I’ve always loved food, but I’ve developed an even stronger relationship with all things edible since moving to New York. With no shortage of delish eats at every price point in the five boroughs, this means if I want a juicy burger or scrumptious pizza slice, I can get these easily and at any hour. It also means that I can find a higher level of food – food with the freshest ingredients, complex flavors and unusual textures – food that pushes limits and is way outside the culinary box. I experienced this recently.
Last Friday, I attended a chef’s dinner with Michael Patlazhan, a recent graduate of the French Culinary Institute in SoHo. The chef prepared five incredible courses in the Kitchensurfing headquarters in Gowanus, Brooklyn. (Kitchensurfing is a New York-based startup bringing professional chefs into home kitchens for dinner parties.) A small selection of food bloggers, as well as Ben Leventhal, co-founder of Eater and now president of Kitchensurfing, gathered for an unbelievable evening of culinary indulgence.
Citrus Baby Beets/ Radish/ Compressed Apple/ Sorrel Pudding/ Cocoa Chicharrón/ Puffed Wild Rice / Encapsulated Mustard Yogurt Vinaigrette
Peekytoe Crab/ Charred Avocado/ Sriracha Pearls/ Whipped Soy/ Yuzu Vinaigrette/ Quinoa Crackers/ Mustard Green Pudding
Mushroom Textures/ Hazelnut Meringue/ Hazelnut Pudding/ Garlic Chive Gel/ Brown Butter Fluff
Duck Breast/ Barley Wild Mushroom Cake/ Macerated Cherries/ Cherry Miso/ Piquillo Confetti/ Frozen Horseradish Rocks
Meyer Lemon Curd/ Roasted White Chocolate Custard/ Blood Orange Pudding/ Aerated Cardamom/ Cocoa Tuile/ Cocoa Soil
|Chef Michael Patlazhan garnishes the first course.|
|Beautiful baby beets|
|The finished beet dish – In my opinion, visually it was the prettiest.|
|I thought the Peekytoe crab/charred avocado was the tastiest dish.|
|The chef is busy plating the mushroom textures.|
|Even if you have an aversion to mushrooms, you would like this plate.|
|Though I rarely eat duck, I ate every bit of this dish. The red stripe that looks like it’s part of the plate is the piquillo confetti.|
|The lemon curd dessert was not too sweet, yet still decadent.|
Many of the chef’s techniques are inspired by Molecular Gastronomy, but his combination of flavors are clean and his approach is fresh. Don’t be fooled into thinking a Patlazhan creation is merely a pretty plate. Every morsel is edible, and for lovers of good food, a meal like this is pure heaven.
Michael Patlazhan previously worked in finance before starting his career in the kitchen. He is an innovative and talented young chef to watch.