Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Oui Vous...

J'espère que nous tous savons ce 2008 est une année très importante pour l'Humanité.

Tant de choses importantes arriveront :

Les parents aimeront leurs enfants
Les enfants aimeront leurs parents

Les gens seront nés
Les gens partiront

Les guerres continueront
Les règles régneront

Les pauvres gens seront plus pauvres
Les gens plus riches seront plus riches

L'herbe grandira
Les arbres brûleront

La bonne volonté arrive
Mal arrivera aussi

Ainsi quoi de neuf?

Tout changera, parce que...

Vous changerez...
Par vos actions, actes et mots, le Monde sera un meilleur endroit pour tous les gens et l'être.
Oui, Vous.
Je vous parle.
Je suis si sûr, que j'y ai parié ma vie et les vies de mes enfants.

Avancez, faites Votre chose, 2008 est cela!
2009 sera trop tard...



I miss you very much. Hope that you are ok. You know where to find me.

My master Chef Marc Meneau in Vila Joya in 2007 !

Je suis le meilleur cuisinier dans mon village

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Alinea Restaurant in Chicago, the best in the West?

I have came across this restaurant in Chicago and went through the images. I am impressed. This is in America. Who would say it would be possible...? Well, everything is possible, so they say in there.

It´s like El Bulli but in another dimension.
take a look.
The post title takes you to their site.

Eggs Benedict and Cappuccino at Patisserie Valerie in Soho, by tmoertel in flickr

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Synthesis, Ferrán Adriá, Blumenthal, etc... I would sign as well...

1. Cooking is a language through which all the following properties may be expressed: harmony, creativity, happiness, beauty, poetry, complexity, magic, humour, provocation and culture.

2. The use of top quality products and technical knowledge to prepare them properly are taken for granted.

3. All products have the same gastronomic value, regardless of their price.

4. Preference is given to vegetables and seafood, with a key role also being played by dairy products, nuts and other products that make up a light form of cooking. In recent years red meat and large cuts of poultry have been very sparingly used.

5. Although the characteristics of the products may be modified (temperature, texture, shape, etc.), the aim is always to preserve the purity of their original flavour, except for processes that call for long cooking or seek the nuances of particular reactions such as the Maillard reaction.

6. Cooking techniques, both classic and modern, are a heritage that the cook has to know how to exploit to the maximum.

7. As has occurred in most fields of human evolution down the ages, new technologies are a resource for the progress of cooking.

8. The family of stocks is being extended. Together with the classic ones, lighter stocks performing an identical function are now being used (waters, broths, consommés, clarified vegetable juices, nut milk, etc.).

9. The information given off by a dish is enjoyed through the senses; it is also enjoyed and interpreted by reflection.

10. Taste is not the only sense that can be stimulated: touch can also be played with (contrasts of temperatures and textures), as well as smell, sight (colours, shapes, trompe d’oeil, etc.), whereby the five senses become one of the main points of reference in the creative cooking process.

11. The technique-concept search is the apex of the creative pyramid.

12. Creation involves teamwork. In addition, research has become consolidated as a new feature of the culinary creative process.

13. The barriers between the sweet and savoury world are being broken down. Importance is being given to a new cold cuisine, particularly in the creation of the frozen savoury world.

14. The classical structure of dishes is being broken down: a veritable revolution is underway in first courses and desserts, closely bound up with the concept of symbiosis between the sweet and savoury world; in main dishes the "product-garnish-sauce" hierarchy is being broken down.

15. A new way of serving food is being promoted. The dishes are finished in the dining room by the serving staff. In other cases the diners themselves participate in this process.

16. Regional cuisine as a style is an expression of its own geographical and cultural context as well as its culinary traditions. Its bond with nature complements and enriches this relationship with its environment.

17. Products and preparations from other countries are subjected to one's particular style of cooking.

18. There are two main paths towards attaining harmony of products and flavours: through memory (connection with regional cooking traditions, adaptation, deconstruction, former modern recipes), or through new combinations.

