Saturday, May 24, 2014

experiment #42 - Cobaya Conor at The Dutch

Making up for lost time, on May 21 we conducted our second experiment of the month, with Conor Hanlon, chef de cuisine at The Dutch on South Beach. Almost exactly two years ago we did Experiment #24 at the Dutch with executive chef Andrew Carmellini coming down from New York to run the show. This time it was Conor's chance to shine. You can see all the pictures in this Food For Thought Cobaya Conor flickr set, with recaps at Food For Thought and probably coming soon at The Chowfather.

We had a small group – only 25 – at Conor's request to enable him to do things up a bit more soigne than the restaurant's usual more relaxed style. Though we were sorry to turn away even more guinea pigs than usual, those who got in got a pretty special experience. Here's the menu:

nasturtium granite, meyer lemon, roasted tomato oil, celery

deviled farce, black bowfin

white, green, spring peas, pickled ramps, buttermilk panna cotta, smoked trout roe, crispy quinoa

roasted and poached artichoke, sunchoke, hearts of palm, green almond, goats' milk yogurt, chive blossom, leek ash

roast porcini and morel, sauteed ramp greens, charred corn, popcorn grits, pecorino ginepro

New Zealand langoustine, king crab, uni, scallop, golden paddlefish, Chinese osetra, dashi, variations of seaweed, sea foam

creamy custard, truffle, sauternes gelee, pickled shallot, fresh summer truffle, home made brioche

roast saddle, crispy lamb brik, runny yolk, olive, peppers, tomato, sweet harissa glaze

taleggio souffle, port reduction, local strawberries, black peppercorn

lemon thyme, caramel bacon glaze, blueberry compote

A big thank you to Chef Conor, to Pastry Chef Josh Gripper for his outstanding contributions to the back end of the menu, to the Dutch's sommelier who put together some very nice pairings for those who opted in, to all the staff at the Dutch who took such great care of our group all night – and as always most of all, to the guinea pigs whose interest and support make these kind of events possible.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

experiment #41 - CobayaBalloo with Chef Timon Baloo

After a couple months off, Cobaya made a return to action last week with Chef Timon Balloo of Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill and the recently opened Bocce Bar in Midtown Miami. Nearly forty guinea pigs filled up several tables at Bocce Bar, for whom Chef Timon crafted a menu that was something of an edible autobiography. We'd been working on Timon to do a Cobaya for years, and are thrilled it finally came together. You can read a recap from Chowfather with one to follow soon at Food For Thought, in the meantime here's a set of pictures in this CobayaBalloo flickr set. Here's the full rundown of dishes and pairings:

A Trini Kid's Sunday Morning ...
house cured cod "bulljol" fritters, avocado, shaved cabbage, heirloom tomatoes, fried bake
Chang Beer, Thailand

Ode to Fishermans Wharf ...
english pea and crawfish chowder, herb-sourdough bread bowl
Donnafugata Lighea Zibibbo 2012

Breakfast of Champions ...
foie gras spam musubi, fried quail egg
Hitachino Nest White Ale, Japan

Fat Boy Grown Up ... Ling Ling's Demise
florida rabbit, chive and truffle bao, sweet chili, hoisin
Gewurztraminer, Zind-Humbrecht, Herrenweg de Turckheim Alsace 2011

The Teacher Who Danced Her Way Into My Mouth ...
florida snapper, sweet fish sauce, mango, coriander, mint, lime
Big Rod Ale Blond Ale Schnebly Brewery Miami

What I Remember ...
2 day rioja oxtail, potato emulsion, crispy shallots, herbs
Tempranillo, Bodegas Muga Reserva Rioja 2009

Trini Roots ...
curry goat, dal, roti, lime pickles
Red Stripe, Jamaica

Sophistication ...
30 degrees rhubarb, pea meringue, mint, flowering buds
Cleto Chiarli "Centenario" Grasparossa di Castelvetro Amabile, Italy

Indulgence ...
Reese's peanut butter cup, Oreo crumble, cookies & cream ice cream, peanut butter swoosh, salted peanuts
Brooklyn Black Ops, New York City

A big thank you to Chef Timon, to his whole crew at Bocce Bar who put together a great meal, great pairings, and great service, and as always most of all to the guinea pigs whose interest and support make these kind of events possible. We just rolled out Experiment #42 to take place on May 21, 2014, so make your seat requests now.

experiment #42 - 5.21.14

Greetings, Guinea Pigs - it's time for another experiment!

Quick Details:
Date: Wednesday May 21, 2014
Price: $115 (inclusive of tax & tip)
Start time: 8 p.m.

We will be doing a drawing for seats from all requests received over the first 48 hours, with additional requests filled, if possible, in the order they're received.

Please send an email to request seats using the "contact the underground" link on this page, and let us know how many you're requesting.

You will be advised by Wednesday May 14  if your request has been confirmed. You'll then need to book your seats by 5pm on Friday May 16, or we may need to release them to the waitlist to ensure all spots are filled. Please note the usual schedule has been tightened up a bit, so please make your request quickly, and if you get a spot, please book quickly.

We have very limited seating and while we try to accommodate everyone who is interested, that is usually not possible - most events are filled very quickly. Due to space limitations, we will be limiting people to 2 spots per request, though if you're interested in more let us know and your request will be added to the waitlist.

When your seat request has been confirmed, please book it using the PayPal link which will be set up on this page. Please do not book unless and until you've received a confirmation. When you do receive the confirmation, please book your seats through PayPal promptly. There will be a short window of time to book before seats need to be released back to the waitlist to make sure they're filled.

There will likely be a pairing option which we will either set up in advance of can be paid for on site, BYOB should also be OK, we will confirm when details are released.

Confirmed and paid-up attendees will receive an e-mail the day before the event, confirming the location and other details.

A brief, but important, refresher course on the whole Cobaya thing: there is no "menu". There are no choices. You'll be eating what the chef chooses to make for the night. If you have food related allergies, strict dietary requirements, religious restrictions; are salt sensitive, vegetarian, pescatarian, or vegan; don't like your meat cooked medium rare, or are pregnant: this meal is probably not for you. Do not expect white-glove service. Don't ask for your sauce on the side. Just come and enjoy.

Plus some legalese: please note that if you're requesting a spot, you understand that any food or beverages you consume are at your own risk, that you voluntarily assume any and all risks, known and unknown, and voluntarily release the organizers of the event from any claims, including personal injury and wrongful death, resulting in any manner from your participation in this event, whether caused by negligence or otherwise. Hopefully it won't come to that.

Look forward to seeing you there. As always, thank you for your support.


experiment #42 - how many seats?