Archive for the 'Sunday Supper' Category

The Last Supper

March 22nd, 2010

the line
WOW. It’s hard to believe. Last night was our last SUNDAY SUPPER. This time, it was a collaboration of all the Level Two students…

level two
Here’s a picture of all of us (taken by RUSSELL). From left to right, we are: Hillary, yours truly, SONJA, and HELEN.

Each of us drew a menu item out of a hat to determine which course we were assigned to.

Hillary drew the amuse bouche. She didn’t actually attend the supper, but LADAN served the bouche in her honor.

Helen drew the appetizer. She made this beautiful hearts of romaine salad with herbed cheese and a citrus vinaigrette.

the don
Here she is making quenelles with Don scaring off mobsters in the background.

The entree was a pasta primavera by Sonja featuring linguine noodles cut to order. Apparently, Sonja gave herself a sore arm from cutting linguine noodles.

Look at this weird zucchini screw that remained afterwards. I want one of those on my plate!

last supper
This picture of Sonja cracks me up. She kinda looks like she’s been hanging out at the BATES MOTEL, doesn’t she? Somebody has cut one too many zucchini noodles this evening…

My course was the dessert…strawberry shortcake.

Except for this one. There was one person who requested anything but strawberries. So, I made this one special.

Kinda sad, isn’t it? I hope I don’t start crying like a big baby on Friday. I’ll keep you posted…

oh PS! Dawn from HAPPY HEALTHY BALANCE posted a link to the first video of my UNCOOKING SHOW yesterday. She even wrote out the recipes with some ideas of her own. You should check it out. 🙂


Sunday Supper: Helen

March 17th, 2010

Woah has time flown by! Helen HAS BEEN MY DATE for every sunday supper in the series. This week it was her turn! She did an East Indian theme, and WOW! It was wonderful. Her first course were these amazing pakoras with mango, cilantro, and tamarind chutneys.

Nobody could believe they were vegan and raw!

If you know HELEN, you know that she thinks of everything down to the last detail. And I mean EVERYTHING. She designed her own menu for the evening and even scented them with incense.

Here is a picture of me waving to Helen on my way in.

Her entree was curry vegetables, cucumber raita, and a black pepper pappadom.

On the side was this amazing biryani with raisins and candied pistachios. I mean, just look at that!

Dessert was a creme brulee with cardamom syrup and candied pistachios.

flan flecks
I love it when you can see vanilla flecks in dessert.

And if that weren’t enough, it was followed by this amazing terrine of coconut, pistachio, and ginger ice creams.

close up terrine
The layers were accented with a turkish apricot spread and garnished with a citrus saffron glaze.

ginger tea
She finished with this amazing ginger tea. It really hit the spot!

Helen’s meal was so successful!! Not only did her meal sell out, but it was attended by one of Oklahoma’s biggest celebrities…WAYNE COYNE!!! Can you believe that? I was so jealous. That is so punk rock!! Congratulations Helen!!

Sadly, this week will be the last Sunday Supper, but it will be a combined effort of all the students. I can’t believe how fast time has flown.


Sunday Supper: Hillary

March 3rd, 2010

This week’s Sunday Supper was hosted by my classmate, Hillary. Her menu was a German theme. The first course was these little smoked portobella cocktail sausages with horseradish mustard.

Here was the menu for the evening. Not entirely legible, but you get the idea.

This wasn’t actually part of the menu, but HELEN and I got a little crazy. This was the CHEESE PLATE I’d had my eye on all week. We’ve actually made a sort of unofficial tradition of going to the Sunday Supper’s together. I’ll have to find another date next week when it’s Helen’s turn.

The main course was cabbage stuffed with sweet and sour vegetables in a tomato consomme. Pretty.

My favorite part of the menu was dessert. It was an almond custard filled apple crepe with a port wine reduction sauce. Delicious.


Sunday Supper: Alissa

February 23rd, 2010

Well, my Sunday Supper went off without a hitch. I was much more prepared than I anticipated (though part of that might have been that not many people came). The weather was bad, and business was slower than usual.  RUSSELL brought his camera though and took some really nice pictures (He took all of these except the one below).  I WANT one of those cameras.


photo by Helen Castillo

I did have two very important guests…my parents! This photo was taken by my classmate, HELEN, who sat with my parents at dinner and was apparently very charming. You can read all about her experience on her BLOG.

My parents have been a bit skeptical about raw food. So I was really looking at this dinner as an opportunity to bridge the gap. After all, food brings families together. My mother really appreciates traditional Japanese cuisine. Though for the most part, she hates Asian fusion or any kind of bastardization of what she considers ‘real’ Japanese food.  My father has not liked much of anything I’ve made so far.  So, I would have considered getting him to eat anything a success.

gyozaThe first course was gyoza. Traditionally, this is served as a fried or steamed dumpling filled with pork, cabbage, and garlic. The raw version featured applewood smoked tofu, cabbage, green onion, and bean sprouts. To my surprise, my mom LIKED them! My dad was a little reluctant. But once he saw that everyone else was eating them, he went for it. I was really surprised that they liked them! The flavor profile on this dish was probably the least traditional of the three.

The main course featured this green spider roll. The roll was filled with asparagus, avocado, red pepper, sprouts, cucumber, and a ‘tempura battered’ eggplant. It came with an arugula salad garnished with shiso, hijiki, crispy fennel, sprouts, and a sweet miso dressing. I thought I was really pushing boundaries with a sweet arugula salad but NO! When I saw that my dad cleaned his plate, my face started turning red! I was so excited.