19. A culinary language is being created which is becoming more and more ordered, that on some occasions establishes a relationship with the world and language of art.

20. Recipes are designed to ensure that harmony is to be found in small servings.

21. Decontextualisation, irony, spectacle, performance are completely legitimate, as long as they are not superficial but respond to, or are closely bound up with, a process of gastronomic reflection.

22. The menu de dégustation is the finest expression of avant-garde cooking. The structure is alive and subject to changes. Concepts such as snacks, tapas, pre-desserts, morphs, etc., are coming into their own.

23. Knowledge and/or collaboration with experts from different fields (gastronomic culture, history, industrial design, etc.,) is essential for progress in cooking. In particular collaboration with the food industry and the scientific world has brought about fundamental advances. Sharing this knowledge among cooking professionals has contributed to this evolution.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Blumenthal is a self-made cook, like me... there's hope...

Molecular Gastronomy is dead. Indeed, if Heston Blumenthal had his way it would never have been born in the first place. He accepts that, early on, the term let punters know something curious was going on at his restaurant, the Fat Duck, in Bray; that it gave people trying to make sense of a menu of grain-mustard ice cream, white chocolate with caviar or palate cleansers cooked in 'liquid nitrogen' an easy label. But he still thinks the term creates artificial barriers. 'Molecular makes it sound complicated,' he says. 'And gastronomy makes it sound elitist.' Blumenthal isn't keen on either. Plus it doesn't mean anything. 'It was dreamt up in 1992 by a physicist called Nicholas Kurti who needed a fancy name for the science of cooking so he could get a research institute to pay attention to his work,' he explains. Kitchen science didn't hack it. Hence: Molecular Gastronomy.

Blumenthal slips two tightly printed sheets of paper across the table towards me. It is, he says coyly, something he has been working on for nearly four years now, with a few of his pals. His co-authors are Ferran Adrià, chef of the uber-modernist El Bulli in Spain, Thomas Keller of Per Se and the French Laundry in the US, and Harold McGee, the writer whose book On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen has provided these and so many other chefs with the technical understanding they needed to help them create their dishes. In short it's written by the very biggest names in the business. I ask Blumenthal if it's a manifesto. 'That sounds a bit grand and cocky doesn't it,' he says. 'Because we're definitely not trying to come up with a doctrine. It's just...' He hesitates. 'A statement.'

They want to emphasise what they have in common with other chefs, he says, not what separates them. They accept that a new approach to cooking has emerged recently but argue that parts of it have been 'overemphasized and sensationalised, while others ignored... Tradition is the base which all cooks who aspire to excellence must know and master. Our open approach builds upon the best that tradition has to offer.' As to the methods they use, it's all just cooking. 'We do not pursue novelty for its own sake,' it continues. 'We may use modern thickeners, sugar substitutes, enzymes, liquid nitrogen, sous vide, dehydration and other non-traditional means but these do not define our cooking. They are a few of the many tools that we are fortunate to have available as we strive to make delicious and stimulating dishes.'

It all seems a bit curious coming from Blumenthal, the man who has been on our TV screens this autumn in the BBC series In Search of Perfection, using pressure probes to detect the crunchiness of batter, blow-torching beef before cooking it at 50°C for 24 hours, and beating up ice cream in a bowl of liquid nitrogen. But, he says, look at the dishes he was doing those things for: fish and chips, steak and salad, treacle tart. You can't get more traditional than that. 'We can get too hung up on gadgetry. Once there was just the knife if you wanted to chop things. Then along came the food-processor. But that was still cooking. Now I use other tools - centrifuges, desiccators - which you might not associate with the kitchen. But that's cooking too.' To prove a point, we are talking in an upstairs room at the Hinds Head, his traditional dark-wood pub across the road from the Fat Duck, where the menu is all potted shrimps, oxtail-and-kidney pudding and Eton mess.

