Monday, March 12, 2012

Divine Bovine

Hethyr:  Rules were meant to be broken, right?  Well, I had to break a couple of rules a few weeks ago when an incredible chef friend of mine emailed and asked if Jon and I wanted to attend one of his super-secret (not really – I just wanted to make myself feel important for a second) pop-up dinners at Ranch Foods Direct.  Having talked to Jon about just that a few days earlier, we jumped at the opportunity.  I knew damn well that he’d be serving food that I am not technically supposed to have but I also knew that this was not going to be a run-of-the-mill restaurant experience, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and dive in face-first.

If you’ve never heard of a pop-up restaurant, it’s a fairly new concept where a chef finds a business willing to rent its commercial kitchen space for a night or a weekend or whatever is deemed appropriate.  On said night or weekend, the chef arrives and prepares dinner for guests who have reserved places ahead of time.  The chef determines the menu so his or her true talent is really allowed to shine.  Kevin is a huge advocate of local, seasonal, sustainably raised food and he’s a die-hard Ranch Foods customer, so we knew we’d be in safe hands.

Without further ado, I present to you our amazing farm-to-table Butcher's Dinner from Chef Kevin with Full Circle Cuisine.  You can find a list of dates and menus on his website – don’t miss out on this incredible experience if you’re in the area!

The fantastic menu

Chef Kevin welcomed us with a glass of Two Rivers
Syrah (Grand Junction, CO)

Even with a crowd of people gathered around him watching, Kevin was as
cool as a cucumber.

First course:  Short rib pastrami on rye (oops - gluten!) with onion,
cornichon and foie gras mustard.  Delicious!

Second course:  Crispy bone marrow (oops - gluten again!) with frisée,
capers, black radish salad and black truffle vinaigrette

The chef in action with a smile on his face.  =)

Mushroom-herb salad...

...which was served with our main course of hanger steak with soft farm egg.
I *loved* the steak and egg combo!

Yep, that's chocolate cake (more gluten) filled with chocolate mousse.
And that's candied bacon next to it.

Plating dessert

Dessert:  Candied bacon chocolate terrine
pure bliss!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Jon:  The first time I had a meal prepared by Kevin was about a year ago on a sidewalk in Old Colorado City.  It was a Cuban sandwich and it was ridiculously delicious.  I knew right then that the dude could cook.  His solid reputation has continued to grow within the local foodie community, so I had nothing but the highest expectations when I arrived at Ranch Foods for his pop-up meal.

I wanted great food and that's exactly what I got.  Ever had bone marrow before?  I sure hadn't... and I'll admit that the words don't exactly have a mouth-watering ring to them.  But it was fried and tasty, and the salad with black truffle vinaigrette on the side was a great compliment.  And I don't know three words that I would rather see put side by side on a menu more than steak, egg, and mushroom.  Oh yeah, except for maybe chocolate and bacon.  It was a worthy conclusion to a gratifying feast.

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