The dessert was a ‘zen trio’. It featured a green tea mochi ice cream bite, bubble tea pudding with chia seeds, and a raspberry wasabi truffle. I made white chocolate garnishes with candied ginger and sesame seed accents that spelled my name in Japanese (or so I thought). This was especially for my mom. She was SO HAPPY when I brought it out to her (even though I spelled my name wrong – DOH!!). My parents enjoyed it so much that they even called an hour after they left to let me know how much they like it again. It was truly a wonderful success (for me). My dad said that this meal was much better than the LAST ONE they tried. To which I replied, ‘I guess I must have learned something then.’

The rest of the night went pretty well, I think. There weren’t a lot of orders, but I noticed that everyone who did order the feature cleaned all three plates. One table told their server to send me a message…’Domo Arigato’! So overall, I think it went well. I was happy with it, and I learned a lot from the process. HOORAY!


Menu Planning

February 20th, 2010

matthew and russell
This week has been BUSY. We started a new project with MATTHEW. But since he’s been out of town, RUSSELL has been meeting with us too. Basically, we were each assigned a menu item from the spring menu to develop. I was assigned the green spider roll which was kind of cosmic given that this week is also my SUNDAY SUPPER, and I had planned on doing a Japanese themed menu (my mom is coming and I’m trying to impress her).

arisa garnish
This was the garnish for the dessert dish. It’s white chocolate with candied ginger and sesame seeds. It says ‘Alissa’ in Japanese (It’s the only thing I can remember how to write). Russell gave me a hard time about it. He said that on his next dessert, he’s going to write Russell on the plate in English. Har Har. 🙂

filling chocs
The dessert plate also features these little chocolates. They’re raspberry wasabi flavored. Matthew said, ‘They’re really weird, but I can’t stop eating them.’ I’m really racking up the bonus points with my instructors this week. Maybe I should have figured out how to write ‘weird’ in Japanese instead. 🙂

If you’re in Oklahoma City, you should come to my Sunday Supper tomorrow. Here is a sneak preview. Russell took some really nice pictures of the practice meal I made for the class on Friday. He also gave the class a little demo on taking good food photos. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the pics he took. This is my appetizer. It’s gyoza featuring SMOKED TOFU.

This is the green spider roll (my spring menu assignment). It features tempura battered eggplant and asparagus.

The dessert is a trio featuring a green tea mochi bite, bubble tea pudding, and a raspberry wasabi truffle. Wish me luck! I’ve been working way too hard on it. Kind of bordering on obsessive. EVERYONE kept telling me to go home today, but there’s always one more thing. I’ll let you know how it goes…


Sunday Supper: Ladan

February 10th, 2010

This week’s Sunday Supper was presented by our instructor, Ladan Raissi. The first course was an organic carrot soup with a sprouted lentil cracker. Delicious! The flavors were so refined. I think as a beginning chef, the tendency is to knock people out with flavor and flash. But an accomplished chef let’s the food speak for itself.

This is what the food was saying on Sunday night.

The second course was completely inspirational. It was a brazil nut and sprouted wheatberry risotto. WOW. My boyfriend (who was visiting) was completely blown away. It was technically amazing! I have no idea how she did it, but a person would have had to make a LOT of risotto in their time to accomplish this.

poached pear
The final course was a poached pear with a hazelnut marscapone. Delightful. Not too sweet. But mystifying. Kinda makes you wonder what possibilities lie ahead after years and years of practice…


Sunday Supper: Tyler

February 1st, 2010

So for those who have been following the SUNDAY SUPPER SERIES, this week’s menu featured Tyler Spear.

Tyler isn’t actually an academy student. He’s one of the sous chefs here on staff. I was really impressed with Tyler’s presentation. I didn’t realize he was such an artist. He definitely raised the bar on us this week. His plates were so elegant.

beet rav
His first dish was a winter salad served with warm macadamia cheese and THIS beautiful work of art. It’s a coconut wrap accented with beet juice. Such a bold statement for a little piece of wrap. I love it!

main course
This was the main course…a wild mushroom and tomato terrine with a butternut squash croquette.

mush thing
I love the lines he made with the sauces. Beautiful.

This blew me away. It’s basically just dried vegetables: zucchini, shallot, tomato. AMAZING!

creme brulee
Dessert was a cappuccino creme brulee with vanilla froth and a maple cacao crisp.
And no. I didn’t save any for you. Sorry. I just couldn’t help myself. But for those who are interested, I’m starting a Tyler Spear fan club. And NO. He’s NOT related to Brittney. Tyler is a REAL artist. 🙂


Sunday Supper: Sonja

January 26th, 2010

This week’s Sunday Supper featured the lovely SONJA (who has made a COUPLE of APPEARANCES on my blog thus far). Sonja is originally from Switzerland (did I mention that we had a very international group?). Her first course was stupendous. She actually made bowls out of coconuts. She cut them with a hacksaw, literally. Then, she cleaned them out meticulously and dehydrated them. AMAZING PRESENTATION! The soup was delicous too!

This was the evening’s special menu insert. The Sunday Supper feature is served as a package for the lucky participants.

The entree was a Pineapple Curry Noodle dish featuring everyone’s favorite…kelp noodles! I have definitely developed an addiction to kelp noodles since I’ve arrived here. They do some amazing things with kelp noodles around here. My boyfriend came to visit me a few weeks ago and ordered a case of them when he got home.

mango cascade
This is the mango cascade. Look at the beautiful wafers she made. Sonja is the resident expert with coconut wraps and wafers. You should check out her BLOG and see what else she’s up to…