Back To School

Last month I was able to  go back to the technical school in Kansas City that started my whole career. The school is called Broadmoor Technical Center, and is no ordinary satellite school. Everyday I would leave my regular highschool and got to BTC where I took two years of culinary arts classes. The Chef Instructor is Bob Brassard, the difference between Bob and every other high school culinary arts or home ec teacher is that bob was a REAL Chef. At one point he was an award winning chef in Florida and Nantucket and has seen the ins and outs of fine dining.

Each month at Broadmoor we would do a “Bistro” where we would serve up to 100 guests a five course meal. Now the school district has built them an entire restaurant. With one of the cities nicest dining rooms, a terrace, a full scale bakery, and a huge kitchen with an open pass. They still do the bistros but now they are weekly ( I believe on wednesdays) throughout the school year. I was invited back along with two other previous students to do an Alumni dinner. I do not have the photos of the entire dinner but I do know the menu;

First Course

Squab Apicious, Smoked Swiss Chard Custard, Wheat Vinegar Jus, Frisee

Chef Joe West. Bluestem. Kansas City

Herb and Parmesan Gnocchi, Braised Oxtail, Salsify, Crispy Parsnip, and Fresh Burgundy Truffle

Chef Justin Hoffman. Broadmoor Technical Center. Kansas City

“Fallen Tree”

Trunk, Snail, Moss, Root, Spore, Funghi

Chef Brad Kilgore. Azul. Miami

Smoked and Sous Vide Pork Loin, Head Cheese Croquette, Local Polenta, Green Tomato Jam

Chef Bob Brassard


Deep Fried Creme Brulee, Roasted Banana-Caramailized White Chocolate Ice Cream,

Butternut Squash Espuma, Sassafras Caramel Powder, Huckleberries

Chef Brad Kilgore. Pastry Chef Soraya Caraccioli (my wife). Chef Joe West

I only have picks of my first dish the “Fallen Tree”

The Heart of Palm is made to represent the part of the “Fallen Tree” and the rest of the dish would be things that grow and live on or near a fallen tree in the forest. I really would like to follow up this dish and do it again in a more professional setting and I definitely will put this in my repertoire. It was a difficult dish to pull off doing 55 at one time in a sort of banquet style setting but on a tasting menu in a proper setting with a little bit more reconstructing I believe it has a lot of potential.

Components Include

Tree: Heart of Palm, Glazed with a caraway seed vegetable stock and Iota Carageenan

Mud: Caramalized onion, dried mushrooms, espresso, cocoa powder, cayanne pepper, brown sugar, and water

Moss: Dill, Fennel Frons with their own liq. gel

Twigs: Shiitake mushrooms

Tree Stump: Leek root

Funghi: Pickled Honshemaji

Snail: Escargot Rolled in puffed quinoa

Spore: Asiago Espuma coated with black quinoa, cauliflower crumbs

Garnishes: Micro herb flowers, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil buds, Smoked Salt

“How Else Do You Make Borscht?”

The other day I went over to our croyvac machine and started to shove leaves of red cabbage into large croyo bags. Another very intelligent Chef  was staring at me from the corner of his eye, thinking “What is he doing Now!?! and I immediatly said, “How else do you make Borscht”. To many this make not make sense but between Will and I it was all that was needed to be said. We see how everyone works, reacts, and moves on a daily basis so it is pretty easy for us to read eachother especially when someone is up to something….

Okay So I had six bags of cryovaced red cabbage, then I took up all the room in another guys circulator bath…oops…(of course he still got his veg. cooked). The cabbage was cooked at 85 C for 1 hr. and 15 min. then pureed with roasted shallots, white soy, fish sauce, and local honey. It was important to me to make sure that it still tasted like cabbage, was bright purple but, of course was delicious.

I did some research on borsht and have spoke to Russians, Ukranianes, and other easter Europeans over the years and there is such a variety of different types of borscht its crazy. It can be red, green, light, heavy, hot, cold, filled with meat, boar, shellfish, vegetarian, beets, cabbage, sour, rich, Russian,… the list goes on and on. So yes that leaves me with a lot of room for a broad interpretation but I do not want to disrespect such a widely respected international staple.

Red Cabbage “Borscht”, Green Apple, Japanese Mustard, Parsley,

Yogurt In Textures; Whey “Curd”, Emulsion, Croquant

Components Include:

Red Cabbage Borscht

Green Apple Ribbon

Yogurt Whey “Curd”

Yogurt Horseradish Emulsion, Greek Yogurt, Horseradish root, U-Tex 3

Yogurt Croquant, Isomalt, Fondant, Freeze Dried Yogurt Powder

Pickled Parsley Root

Dehydrated Parsley

Parsley Fluid Gel, Parsley, Agar Agar, Low Acyl Gellan

Re-hydrated Japanese Mustard, Water, Lemon Juice, Lemon Zest Salt, Rice Vinegar, Distilled Vinegar

Nasturtium Leaves

Wood Sorrel

Sprouted Malabar Spinach

Olive Oil

“New” England Clam Chowder

“Clam Chowder Espuma, Pickled Celery, Shrimp Hache’,

Yukon Confit, and Crisped Shallot”

Alaskan King Crab

Alaskan King Crab, Mosaic, Purple Potato, Black Garlic Pudding

Components Include:

