Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Junk

When trying to concieve a new menu i have a process that may or may not be "Normal".

Of course the first thing I do is to think about the season. Currently, I am thinking about Autumn. You know...pumpkins, pork, squashes, braising, stews...Rich and hearty foods that still hold on to that little bit of summer recently past. Not quite the rich fatty winter food but no more of the light, etherial foods of summer.

The second step is ALL in my head. This is where I usually get into trouble. You see, my head is bigger than my staffs abilities, my vendors product lists, my kitchen and my budget...all combined. In other words...I have delusions of grandure! Let me 'splain...

When I get an idea in my head about a certain dish I would like to do, I have it ALL worked out in my head, first. I can see the dish in my minds eye exactly as I would want to see it on the plate. Problem minds eye is near sighted, cross-eyed and slightly squinted. (and there might be an eye lash in there as well. I don't know) The dish, when first I try it on a plate, NEVER looks like I saw it in my head. What the fuck...

So...I re-plate it re-cook and so on. Until, finally, after a few times of trial and error...I give up and toss the entire dish, plate, pot, and idea in the fucking trash and give up on it. About then is when I get the right idea for the dish. The one I should have had in the first place and try it again. This time it works. This time it is a masterpiece. This time I'm gonna be in the chef's hall of fame. ...But my staff would NEVER be able to replicate it. So...back to the drawing board.

Don't get me wrong. I have an incredible brigade (of 4) in my kitchen. All of whom are well qualified and would be able to work in the best restaurants anywhere. There are just not enough of them for some of my culinary dilusions. Some of my bright ideas would take 6 hands and about 20 minutes per plate to serve. I only have two at a time and about 6 minutes per dish. I'm screwed!

So...I don't dumb it down...I scale it down. Lose a component or two. Simplify a piece of prep. Make it a bit easier to execute while still maintaining my level of expectation. This is usually when the whole thing miraculously comes together. When I'm at the "simplification" stage.

Here is what I came up with this time.

Spice lacquered Muscovy duck breast with Bulghur, lemon and coriander. Arugula and pistachio salad with a molasses gastrique. Sublime! ...and in only three days!

So...until next time

NO more trans fats!!!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

New Stuff

I know that it has bee a long time since my last post but I've been a bit pre-occupied with new baby and recovering mother. So, I hope you will forgive me and I promise to be more attentive to this blog.'s settled in to his new life in this world. Eating... sleeping...pooping...crying...(repeat ad infinitum) He is a beautiful little boy and his mother is more beautiful than ever. It never ceases to amaze me that a woman can be such an adept multi-tasker. Feed the baby... change the baby.....take the other kids to school...pick em up...take them to dance, t-ball, hip hop, parent teacher night etc etc all on about three hours of sleep a night. she is an amazing woman and such a wonderful mother. There are three very lucky little children in this house...and one VERY lucky man.

OK...So I'm back in the swing of things at the restaurant and am in the middle of developing a new menu to coincide with the grand re-opening of this phenominal eatery. The new items and new concept have me energized and totally pumped up with anticipation of the new Le Bistro! My entire staff is excited, as well, and are all putting everything they have into this endeavour.

The re-model is shaping up quicker than anticipated and is looking fantastic! This restaurant will be gorgeous! I will put this place up against ANY restaurant in the country both in look and design as well as in cuisine!

The new menu reflects just why I became a chef. Modern cuisine, delicious food, beautiful presentation and world class service! I believe that the food we are serving is the best in California and can't wait to introduce it to the community.

Some of the changes we are instituting are bold and new and will, I am sure, excite and entice our guests and broaden our cutomer base to be much more inclusive and approachable. Guests can choose whether they want to "graze" through the greatly expanded "appetizer and small plate" section or tackle the new and exciting and. may I say. utterly unique Entree selections.

So...spread the word...the New Le Bistro is only a few weeks away and we can't wait to have you here!

Until next time...Think "sustainability"

Chef Richard Hyman