Still, there's no doubting that it's his interest in science, and his ability to popularise it, which has turned him into a star - and in a relatively short period of time. It is only just over a decade since the self-trained Blumenthal, who turned 40 this year, opened his own restaurant - the only one he has ever worked in, apart from a few stages in a handful of other establishments. Back then the Fat Duck was a simple bistro, serving classic French dishes. His more unusual creations came later, winning him his first Michelin star in 1998, his second in 2001 and the all-coveted third in 2004. That year the Fat Duck also came top of the annual 50 Best Restaurants in the World list, voted for by his peers.

Today he is getting used to a new-found celebrity, and the knowledge that his book of the series is a Christmas bestseller. 'I do get stopped in the street,' he admits. 'But I suppose if it's alright for a chef to write a book it's alright to do TV. To be honest I was very surprised by the positive response.' After all it's a TV cooking show which is actually about cooking. Viewers - particularly men, who are not big watchers of TV food shows - have been taken by his enthusiasm and his geeky attachment to experiments. 'The main thing for me was how much I learnt doing the series,' he says. There will almost certainly be another.

He has mixed feelings as to his wider influence on food in Britain. He accepts that, by pairing mustard ice creams with red-cabbage gazpacho, sprinkling cocoa powder over cauliflower risotto and making snail porridge, he has pushed back the boundaries on flavour combinations. 'It's the diners who have become most open. Six or seven years ago when I put a crab ice cream on my menu, it was regarded as the devil. Now if something like that was done for the first time I don't think anybody would bat an eyelid.'

As to his influence on young chefs he is less certain. Though he is too diplomatic to name anyone, he is clear that some terrible things are being done to food in the name of innovation. 'The danger is that technology overtakes the value of the dish.' So has he eaten dishes on the future-food agenda which have troubled him? 'Yes. There are people out there who are completely missing the point.' And then he adds. 'I'm really worried someone's going to do something really stupid and then everyone will point at me and say it's all your fault.' It's one of the reasons he and Adrià and the others came up with their declaration of intent. As it says, 'Our beliefs and commitments are sincere and do not follow the latest trend.' That said, they have acknowledged that they have a part to play in what they call 'the history of tomorrow'. Time, then, to ask the man who has shown us the future of food, what else is to come. 'Hydrocolloids will still play a big part,' he says. Hydro-what? 'They're the things which make foams and jellies set or hold.' He also thinks there will be a revolution in our understanding of how the tongue experiences tastes. 'We're quite close to throwing out the theory of five tastes,' he says. 'Researchers have found 21 receptors for bitterness on the tongue. There's a growing argument that fat is a taste.' All of this will change the way chefs flavour their dishes.

But the biggest development will be in what he calls 'sensory design'. No longer will eating out just be about putting stuff in our mouths and deciding whether it's nice. 'Eating is a multi-sensory experience. We're working with Sony to develop a directional speaker to push sound at diners in a particular way while they are eating.' They have also worked with a close-up magician to bring some of his stage craft into the dining room. So far the maître d' has learnt how to turn a rose petal into an egg at the table which can then be cracked into liquid nitrogen to be whisked up to smoky-bacon ice cream. (The egg is back-filled with the ice cream mixture in advance.)

But Blumenthal's real enthusiasm is reserved for what he calls his sweet shop. 'I wanted to find a way to extend the experience of coming to the Fat Duck so it's not just about sitting in the restaurant. I want people to have fun and to do that you have to get them excited. When I'm excited I'm like a kid in a sweet shop.' How then to use that simile to make the punters feel the same way? 'What will happen is that, when they book, they'll be sent a card with a website address and their own special code, plus atomiser.' The website is a virtual sweet shop, complete with tinkly entry bell, and in the atomiser is the smell of a real one. 'Spray the smell, go online, fill a virtual bag full of virtual Fat Duck sweets.' It's all about building anticipation. When they arrive at the restaurant the same smell of the sweetshop will be sprayed on the doorposts, and there will be the tinkle of the entry bell. 'We're may hang candy canes from the trees on the country roads into Bray.' And, as everyone leaves, at the end of their meal, they'll be given a bag of the sweets they chose on the site to go home with.