Alaskan King Crab, Glazed in its own Consomme’ (iota caragenean)

Mosaic, Avocado, Peruvian Purple Potato, Butternut Squash, Ascorbic Acid, Lime Zest

“Spring Roll” Knuckle Meat seasoned with, Aji Amarillo Aioli, Citrus Zest, Rolled in Daikon

Pickled Ginger Fluid Gel, Low Acyl Gellan, Agar Agar,

Black Garlic Pudding, Half and Half, Eggs, Squid Ink

Preserved Meyer Lemon Puree, Water, Saffron, Lemon Juice, Sugar, Ultra Tex 3

Capers, Rinsed and Fried

Serrano Jamon Chip

Pickled Purple Potato, Bacon, Shallot, Garlic, Aromatics, Sherry Vinegar, Honey

Scallion Tips



Caviar, “White”, Chocolate

Eggless Rutabega Flan, Osetra Gold Caviar, Tomato-Garam Masasla Jam, Chorizo Crumbs, Dill

Components Include:

Rutabega, White Chocolate, and White Miso Flan; made with Kappa Carrageanean (no egg)

Osetra Gold Caviar Quenelle

Tomato Jam, Garam Masala, Galric Olive Oil, Vinegar

Dill Liq. Gel, Dill, Low Acyl Gellan, Agar Agar

Chorizo Powder

Fresh Dill


Black Cardamom Cured Salmon Belly, Whipped Chickpea, Basil Bud and Flower

You Gotta Have The Chicken

At first this dish started out as a neccesicity because, there were requests for chicken. Just so you know trying to do modern food in Miami is difficult. Most of the clientele have the food that they are comfortable with and do not want to veer out and try other things. When Joel asked me to come up with the “Chicken” dish, we had already decided on using guinea hen. I thought for a few days how to make a chicken dish something up to the caliber of the food we are doing at Azul.

Don’t get me wrong, that we think we are above chicken whatsoever. I have had and made some of the most delicious dishes using chicken and one of my favorite things in the world is when Soraya (my wife) and I make a whole roasted chicken at the house for dinner. First we brine it for 24 hr. then air dry it in the fridge for 24 hr more. Then start the roast at 500F and after 10-15 min. we drop it to 300-325F. Then skin is like a cracker, and we use a fair amount of acid in our brine so it has a cracker like crunch an a touch of acid to cleanse the palate from the organic chicken fat.

In this Guinea Hen dish we receive local guinea hen whole (head and feet still attached). Just the butchering alone is quite a task. First the breast are removed skin on and then into the cryovac, individually with shallot thyme and olive oil. Cooked SV in a circulator and cooled. Meanwhile the remainder of the skin is removed from the rest of the Hen including the legs. After the legs have been skinned and cleaned they are cured whole in an aromatic salt for 1hr 15min. at room temperature and confit with citrus, vanilla, fresh herbs, and dried spices in duck fat for 1.5hrs., at 275F. The meat is cooled in the fat to room temperature and pulled and folded with the cooking fat, citrus rind, herbs, and sea salt. Once the meat is seasoned it is mixed with Activa RM and rolled inside the remaining hen skin, into individual roulades. These are crisped to order after a half hour stint in the water bath (58.5) to set the proteins of the skin.

An that is just the proteins! (excluding the full protein of black quinoa that is a garnish). Joel, Jacob, and I had been talking about Chowanmushi for a couple of days and I wanted to make an inverted chowanmushi for a more modern take on a japanese classic. Originally it is just a custard of dashi (dried bonito flakes, kelp, and water) mixed with eggs and cooked to a custard. I have taken this definition and ran with it. The “custard” is made from… The base is a soubise of butter, leek, shallot, vidalia onions, cream, and creme fraiche. They are all cooked together until the cream has caramalized and blended until smooth wit hon dashi and white shoyu. I can explain how rich and delicious this puree is. The puree is then hydrated with kappa carragenean, methylcellulose F50 and, xantham gum and using the sauce gun it is molded into pastry flex molds.For the plate they are unmolded to order and heated up in the C-Vap on the plate, the xantham keeps the fat from seperating while the methocel gels as well.

On top of all of this there is an underlying theme of dashi, white shoyu, and garlic through out the dish; The Hen Jus is made with toasted garlic slices, dashi, and white soy, The breast is sous vide with white garlic, the chowanmushi has butter poached garlic, dashi, and white soy, there are garlic flowers as a garnish, and the breasts’ glaze has dashi, white soy and black garlic.


Sous Vide Guinea Hen Breast, Leg Confit Roulade, Inverted Sweetcorn Chowanmushi, Legumes, Dill

The Components include:

Sous Vide Guinea Breast with, Roasted Corn Cob and Black Garlic Glaze, made with Hen Consomme steeped with roasted corn cobs and leaves, Black Garlic, Roasted Garlic, Low Acyl Gellan (what gives the shine while still keeping it clear)

Guinea Leg Confit, wrapped back in its own skin

Sweet Corn Chowanmushi

Legumes, Fresh Favas, Cranberry beans, Lima Beans

Black Quinoa

Garlic Flowers

Dill Liquid Gel

Micro Arugula

Toasted Garlic Hen Jus