This concept starts with it’s definition; A deep secret, mystery or knowledge known only to a selected few. There were things that I personally found very curious or baffling and each one resonated a chord of mystery within myself. So much so, that Arcanum needed a voice through CR8. I noticed a difference in my myself with this CR8. I needed to approach and express the concepts differently. I wanted to go deeper in creativity and food and flavor connections. This took me 4 months to finish 8 concepts. I knew this one would be unique.
The secret lair in dining form.
Joy Rondello, the mastermind of this web of mysterious form. An environment to nurture and emphasis the encased diner during the courses of cryptic experiences.
New creations by Yuri Kinoshita; incredibly rare fabrics from Japan woven beyond precision; released from her mind, soul and touch.
Rob Hendrickson; making adjustments to an ever evolving dining table. It is now complete and exercising strength and brilliance.
Hering Berlin; The blank canvas in porcelain form acting as the ultimate stage for a chef to engage and release edible bliss.
Andreas Fabian; spoon designer extraordinaire.
Jenya designs with their beautiful box invitations sent out to people attending.
The guests arrive.
Sarah Dooley, my right hand girl through the entire event. Amazing attention to detail.
A key factor in using the beautiful and unorthodox pieces that I have; is too explore its functions in ways of bringing new sensations to the diner. With this course called “Elixir Ceremony”, The spoon starts in an upright position starting the ceremony.
Shireen hand caring for every detail.
This concept called “Elixir Ceremony” was inspired by the secrets of the people that live in the Wudan Mountains. They say they have secrets to many things including an Elixir that creates immortality.
This dish is composed of Fermented artichoke milk, black truffle elixir, shiromiso corn waffle, radish flowers
Liquid as black as night.
The first step, is to pour in the black truffle elixir and using the handle, swirl it in to mend with the fermented artichoke milk.
Jason Price, drinking the ceremony.
La Jeune Martyre painted by Paul Delaroche in 1855. The last painting he ever did less than a year before he died. It completely enchants me each time I stare at it in the Louvre. The great mystery; No one will ever know who this woman is and what happened to her. I felt compelled to pay homage to her.
La Jeune Martyre: Albacore belly, rose petal textural, wild scallion root, gelee de jambon, puffed einkorn, candied lemon peel
Kintsugi: The ancient art of restoring broken bowls, art, etc by piecing it back together with various elements such as gold. Even though the techniques for this were secret for centuries, what struck me as incredible is the concept of something being more beautiful for being broken. So, I decided to take a piece of wood and break it into 4 pieces. Putting it back together, I had 4 components; wood, smoke, fire, ash. This was the building block vision for this dish.
Kintsugi: Alderwood cream, smoked chicken dashi, fire glazed cherry tomatoes, leek ash egg yolk, and pine oil leaves
Pouring smoked chicken dashi from beautiful porcelain.
Forbidden: Inspired by the mystery of one of the greatest stories of all time; Adam and Eve. Scholars and theologians have argued about this for centuries. From an apple to a pomegranate, quince and even a grape. I chose the other speculated fruit; the fig. This mystery evolved into other forbidden ingredients and poetically played out in my mind and palate with great pleasure.
Forbidden: Foie gras egg, fig yolk, burnt liquid alliums, pickled young ginger, hibiscus leaves and tonka bean.
The foie gras egg cut revealing soft fig.
To enhance the dish, Seeded Brioche en Secret, made with an array of ancient grains like spelt, kamut, millet and hard winter wheat.
Each diner is served their own brioche and stands to hover over it as it is opened to capture it’s full aroma.
Frequency; If you want to find the secrets of the universe: think in terms of Energy, Frequency, and Vibration-Nikola Tesla
This is one of the universe most incredible mysteries. How does it work and is it true? The impact of this knowledge has had incredible insight on me personally. With the power of binary beats (The sound waves that carry the frequencies) I have seen their effects.
528hz (the frequency of the earth, human DNA, and love), 126.22 The Sun (they call the perfect frequency). Dr. Masaru Emoto has proved that just with our different thought vibrations we can alter the energy of water just by writing words on the glass holding the water. I have changed the frequency of the ingredients in this course, using the 2 frequencies above. Thus impacting the diner on a vibrational level, and hopefully happier!
Frequency: Complex maroon, coffee, carnaroli rice, licorice, chanterelles
In The Name Of: An homage to the secret recipes of the great monks of Europe and Nuns of Mexico. After great thought, I landed on creating a mole, so I created a sauce and promise to never reveal the secret, just as they do.
In The Name Of: Hazelnut squash blossom mole, buttermilk gel, young hen confit, carrot
Dragon Lady, a concept derived from a story I read about a woman named Madame Nhu. The first lady of Vietnam around the time of the Vietnam War. What struck me, was she was apparently the cause of the entire war. Kennedy said “That goddamn bitch”, “She’s responsible … that bitch stuck her nose in and boiled up the whole situation down there. “Nicknamed “the Dragon Lady,” she remains one of the most memorable, most demonized, and most mysterious figures of the entire Vietnam War period. Very bold, strong, feminine, and glamorous. All with a Vietnamese flair. She grew up speaking and writing in French, so I will add a French elegance to the dish as well.
Dragon Lady, BB Ranch Short Rib in the Vietnamese style, whipped Jasmine flowers, sake cured caviar, coconut, charred radish, pickled cucumber
Close your eyes and taste the creamy jasmine flowers.
It was an honor to collaborate with one of the best tea companies in the world called Tea Vert. They recently were asked to be part of the Madrid Fusion and were honored with a design award for their uniqueness. Working one on one with Slava Simontov, we chose a tea presentation and amazing Oolong tea to accompany this dish.
My friend Chelsey Walker Watson of Slate Coffee pulled an espresso for me and said, you need to taste this. It was pulled with Sidamo Ethiopian coffee and it’s flavor profile was gorgeous. The flavors stayed with me for a few days and I began to study that coffee region. I stumbled upon a legend of the origin of coffee, and it was from the same area. The story of Kaldi, the goatherd that noticed his goats acting strangely when they ate these red berries from a bush. The rest is history. I wanted to create a dessert that mimicked the various smells and tastes I experienced in this Sidamo espresso. Each person was pulled the same Sidamo espresso by Sarah Dooley, to ensure a perfect experience with the sucrose dish.
Kaldi: Whipped popcorn, compressed apricot gelee, sudachi caramel, strawberry textures, popcorn powder, lemon mint
The end of the experience winds down.
I was incredibly happy with CR8 Arcanum, so much that I would call it the most creative fun I have ever had in a dining expression.
Most grateful to Ken Lee, sous chef and assistant through it all. Couldn’t have done it without you my friend!
Thanks to Tyler Gray for his amazing products from Mikuni Wild Harvest
Special thanks to Eliza from ChefShop , only the best products in Seattle!
Mallet Kitchen, what a great kitchen and event space! I will be there again!
The next concept is already in the works and wait and see who I will be collaborating with on this one! Stay tuned