Saturday, June 2, 2012

Cobaya Carmellini (a/k/a Cobaya Goes Dutch)

We've actually been in talks for this Cobaya dinner since last October, before Chef Andrew Carmellini opened his Miami outpost of The Dutch. Of course, Carmellini has had some other stuff on his plate - opening the Miami restaurant, running Locanda Verde and The Dutch in New York, publishing a new cookbook, "American Flavor," to name a few. But the stars finally aligned last week, when Carmellini and his Miami crew, including Chef de Cuisine Conor Hanlon and Pastry Chef Joshua Gripper, put together a fantastic-looking menu for thirty guinea pigs.

I say fantastic "looking" because, sadly, I had to miss this one due to work-related travel. But I did stop by before the dinner and Chef Carmellini was gracious enough to give me a tour of the kitchen to see what was in progress. The theme carrying through several of these dishes was "The Whole Damn Thing!" - turbot cooked whole (innards and all, if he stuck with the plan as of around 4pm the afternoon of the dinner), with a sauce made from the bones; a fifty pound pig from Hialeah, prepared about a half-dozen ways. And though I didn't get to taste any of it, I got a good look at what I missed out on from the folks who were there.

It's the first Cobaya dinner I've missed, and it sure looks like a great one. It's also my first time trying to recap a meal I didn't eat.

Here's Chef Carmellini providing a greeting to the diners, the menu, and below, pictures from some of the folks who were at the dinner. (Video courtesy of Ethan Shapiro, pictures via Chowfather, Allison Riley a/k/a Y'All Taste This, and Andrew Carmellini). My usual descriptive flourishes will be missing - wish I could tell you about it..

Lemon Arrancini, Caviar, Creme Fraiche
Watermelon, Cobia, Spicy Yuzu
Bulgogi Tartare, Jae's Kimchi, Lettuce
Duck Foie Gras Meatball, Celery, Cherry Mustard

Bluepoint Oyster, Cucumber Shiso Granite
Lake Meadow Egg, Smoked Sable, Trout Roe
Gnocchi di Patate Primavera con Funghi e Piselli
Turbot Cuit Entier Sur L'Os Aux Saveurs Marocaine
Whole Hog Cooked in a Variety of Ways with Condiments

Crispy Testa with Gribiche
Smoked Ribs Glazed in Cider
Pastrami-Brined Belly
Alsatian-Style Shoulder with Mustard
Brown Sugar-Cured Hams
Crispy Pig Ears, Swank Farms Arugula, Meyer Lemon
Natural Jus

Conor's Pickle Pots
Pickled Bread & Butter, Michael Borek's Farm Field Tomatoes
Pickled Ramp Relish
Grilled Georgia Peaches
Mom's Collards
Weinkraut MSG Style

Rainier Cherry Consommé, Manhattan Granita

Croque en Bouche Royal

Ice Creams, Sorbets, Sauces, Cookies, Candies, Chocolates

(continued ...)

Arrancini with caviar and creme fraiche; bulgogi tartare with kimchi; watermelon, cobia, spicy yuzu.

Oyster with cucumber-shiso granite.

Lake Meadow egg, smoked sable, trout roe.

Gnocchi di patate primavera con funghi e piselli.

Turbot before.

Turbot after.

Pastrami brined pork belly.

Smoked cider-glazed pork ribs.

Alsatian-style pork shoulder with mustard.

Crispy testa with gribiche.

Chef Conor Hanlon hamming it up.

Grilled peaches.

Conor's pickle pots, Borek Farms tomatoes.

Joshua Gripper with the croque en bouche
(note: when I came by at around 4pm before the dinner, this was about 6 inches tall).


Many thanks to Chef Carmellini, Chef Hanlon and Chef Gripper, all the rest of the crew at The Dutch, including Jacques Burke, Katya Segovia and Joe Weiss, for helping to put this all together. From all the reports I've gotten back, they really put on a great dinner. I'm sorry I missed it.

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