Dessert Tasting with Thomas Raquel

On January 20, 2014, in General, by steelite

It’s no secret that we are big fans of Chicago-based pastry chef extraordinaire Thomas Raquel. Truth be told, calling ourselves “fans” feels like the understatement of the year – especially when reminiscing about our extravagant, multi-course dessert experience with Thomas at Acadia last fall. Some would call it a tasting – which was the term used on the menu – but, again, “tasting” is beyond an understatement. This was an evening of pure pampering through pastry.

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Inspired by fall, Thomas’ menu showcased the warm, bright colors and flavors of the season.  The progression of each dessert presentation referenced the evolution of fall leaves – from vibrant red to earthy yellow to rich brown.  The menu touted three fantastic courses, each more impressive than the last.  Thomas even snuck in a few surprises (like the stunning Tête de Moine presentation pictured below).

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We left Thomas’ table in awe – and feeling spoiled! We don’t want to brag (well, maybe a little…), but we captured a few photos of the fantastic desserts. Here’s a little taste of the experience.

IMG_0544Course 1: “Fragrant pear” Compressed pear; muscat ribbons; distilled spiced pear jus; Earl Grey ice cream; autumn olive ice; honey croquant; Earl Grey infused oil; borage flowers; bronze fennel

IMG_0560Course 2: “French Apple” Calvados roasted apple; caramelized arlette – spiced puff pastry; caramelized maple ceylon cinnamon custard; pecan powder

IMG_0562Course 3: “Fall Chocolate” Squash cremuex – roasted kuri squash with caramelized white chocolate; chocolate sorbet; flourless chocolate cake; cashew croquant; figs roasted with burnt honey, sherry and black pepper; huckleberry confit; Cocoa nib powder

Thank you for taking such great care of us, Thomas! It was truly unforgettable.

A Culinary Night to Remember

On October 17, 2013, in Tradeshows & Events, by steelite
Lovely tablescape at Cibreo Italian Kitchen

Lovely tablescape at Cibreo Italian Kitchen

It was a night of excitement, a night of remarkable talent, and surely a night to remember. That is the night we had the opportunity of experiencing at Scott Kuhn’s new Cleveland restaurant, Cibreo Italian Kitchen, for a Veggie U Benefit Dinner.   From the authentic Italian ambiance to the eye catching wall of wine barrels, Cibreo set the perfect stage for an ideal evening.  If the venue wasn’t enough, throw five culinary geniuses in there, jealous yet?

The dinner consisted of five courses; five courses of impact, exceptionality and culinary perfection.  With every course came a new experience that tantalized the palate, leaving you wanting more.  Not only was each course appealing in its own right, but furthermore bursting with fresh, Earth to Table ingredients courtesy of Chefs Garden.  Let’s see if we can tantalize your palate, through a recollection of our experience.

The journey began with one of Cleveland’s very own, Chef Jonathon Sawyer, who evidently forgot to take us to Israel with him after the event (we forgive you).  Just as we thought Chef Sawyer’s appetizer couldn’t get any better, we took the last bite and BAM — the zest hit you like a ton of really soft, delicious bricks.

Chef Jonathon Sawyer, Appetizer Course -  Rhizome, Lucky Sorrel and Baby Chanterelle Button with Nepitella Bloom, Crab Apple, Milk n’ Cognac Corn Flake Cake, Oaked Chardonnay Vinegar and Black Butter.

Chef Jonathon Sawyer, Appetizer Course – Rhizome, Lucky Sorrel and Baby Chanterelle Button with Nepitella Bloom, Crab Apple, Milk n’ Cognac Corn Flake Cake, Oaked Chardonnay Vinegar and Black Butter.

 

Next stop was an exotic café on the Greek coast of the Mediterranean Sea; well at least that’s where we thought we were as soon as we tried Chef Amanda Freitag’s Greek Salad, delicioso!

Chef Amanda Freitag, Salad Course – Greek Salad a la Veggie U

Chef Amanda Freitag, Salad Course – Greek Salad a la Veggie U

 

On to entrée number one, where Chef Lee Anne Wong was undoubtedly a ‘Top Chef’! The smoky flavor of the Kona Kampachi had us gushing in the most delectable way.

Chef Lee Anne Wong, Entrée #1 - Smoked Kona Kampachi, Gold Coin Onion, Turnips, Black Garlic

Chef Lee Anne Wong, Entrée #1 – Smoked Kona Kampachi, Gold Coin Onion, Turnips, Black Garlic

 

As if one entrée wasn’t enough, we received two!  Another native to the Cleveland food scene is Chef James Mowcomber, whose up and coming young talent is sure to win over any culinary heart. With every bite of Chef Mowcomber’s Wagyu Beef, it’s safe to say he won over ours.

Chef James Mowcomber, Entree #2 – Wagyu Beef-Porcini Pesto, Braised Turnips, Bone Marrow Salsa Verde

Chef James Mowcomber, Entree #2 – Wagyu Beef-Porcini Pesto, Braised Turnips, Bone Marrow Salsa Verde

 

Last, but certainly not least, was a dessert erupting with unique flavors, textures and ingredients. Chef Johnny Iuzzini managed to create an earthy rendition of an otherwise deliciously sweet dessert.
Chef Johnny Iuzzini, Dessert Course - Frozen Beet Parfait, Bitter Chocolate Cream, Yogurt, Bulls Blood

Chef Johnny Iuzzini, Dessert Course – Frozen Beet Parfait, Bitter Chocolate Cream, Yogurt, Bulls Blood

 

Here I am looking through pictures from the event and my mouth is still watering! Nevertheless, simply reminiscing over the night’s experiences still doesn’t do it justice.  The company was lovely, the food was out of this world, the venue was intimate and the purpose for the Veggie U dinner was greatest of all.  What started out as a night to remember, turned out to be a night we will never forget.

 

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