It will take a lot of work to get it up and running. It may even expand slightly the number of staff at the Fat Duck which remarkably has already topped 50, for a restaurant which can seat only 40 people at a time. But it also sounds like fun, which will come as no surprise to anyone who has been lucky enough to eat at the Fat Duck. Yes, a meal there is delicious and intriguing, but it's also very entertaining. In their statement, Blumenthal and his colleagues quote the 18th-century French gastronome Brillat-Savarin who wrote that 'the discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star'. Blumenthal may be using kit that would look more at home in the laboratory than the kitchen. He may be combining flavours in a way that will surprise and disorientate. But if it's not good eating, he's not interested, however futuristic it might be. And who could argue with that?

To order Heston Blumenthal's In Search of Perfection for £18 with free UK p&p (Bloomsbury, rrp £20), call 0870 836 0885,,,1969722,00.html

And what about some Smoked Bacon and Egg Ice Cream, Pain Perdu, and Tea Jelly ?

A burst of flavour

Boil it, fry it, braise it or roast it: you don't have to be a rocket scientist to recognize that how you prepare and cook any ingredient will affect just how much of its integral taste will remain in the finished dish

Heston Blumenthal
Saturday June 1, 2002


Flavour encapsulation sounds like something in a sci-fi film, but it is, in fact, a vital element in both food manufacturing and my cooking. So what is it? The best way to explain it is with what I call my coffee bean theory. Make a cup of coffee with one ground coffee bean - it will taste horribly insipid. Now take the cup and fill it with hot water; just before you drink it, pop a coffee bean into your mouth, crunch it and then drink the water. This time, the coffee flavour will be far stronger and last in the mouth a lot longer. The experiment shows that a coffee bean delivers a far greater flavour eaten whole than when ground up in a cup of hot water. Effectively, the flavour is encapsulated in the whole bean but dispersed in the water.

This approach is used extensively in food manufacturing, in many cases probably unintentionally. Think about a bar of milk chocolate with nuts and raisins in it - their flavour is invariably encapsulated within the bar. If the nuts and raisins were puréed and mixed into the chocolate, they would not provide anywhere near the same flavour.

The same applies to marmalade - it wasn't so long ago that it was marketed as containing "real" orange pieces, as perfect an example of flavour encapsulation as you could wish for. I apply the approach extensively in the restaurant because it's an essential tool in the crusade against palate fatigue. (I'll talk more about palate fatigue in future articles, but in essence it's when you become bored with what you eat.)

Recipes serve four.

Bacon and egg ice cream

This forms part of a dessert served at the restaurant. It's a twist on breakfast: caramelized brioche in place of toast, tomato and red pepper compote for jam, chewy salted butter caramel with wild mushrooms, and this ice cream, all washed down with a small cup of jellied Earl Grey. The idea stemmed from thinking about why some ice cream tastes of egg. I came to the conclusion that it's because the custard is overcooked. When you cook custard, the heat makes the proteins in the egg coagulate, which thickens the mix. If you continue cooking the custard, it will scramble, with the proteins completely clumped together. Egg yolk sets at 72C. So, by cooking the custard to 82C or more, as advised in many traditional recipes, the proteins begin to coagulate. Although the custard may still look liquid, tiny clumps of protein will have formed. And so, according to the coffee bean theory, the custard will be full of little bursts of egg flavour.

All of which got me thinking about how to exploit this eggy flavour, and so this recipe was born. The other parts of the dessert (bar the caramel/mushroom dish) follow, because the ice cream needs them to deliver the full impact of the breakfast dessert. And yes, you do need this many egg yolks; use the whites to make the chocolate fondant from the March 9 issue. These quantities make around one liter.

