Thursday, September 10, 2009

Chef Jason Dady Cooks at My House! Really!

Recently, Chef Jason Dady ( tweeted about "Dady's Underground Kitchen," whereby he comes to your house to cook for five couples. I quickly found four other interested couples and booked a date.

I just about drove Bruce bananas with preparations. "I haven't seen this level of cleaning since the Corps," he moaned. I might not have the snazziest kitchen, but I was gonna have the cleanest one, by golly. Let me tell gleamed.

Chef Jason arrived at the house about 4:00 pm on the appointed day, with helper Josh. They quickly unloaded all the supplies. (He brought food and wine glasses, couples brought wine, and he used our plates/silver/pots-and-pans.) The only equipment he brought (other than his knives, of course) was a sous vide rig. (Post a comment if you want to know more about this.)

He didn't fully develop the menu until he visited Central Market that morning to see what was fresh. Our menu:
  • Hors d'oeuvres: Foie gras terrine mousse with sea salt; "smoked" popcorn; grilled chevre sandwich with cherry tomato jam; Thai crab salad
  • First course: Fresh seasonal figs with basil goat cheese mousse, saba, honey, and proscuitto de parma
  • Second course: Butter poached scallop with house-cured guanciale, fresh Texas peas, white polenta, and lemon beurre blanc
  • Third course: Sous vide pork tenderloin with oca potato, summer asparagus, dijon emulsion and "sauce"
  • Fourth course: Brioche french toast, brandied peaches, and vanilla bean chantilly
And yes, it tasted just as good as you think it would.

By the time our friends arrived at 6:00 pm (each with two bottles of wine), he had an hors d'oeuvre ready, with Josh bringing out the other three as we gathered and chatted. He encouraged us to come into the kitchen, watch him cook, and ask questions. He is very personable and very willing to share hints, tips, and an occasional secret. In addition to a fabulous meal, we all learned a lot.

The foie gras just melted in your mouth, and the popcorn was simple but delicious. We both very much enjoy his scallops and were not disappointed this time. The whole meal was an incredible journey. Best piece of advice he shared: "Cooking is all about balancing salts and acids, temperature control, and time management."

And Josh did the dishes!

We all hope he continues this, as he has time (opening a new restaurant downtown this fall!). It was a very great pleasure to not only eat a fabulous meal, but to meet and get to know this incredible local chef.

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