Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Deep Plate Challenge...planning, plating and eating!

Wow, this is gonna be great! I'm doing this sweet challenge with another chef for the upcoming Deep Plate Exercise. In case you hadn't been following along, this plate company sends out a plate to you (if you are a professional chef or culinary student) each month, you plate up your food on it and send them pictures. They then post the pics with descriptions on their web site and facebook page.

Since I really shouldn't post this blog until the contest officially starts, you'll be reading this after that day. Makes things a little more fair, eh?

The chefs name that I will be challenging is Richard Taitt. I don't know this person, but I'm looking forward to doing this with him. Should be a blast.

After a little planning and scheming, we have to do 5 courses to consist of an amuse, an appetizer, a salad, a main and a dessert.

For my amuse, I've come up with something small, two bites, that reflects the season:

Butternut squash and wild mushroom filled ravioli with fried shallots, chili oil and micro basil and radish. Soft fresh pasta filled with local butternut squash, some wild mushrooms and a little ricotta. Combine that with the crisp fresh micro greens and fried shallot, a perfect bite.

For the appetizer, something a little more substantial but light:

Pan-seared scallops over pesto with micro radish salad and extra virgin olive oil. Seared on a hot pan and placed on a fresh pesto sauce, great combo. Of course, we need a little crunch, so its topped with strips of radish and local micro radish greens. And, for some color and nuttiness, topped with some amazing Greek olive oil. A nice app to set you up for the next course.

Salad, fennel, frisee and radicchio salad with toasted hazelnut vinaigrette. Crisp and delicious. The bitterness of the radicchio and frisee together with the sweetness of the fennel and leaf lettuces go great with the nuttiness of the toasted hazelnuts. Perfect combo.

Main, pan seared loin of beef over creamy polenta and topped with roasted mushrooms and pearl onions topped with local micro greens. A heartier course but not too heavy. Even though it is beef, the portion size is perfect. Soft polenta goes great with the roasted mushrooms and onions. The mushrooms have a unique crispness that just blow your mind!

And, finally for dessert, double chocolate cherry cheese cake topped with bourbon cherries and micro mint. A chocolate blast! Dark, semi sweet chocolate, bitter sweet cocoa and bourbon soaked cherries go great with that punch of micro mint and crunch from the Oreo crust. You may have to keep yourself from licking the plate!

I got the hook up on the micro greens from Lucky Leaf Gardens, thanks Kate!

Each of the above pictures, along with the other chefs pics, are judged by our peers on Deep Plate's blog. Not sure if there is a prize, but bragging rights to the winner is good enough for me!

Check out the link and cast your votes! :)

[edit] Thank you to all who voted, I won by over 50% of the votes! Cool stuff :)