300g sliced streaky smoked bacon
1 litre full fat milk
25g skimmed milk powder
24 egg yolks
50g liquid glucose
175g unrefined caster sugar

Roast the bacon in an oven at 180C until slightly browned. Place in cold milk and leave to marinate overnight. Tip the milk and bacon into a casserole, and add the milk powder. Put the egg yolks, glucose and sugar in a mixing bowl and, using an electric whisk, mix at high speed until white and increased in volume.

Heat the milk and bacon mix to simmering and, with the whisk still going, pour a little on to the yolks. Tip this back into the milk pan, and cook over a lowish heat until it hits 85C. Hold at this temperature for 30 seconds, then remove from the heat. Cool the mixture down by stirring it over ice, tip into a blender and liquidize until smooth. Pass through a sieve and churn.

Caramelised brioche

The breakfast toast in the dessert, but also delicious served with caramelized apples, bananas or chocolate sauce.

1 dssp unrefined caster sugar (plus 20g or so extra for dusting)
250ml whole milk
2 soupspoons white rum (optional)
3 eggs
75g unsalted butter
1 loaf brioche

Mix 1 dssp sugar, milk, rum and eggs in a bowl. Clarify the butter, heating it gently in a pan or microwave. When melted, leave to stand for 10 minutes. Carefully scrape off the white skin that forms on the surface and discard it. Pour the clarified butter through a fine sieve or tea strainer.

Heat the butter in a frying pan. Dip the brioche in the milk/sugar mix for a minute or so, then place in the hot pan. Cook, turning regularly, until lightly colored. Sprinkle with the extra sugar and caramelize lightly before serving.

Tomato and red pepper 'jam'

5 ripe tomatoes
1 red pepper
50g icing sugar
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
Splash of white-wine vinegar
10ml olive oil
2 coffee beans

Blanch, peel, deseed and dice the tomatoes. Peel, deseed and dice the pepper. Put everything in a pan and marinate for 24 hours. Cook very slowly on a low heat, until dry and jam-like.

Tea jelly

Of course, you do not need to use all of these different teas - amend as you wish.

250ml water
45g unrefined caster sugar
1 green tea bag
1 lemon verbena tea bag
2 Earl Grey tea bags
10-15ml lemon juice
2 gelatin leaves
5g citric acid (optional)

Bring the water and sugar to the boil, and remove from the heat. Add the tea bags, stir gently and leave to infuse for five minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and add the lemon juice. Meanwhile, soften the gelatin in cold water. When soft, gently squeeze out the water and add the gelatin to the warm tea (along with the citric acid, if using). Stir until the gelatin has dissolved, then pour into cups and refrigerate until set. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2008

Take a look a' this ! Show Cooking...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

more of tribute to Claudia 2008

The Bull is killed, the job is done, let 2009 begin...

cheese dish from Bau

Simple but so good, believe me. Smoked and roasted meat with other delights, from Bau...

Bau's sweet thing ...

In Action !
TV Reporter : Joana Latino ! She likes our food ! We like her !

Sabine ! Pâtissier...

Lili ! Entremettiez ...

Caviar and friends by Bau

Bau's foi gras

Lollipop , gourmet style

Délice Nicolas Isnar
œuf Nicolas !

Lobster by Hangar 7 team
Nicolas Isnar and Koschina

Hangar 7 Chefs with Koschina

Le couple !

Friday, February 15, 2008

Christian Bau, the youngest 3 star Chef in Germany !

During Tribute to Claudia 2008 in Vila Joya, I had the rare opportunity to work with this great Chef. He his the youngest Chef to get the 3 star from the Red Guide Michelin.
Very simple, but full of content, I loved his masterpieces and it was a honnor for me to have helped him, during this day.

