer of marshmallow.

Model wears a chocolate hat, and hands out decadent chocolate desserts.
A tower of Valrhona chocolate that I'd love to take home.

Chocolate bon bons! Chocolate truffles dipped in dark chocolate, placed on a dessert spoon and then heavily dusted with cocoa powder. There's nothing pretty about eating this bon bon. The chocolate coating and cocoa powder formed a sticky mass in my mouth. Very unglamorous. I needed a napkin for this one.

I apologize for the lack of quality in these photos. I don't do well with a tiny camera, and the desserts were set upon a table, that were suspended from the overheard mountings. It swayed occasionally from the slight bumps it receives from people shuffling from table to table.
It was really pretty, but not very camera friendly.

Oh yes, the amazing story. I was going to make payment at the event itself, and when I arrived, I took out my debit card, satisfied with the money that I'm about to spend. It turns out that they couldn't charge my debit card, and I had a dialogue with the man that went something like that:
"I'm sorry sir, we can't seem to charge your debit card."
"Yes, there seems to be some problem processing your card."
" That's okay though, you can just come through."
"You mean I can just walk on right in?"
"Yes sir"
"Yes, since we can't charge you, this will be complimentary."
"Shia, thanks man. I really appreciate it."

That was really awesome. Now, logic will tell me to be reasonable, and tell myself that it's Raffles policy or whatever, to not refuse guests. Or quite simply, I was very lucky.
I don't believe it was either of them.
I believe it was God's blessing upon me, to enjoy this whole event.
I was low on money, but still willing to spend on this event, and it's so great that I could enjoy it for free.

I'm really glad this whole thing happened. I learnt so much about the whole pastry scene, and I have so much more ideas after sampling 95% of all the desserts. Never in my life have I eaten so much desserts within a span of 2 hours. And I lived to tell this story.