Organic Squash

We recently received close to probably 100lb of organic squash from Hammock Hollows Farm in north Florida, and they are just beautiful. There is so much squash we could put it on every dish on the menu, and still have tons left to use. So for the tasting menu tonight, I was trying to create a dish the was relative simple, but still had some complex flavors, and allowed the squash to be showcased.

For the squash: I sliced them super thin, seasoned with j leblanc olive oil, fleur de sel, and compressed 5 times to break down the cell walls. Then I fill them with a truffle/ricotta filling.

Next I made a consomme from the squash. This is where I really wanted the complexity and flavors to come through. I made a very well seasoned "squash soup."

Next I clarified the soup using a .25% agar base.

Here is the final dish, Squash 'Raviolo,' Squash Consomme, Maitake Soil, Basil, Nasturtium

The plate up needs a bit of touching up, and it the oil got a bit muddled when I tried to move into better light, but I was pleased with the flavors, and had some good feedback from a couple of the servers who are always willing to try anything.

This dish will be served cold, and has just a touch of acid and slightest hint of spice to open up the palate. And is so light, but with such complex flavors that it lingers just enough to keep you interested until the second course arrives.


This post will be brief, but the other day as I was prepping for diner service and cutting the cornbread for the nights service I was trying to think of something to do with all of the waste. So, I decided to make a cornbread ice cream. I had never done it or tried it, but it was awesome. I was really pleased with how it turned out.

I took the scraps and made a concentrated cornbread base, and also charred off some corn and added it to the liquid. This is the base in the gelato machine.

The other night for the amuse I decided to do a dish based solely around corn. This is what I came up with
Cornbread Ice Cream, Corn Silk, Freeze Dried Corn, Pulverized Cornbread

Chicken Rillette

The other day we were confiting milk fed chicken from Pasture Prime in Ocala, and I had an idea I had been wanting to mess around with for a while so I decided to give it a shot. Its still in the works, but the concept is good. I kind of just threw together a bunch of stuff we had just received, but also I want to keep it seasonal, so will make some adjustments. Hopefully we can run it on the tasting menu next week.

The Compnents:
Crispy Chicken Rillette, Buttermilk-Dijon Dressing, Egg Yolk, Ramp  Top Fluid Gel, and a salad of Green Apple, Ramp and Arugula.

Everything went together well, but needs to be tweeked and the presentation tightened up.


Over the past few months I have been talking to someone who I became acquainted with through facebook via her blog. She has been an inspiration and has got me thinking a lot, and has opened my eyes to some issues in my "professional life" that I feel were holding me back, but I am now more motivated than ever before and am ready to create. So, do the fact that my curing chamber has recently been lined with salt blocks and is now being used as a dry age chamber for beef, I will not be doing as much charcuterie, but hopefully will be able to share thoughts or ideas. I will be posting these ideas (hopefully good) and attempts at these ideas (hopefully succesful) in order for me to create. This being said, I would still love the feedback and for those of you still curing... I will give you my address and would love samples!!!

And please check out my friend Najat's blog.. The Pilgrim Chef. Thank you Najat

Quick Update

I have still been ridiculously busy, but have also been busy curing, pickling, smoking, pretty much whatever I can get my hands on , but a brief update on a couple of things....

First off, I was able to get a few duck in. I made a pate out of the legs meat, heart, liver and kidney. Then I also made some duck prosciutto from the breasts.

Second, after four months the coppa is finally ready. So happy with how this turned out, I want to get 10 of them curing as soon as possible. Well, I guess 8 more, because I just got two more from Pasture Prime Wagyu today.
Here is the charcuterie plate we've been running on the tasting menu this week. From top left corner clockwise...
Duck Prosciutto, Mangalitsa & Wagyu Pepperoni, Mangalitsa Coppa, and the bottom left is Bresaola.

Bluezoo Nominated for Best Seafood Restaurant

Todd English's Bluezoo was just nominated for best seafood restaurant in Orlando, Fl by City's Best. We would appreciate the votes of anyone who has been in or wants to help support us in our goal to bring the best dining experience we can to Orlando. Our focus is fresh, seasonal and substainable which is something we pride ourselves in. If you haven't had the opportunity to stop in, please do not hesitate to!!


Epcot Fod & Wine

As I said in the previous post, we have been extremely busy and will continue to be busy. Last weekend and this past weekend we had separate demos at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. The first one with Torm Siverson of Pasture Prime Wagyu demoing his mangalitsa pig and the second with Chef Todd English, followed by a 7 course dinner at the restaurant. There is more about the Mangalitsa pig and the demo on Torm's blog that has pictures of the event and is worth checking out.

photo courtesy of pasture prime wagyu

I also recently did a tasting for a sous chef position at work which I was unable to get any pictures of, but fortunately did get the position, so here is the menu.

foie gras mousse
brioche butter, caramelized milk solids, minus 8 gastrique

crispy sweetbreads
garlic puree, heirloom tomatoes, fried caper vinaigrette

olive oil poached halibut
roasted boniato, preserved meyer lemon, ham hock broth

sous vide pork belly
braised kale, cannellini beans, pickled chanterelles

wagyu ribe eye
pickled beet fluid gel, baby root veg in different textures, arugula, bordelaise

foie gras, preserved strawberry, frangipan, ice wine