Monday, February 11, 2008

beaualalouche blog: Macarons de Pierre Hermé

Recette de Pierre Hermé, Larousse du chocolat

J’ai obtenu 60 macarons de 4-4,5 cm de diamètre environ

1ère étape : faire la ganache au chocolat

300g de beurre mou
320g de chocolat noir
220 mL de lait

Écraser le beurre à la fourchette et le malaxer jusqu’à ce qu’il devienne mou et onctueux.
Hacher le chocolat, le mettre dans un saladier.
Porter le lait à ébullition, en verser un peu sur le chocolat, mélanger doucement et ajouter ainsi le reste du lait.
Quand le mélange a tiédi, ajouter petit à petit le beurre mou, mélanger doucement sans trop travailler la pâte pour garder une texture moelleuse.

Mettre un film sur le saladier et conserver la ganache au frais.

2ème étape : préparer les macarons

480g de sucre glace
280g de poudre d’amande
40g de cacao en poudre non sucré
7 blancs d’œufs

Tamiser le sucre glace avec le cacao.
Hermé préconise de tamiser aussi la poudre d’amande, pour moi ça ne marche pas, ce ne passe pas à travers le tamis alors en fait, je passe la poudre au mixer pour qu’elle soit encore plus fine.
Mélanger le tout.
Monter les blanc en neige, y incorporer délicatement le mélange cacao-sucre-amande.

Remplir la poche à douille de cette pâte et répartir des ronds de 4 cm de diamètre (ou plus ou moins selon le résultat attendu) sur une plaque de four tapissée de papier sulfurisé.
A noter : la première fois que j’ai fait des macarons, je n’avais pas de poche à douille, j’ai fais mes tas de pâte à la petite cuillère et ça avait vraiment très bien marché.

Laisser reposer 15 min à température ambiante et préchauffer pendant ce temps le four à 140°C (thermostat 4-5).

3ème étape: la cuisson

Enfourner et laisser cuire 15 min (ça c’est pour les macarons d’à peu près 4 cm de diamètre, ensuite il faut adapter) en maintenant la porte du four entrouverte grâce à une cuillère en bois (pour éviter que la surface des macarons craquelle).

Sortir du four, soulever un coin de papier sulfurisé et faire couler un filet d’eau froide sur la plaque. Cela permet de décoller facilement les macarons. Les laisser refroidir sur une grille.

Vu la quantité, il faut faire plusieurs fournées, je conseille de re-mélanger la pâte à chaque fois avant de remplir votre poche à douille.

4ème étape : assemblage

Garnir la base plate d’un macaron avec la ganache et poser un autre macaron dessus.
Disposer les macarons ainsi obtenus dans un plat, couvrir de papier film et essayer de les laisser deux jours au frigo avant de les croquer…

Mais moi je préfère de les manger tout suite


It's cold out there !

Certificate from Marc Meneau L'Esperance

Certificate from Vila Joya !

And that's it

After 2 years and 7 months, it is time for me to move on and continue my cooking adventure.
I am leaving Vila Joya within the next few months. I have signed in very many online job sites. I know that I have talent and charisma, I believe in myself. I will succeed !
I am looking forward to meet and work with great Chefs.

I kiss and hug all the Vila Joya staff, for all their love and care, some more than others, but all have my heart with them forever from now onwards.

I thank Chef Murat for all the support that he has given me during my wonderful stay in Vila Joya's kitchen. You are like a brother to me.

I thank Great Chef Koschina with all my heart, for all his recommendations and for letting me in his cooking world, where I learn so much.

I also thank Gebhard for trusting me all these years and helping me find a new place to work in.

Last but not least, Joy, I thank you for you to exist. You provided me with a time of bliss for almost 3 years. I can never pay you back. I hope that life goes where you want it to go to, and enjoy the ride. Please keep in touch.

I hope that I made a difference.


Chefs at Home

Having a party with your good friends? Would you like to spoil them with amazing food? Staying in the Algarve region in Portugal? Ask for Amazing Chefs at Home