Wednesday, June 25, 2008

RIP Crazy for Caribbean - 21 June 2008

Chef Notes
Too sweet was my first impression and getting through two of these was an effort. Definitely not enough contrast between the two elements – the carrot flavour was right but needed something sour/bitter/neutral – pistachio? Steaming was a hit – with the right flavour mix this one will be a keeper.

Chef Notes
What does okra taste like? Well, okra. A completely unique flavour closely linked to a traditional Caribbean dish with the refreshing addition of lemon and coconut. Combined with the sweet corn and tomato elicited plenty of confused palates. Fried okra gave it away in fine style.

Chef Notes
Black bean-pumpkin-buckwheat ratio was a little out (too many black beans) but the lemon grass cut through it all. The last minute fry in palm sugar and coconut oil gave it a caramel-like crust and the ‘heavy’ taste was knocked out by the spicy daikon, coconut and chilli dressing. Some finessing needed but fundamentals are there.

Chef Notes
Presentation let me down – the rich pineapple flavour combined with creamy coconut and palm sugar was perfect but once it was served over the pineapple arch it resembled a steak of salmon. A smooth and sweet way to finish though. Passionfruit liqueur soaked raisins and toasted coconut – what were they? A distraction.

A review from the guests will follow shortly - albeit in a slightly different format... Thanks for some great company Sansy and Renae – plenty to live up to for the next reviewer!

Next menu on the way – Argentina – without using meat! GG

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Crazy for Caribbean

Medjool dates filled with grated carrot sautéed with bay leaf, cumin and poppy seed then steamed and served with cos dressed in olive oil and cumin.

Okra, roasted tomato and sweet corn soup cooked with brown onion, lemon juice, lime zest and coconut cream then topped with salt and pepper fried okra.

Caribbean style pumpkin, black bean and buckwheat cakes flavoured with lemon grass and turmeric and rolled in polenta and crushed coriander seeds then fried in coconut oil and palm sugar and laid to rest on shaved fennel. Topped with a daikon radish, coconut cream, lemon zest and red chilli dressing and fresh coriander garnish.

Pineapple arches slow baked in coconut cream, palm sugar, mint, lime zest and cinnamon and served with pineapple spikes filled with passionfruit liqueur soaked raisins and dusted with toasted coconut.

Feeling loco? If you are crazy for Caribbean send me an email with your name, age and favourite food and an invite to dinner may follow. GG

Friday, June 20, 2008

Menus on the way...

The next dinner will be on the 28th of July so get your name down for one of these creations pronto. Stay Global and keep Gobbling.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Global Gobbler guest #11 - Sayher

Name: Sayher
Age: 22
Occupation: Photographer – get his autograph now
Favourite food: Ice cream
Why he deserves the Global Gobbler experience: I’ve always wanted to get my lens over the plate.

The Verdict (tasting and photographic notes)

Meal 1
This meal was pretty tasty, however I think that serving it in a smaller size would be a better idea as the beetroot was quite hard to eat. However the horseradish cream that was in it broke up the flavour. It was a little spicy but wasn't too bad.

From a photographic point of view this wasn't my favourite, I think because the colour of the beetroot didn't come up as well and compared to the other dishes it didn't have as much colour. However the simplicity of it is pretty cool.

Meal 2
This dish would have to have been one of my favourites, the avocado, and rye and poppy seed loaf was really nice. The avocado was really good with the tomatoes as it made them less intense.

From a photographic point of view, this was probably one of the better dishes to shoot as the colours were so nice. The greens from the avocado, the tomatoes and the finish on top really looked nice. The layout of the meal looked really cool as we.

Meal 3
The potato balls were pretty nice. I liked the way they were cooked and the look of them. I think there were a lot of flavours in there and there were some I wasn't a big fan of however it all worked ok.

From a photographic point of view this dish came up really well, the layout of the contents was really nice, and the colours worked well. The purples, greens and orange looked really nice.

Meal 4
This dish was pretty nice. The base was quite cool; and the texture was really different. I liked the chestnut and the overall taste was pretty nice. I am a big fan of ice cream so I think it would have been nice to have some with it.

From a photographic point of view the colours were nice and the presentation was good. I think that maybe the chestnut could have been placed somewhere different as it sort of sat weird on the top of the dish.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Finnish Fling - RIP 7 June 2008

Chef Notes
Slow cooking the beetroot most of the afternoon paid off. The sweet earthy flavour was almost too much until the horseradish mayonnaise became involved. Such a refreshing sharp kick. Could have left the beetroot to cool a little longer to avoid a slightly melting stack.

Chef Notes
Rye and avocado works well any time and not quite sure whether the fennel added anything other than texture. The rye loaf turned out well - dense and wholesome. Red peppercorns – almost edible alone with that fruity flavour. And the pickled onions – you’re either a lover or a hater…

Chef Notes
For some reason this felt Finnish to me. Standard mashed potato highlighted with salty capers, spicy mustard and the unique flavour of sour cherries. Grilled with poppy seeds gave it a crisp crunchy seal. Great textures and for a fairly unassuming dish performed well.

Chef Notes
Had plenty of fun working with chestnuts – luckily kept one intact for the photo! The chestnut and honey base gave the dessert some nutty sweetness. Mint added some freshness. And raspberries some juice. Everything pulled together and a spoonful with all three components was moving – really.

What do you get when you invite a talented and creative photographer over for dinner? Photos which make the food look a whole lot better than it was… A review including a photographic critique of each dish is on the way.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Finnish Fling

Stack of roasted beetroot layered with a horseradish mayonnaise and garnished with basil leaf.

Rye and poppy seed loaf ringed with cherry tomatoes and pickled onions and spread with a grated fennel and avocado smash then topped with ground pink peppercorns.

Sebago potatoes mashed with sour cherries, seeded mustard, capers and poppy seeds then grilled and served on wild rocket and spiced with sweet paprika.

Chilled slice of ground chestnut and honey slice topped with fresh raspberries and mint wings dressed with a palm sugar, white wine and lemon syrup and finally topped with a honey and lemon glazed chestnut.

Finland - i'm thinking pink pepper corns, freshly ground dark rye, bitey fresh horseradish, red berries and buttery chestnuts. High-tech, high-tax and high standards of living but a terrible reputation for food. Undeserved.