I believe it was about 8 months ago, I randomly saw a short documentary on Alexander McQueen, and his work on display at the Met in N.Y.C. It only took 3 or 4 minutes to realize this was no ordinary Fashion Designer. By the end of the video I was literally shaking with inspiration. Why? I know almost nothing about making clothes, nor the steps to design or much less make one. Yet, I noticed details of his work and compositional designs as if I had never seen clothes ever before. Even further, his creativity and his perception of beauty left a deep imprint within.
I investigated further by watching every interview and documentary, and even purchasing his book. I had to know what drove him and who he was. After a few months I started to work on a concept for the next CR8, it didn’t even have a chance, I immediately knew I had to express what I felt and learned from this genius. The name and concept dripped from my fingers, through the pen, and onto the page. I even knew how I was going to do it. During this discovery, what resonated with me was the fact that he always expressed his creativity no matter at what cost or what anyone would think. Prior, I had several ideas that I thought might be too much or not right for a dining concept. All of these were now gone. I no longer had any qualms about holding back what I wanted to do with dining and cuisine. CR8’s Savage Romanticism was born!
The Genius himself
From Cover to Cover, the unraveling of his impeccable creative mind poured off the pages and absorbed into my every sense driving me deeper within myself, further than I have ever dared to go.
There was a darkness I have always found beautiful and inspiring and now was the time to show this in the design of the dining room and the dishes I was going to create for these dinners.
The entrance to the dining chamber.
Beautiful skull artistry by local Venice artist Cheryl Gazdik.
Expressing the fashion element in some way was a must. I had the idea of covering the table in a beautiful and dark expression of fashion and photography. My dear friend Katarzyna Widmanska had the perfect photo, with her “Queen of the Damned”, it graced the dining table and took everyone by surprise.
The final look!
Course One: part one: CEREMONIAL-Liquid 6 mushroom collage, Oloroso sherry, aged sherry, salt smoke
ROMANCE X: Whipped ham, compressed honey pineapple, pickled curry tapioca, leeks, horseradish
Amongst the many diners interactions throughout the dinner, being either with their own dish or someone else’s dish, they were asked to blindfold themselves to remove one sense. Next, they had to shake two different canisters containing different ingredients. By the sound and feel, they chose their topping to the course………Photo by Brian Palmer
Photo by Brian Palmer
SOPHISTICATION: Kabocha Nimono Textural, smoked dashi gelee, parmesan sabayon, shallot
MYSTERIOUS: YIN/YANG-Scallop tartare, sudachi peel, frozen avocado, cranberry, dill oil, red quinoa, coconut butter
FORBIDDEN: SECRECY NO. 13, A diner creating his own design with Secrecy No.13 sauce consisting of white corn cob veloute infused with indonesian cinnamon oil………….Photo by Brian Palmer
ADDICTION: Chocolate Drug 2012
A plethora of wine blankets the surface.
The perfect venue for this event was The Redd Collection. This boutique wine store with accompanying tasting bar is just extraordinary. I met with Todd Ziman and Michael Carpenter to discuss a wine collaboration for the event. Here are a list of wines that made the chef tasting over the 3 nights. Thanks to the collectors and The Redd Collection for bringing these gems!
NV Henriot Blanc de Blanc
2003 Schramsburg Reserve
1999 Chapoutier Le Meal Blanc
2009 Fontaine Gagnard Batard Montrachet
1998 Joseph Matrot Meursault Charmes
2009 Sine Qua Non “On the Lam”
2007 Sine Qua Non “Boddy & Soul”
2009 Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese
1986 Chateau Climens
2010 Liquid Farm Golden Slope
2010 Black Cordon Ritchine Vyd “Block L”
1989 Chave Hermitage
1990 Chave Hermitage
1995 DRC La Tache
1984 Grace Family Cabernet
2004 Marcassin Blue Slide Ridge Pinot
2006 Marcassin Estate Pinot
2003 Verite La Muse
1970 La Mission Haut Brion
1990 Robert Ampeau & Fils Volnay 1er Cru Santenots
2000 Chateau Lagrange
1995 Christian Serafin Charmes Chambertin
2001 Opus I
2003 Boca Il Rosso delle Donne
1982 Calon Segur
1995 Rayas Reserve CdP
2005 Domaine Perrot Minot Charmes Chambertin VV
2007 Tor Cabernet Beckstoffer To-Kalon
2010 Hilliard Bruce Pinot “Sun Vyd”
Special thanks to Pierre Amezcua for being my crucial sous chef and Robert as well! Thanks to A.C and Adam of the CR8 team and Noah Lee for building the amazing dining environ once again!
Special welcome to Isaac Lee, our new D.J who did a superb job of elaborating music and special sounds during the dinners.
All in all, it was the direction of dining I have been wanting to lean towards and it came off with flying colors. Just think, all of this was only possible because of Alexander McQueen, his genius and how it effected me as a chef. Thank you wherever you are.