one plate at a time.

I am honored to report that I have recently been nominated for a James Beard Rising Star Chef Of The Year Award. I am one of twenty eight semifinalists. On March 18th they will announce the finalist. I am excited to find out the outcome! I want to thank the person or people who submitted my name to the James Beard Foundation. I was truly in shock when I read my name on their website. I am proud of our accomplishments at restaurant a(MUSE.). This nomination may have my name on it, but it is a tribute to the hard work of all our dedicated staff.

When I was a young cook, I once told my mentor at the time, Kevin Reading, that I aspired to one day be a regionally great chef. He was very encouraging and stated that anything was possible through hard work. To me, regionally great meant a chef who was known in the mid atlantic for creating an excellent product and developing a style of cuisine that guests would come from surrounding areas and beyond to enjoy. At this point I feel that I am on my way.

With cooking I have never been in competition with anyone but myself. It would be great to be a James Beard Finalist. No matter what happens I will still keep cooking, doing my best  to cook a high level of cuisine one plate at a time.

A look at recent plates at at restaurant a(MUSE.)

Photo was taken by Courtney Swift.

Photo was taken by Courtney Swift.

foie gras

Hudson Valley foie gras with carrots and pine (CS Photo)

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In the kitchen (CS Photo)


Nantucket Bay scallops - trout Roe - lardo - potato - fennel

Nantucket Bay scallops – trout Roe – lardo – potato – fennel (CS Photo)

flatiron steak - onion - turnip - hedgehog mushrooms

flatiron steak – onion – turnip – hedgehog mushrooms (CS Photo)

house cured coppa - Cheseapeake gold oyster - oyster mushroom - cedar - sunchoke. a broth of mushroom, cedar, ham, and oysters poured table side.

house cured coppa – Cheseapeake gold oyster – oyster mushroom – cedar – sunchoke. a broth of mushroom, cedar, ham, and oysters poured table side. (instagram picture)

oak creme brûlée -orange curd - bourbon -molasses - shattered caramelized honey gummy - smoked almond

oak creme brûlée -orange curd – bourbon -molasses – shattered caramelized honey gummy – smoked almond (instagram picture)

razor clam - foraged sumac - wintered acorn - spice bush gel

razor clam – foraged sumac – wintered acorn – spice bush gel (instagram)

beach bonfire our version of smores

beach bonfire our version of smores (instagram)

Lobster - beets - horseradish - rose hip vinaigrette

Lobster – beets – horseradish – rose hip vinaigrette. A plate created for a tasting menu. (instagram)

Thanks again for everybody’s love and support.


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WARM DAYS & COOL NIGHTS IN REHOBOTH

Fall is here and the weather is beautiful here at the beach. There are less people in town but were still bringing the love. I have been posting a lot of picture on instagram and here are some of my favorite ones. Plus a picture of my arm!

I have been a bad blogger lately in pursuit of being the best chef/restaurateur that I can be. Now that the pace has changed I will post more often. Thanks for your continued support! Tell a friend about The Comb & Wattle. I will be posting more photos, recipes and featuring farmers and foragers in future post. If you want me to cover a story I am very open to suggestions. Cheers! Enjoy!

Pistachio financier – duck prosciutto – butternut squash – pistachio praline. A dish presented at the Celebrity Chefs Beach Brunch to benefit Meals on Wheels Delaware.

Our fall soup at a(MUSE.)
Acorn soup – house cured berkshire pork lardo – beech mushroom – acorn squash – lemon balm

Roasted figs – preserved lemon – parsnip

Meatless Monday

my arm

Raw squash with puffed grains – foraged prickly pear – sheep sorrel –  and sea bean.

OoOH MOMMY (Vegan Shiitake Veloute)

Another one for all you veggie heads out there!

This soup is so savory and satisfying that you will not miss the meat.

 

Recipe for Shiitake Veloute:

510 grams shiitake caps

226 grams button mushroom

283.5 grams thinly sliced white onion

10 grams szechuan peppercorn

113 grams white soy

113 grams dark soy

55 grams rice wine vinegar

10 sprigs rosemary

8 quarts water

5 grams xantham gum

50 grams ultra tex 3 (Tapioca starch)

1135 grams mushroom stems

1 ounce grape seed oil

5 sheets dried kombu seaweed

Cover mushroom stems with water add soy sauce and kombu. Simmer for 30 minuets on medium heat. Strain through cheese cloth and a fine conical sieve.

Sweat sliced onions on low heat with grape seed oil and szechuan peppercorns for 15 minuets stirring so that no caramelization occurs.  Add mushrooms and cook on medium heat for 10 minuets. Then add mushroom broth and cook for an additional  15 minuets.

Using a Vita-prep or other high-speed blender puree the mixture, shearing in a little xanthan and ultra tex 3 at a time until the mixture is pureed smoothly.

Chop rosemary and put in the bottom of a fine conical sieve. Pass the soup through the rosemary.

I garnished the soup with fermented black bean puree, smoked oyster mushroom, candied horseradish, green onion and shaved radish. The soup was poured table side.

Doing great things with food.

 

The other night I had a great meal at The Stone Balloon Winehouse in Newark Delaware.

DR. S, Renee, my wife Stephanie and myself were on our way to watch Anthony Bourdain at the Dupont theater (more on that later).
The staff was excellent in accommodating our need to dine and dash to make the show. Not my favorite thing to do, but I will be back soon. Great menu choices, excellent presentation, and exquisite flavors made it a memorable occasion. Chef Jason and his team are doing some great things with food.