Monday, December 16, 2013

We Are the Media &: Amanda Palmer at the IPRC

"Ampersand—evil connector ... or zen koan?"
—Amanda Palmer intro to "Ampersand," performed at the IPRC

When I'm working with people, I always ask for prompts or themes that will help guide what we put together. In this case, the theme was, "We Are the Media &." 

This phrase exemplifies the spirit of the fans that raised over a million dollars for Amanda Palmer's crowdsourcing campaign to fund her post Dresden Dolls album, galvanizing people to donate a record $1.2 million, the most money raised for a music project on Kickstarter

She has this idea that when you connect with people and ask for help, that people will want to give. Please see her performative and really lovely talk on this subject about both her ardent fan base and her description of the vulnerability and beauty of asking via her TED talk, "The Art of Asking." To read a critical opinion of Ms. Palmer's call for unpaid volunteers to perform as opening acts on her tour in the wake of her wildly successful kickstarter campaign, please see the New Yorker blog.

Inspired to think further about "We are the media &,"  I connected this idea to political protest and the powerful role that social media can play. So the menu for this event was inspired by countries where this has been important—for instance, Egypt—and also by places where social media is banned; this includes China, Myanmar and Ethiopia. 

For people in the U.S., social media can exist as entertainment, simply a fun and easy way to connect. It's important for me to remember that in some countries, social media is a powerful community builder that is suppressed by government officials who fear protests and dissenting voices. 

Food is a great medium to promote this conversation—it can be delicious, inviting and also provocative. In the tradition of Lawrence and Anna Halprin's RSVP Cycles, a menu is a score for an interactive experience, a dynamic exchange between the composer/author/artist and the audience/auditors/eaters. We are always thinking about how to invite conversation, and we are very fortunate to have such a muse for this occasion. Cheers to you, AFP! 


Indonesian-spiced rice with watermelon radish
Pickled seaweed
Javanese pickled carrot, cucumber and shallot with turmeric and ginger
Soy and citrus sauce

Candied fish, salmon roe and flying fish roe

Dates, chorizo, cheese
Dates, warmed and salted

Fried chickpea terrine with cumin salt
Muhammara—roasted red pepper and walnut dip
bread crisps

Seared steak with shiso

Farm cheese with harissa-North African chile sauce
Farm cheese with za’ataar – sesame, sumac and oregano spice mix
White bean dip with pistachio and parsley pesto-

Coconut balls with green tea cashew cream and goji berries
Cocoa nib chocolate cookies
Sheep’s milk yogurt cake with caramelized pink lady apple

Listen to Amanda Palmer's into to "Ampersand:" 

Listen to a few playful chords of her "Freebird" cover: 

Cradle of FlavorHome Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore

By James Oseland

By Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford

Burma: Rivers of Flavor
By Naomi Duguid

Mourad: New Moroccan
By Mourad Lahlou

The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa
By Marcus Samuelsson

Ani’s Raw Food Asia: Easy East-West Fusion Recipes
By Ani Phyo

Fall: Cobalt 60 Mutagenic BBQ Sauce

Unknown to many...common foods on our supermarket shelves are products of mutagenesis where scientists in a laboratory bombard seeds or plants with radiation—such as with cobalt-60 or gamma rays—to induce mutations.  

The Cobalt 60 bbq sauce highlights five key mutagenic supermarket foods: Rio Red Grapefruit, Milns Golden Promise Barley, Todd’s Mitcham Peppermint, Calrose 76 Rice and Soy. 

The recipe is a blend of old and new food technologies: an ancient Aztec/Mayan recado replete with a variety of chile and aromatic spices that is then combined with supermarket mutants to produce a sauce that is deliciously didactic. For more pictures and information, please see here and here

Summer quick mention: Lisbon Architecture Triennale

Oh wow, we've been so busy—August/September in Lisbon developing  menus and training culinary students for an installation at a seventeenth-century palace for the architecture triennale—please check out snowstudio and see here and here for more pics.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Planetary Sculpture Series: Portland with CGG FInal Menu

Planetary Sculpture Series: Portland
A collaboration with the Center for Genomic Gastronomy 

Check out our FB page for more pics

We worked with Zack and Cat of Center for Genomic Gastronomy along with the amazing interns of the PNCA MFA in collaborative design program--Emilie, Emma and Francesco. Thanks to Cliff, Ray and Tyler, we were able to pull off three dinners in four weeks. We've finally just recovered. Ha. We're now working on another collaboration with the CGG: the Lisbon Architecture Triennale conference. Three themes explored through menus, weekly dinners set at an eighteenth-century palace. The tabletop is a mirrored hexagon. It's pretty amazing. I'll be posting more pics for that in future. But for now, here is the final menu posting. For more info about the topics/themes, see the CGG blog on this summer's portland planetary sculpture series

Willamette Valley Wheat Bread
Farmer’s cheese
Rhubarb and ginger compote
Crushed greens and garlic  with fennel flowers
Summer vegetables stuffed with sausage and fennel pollen
Summer vegetables stuffed with barley and almonds

Cascadian Cocktail: Carbonated Benson Bubbler water, Doug Fir essence, nettle and raspberry leaf tea

Pacific gelatin: halibut bones, crab shells, oyster liquor, seaweed
(vegan sub: seaweed and mushroom broth, agar)
chervil leaf

Pickled mushroom with red onion and mint

Cured Salmon (smoked pine black tea, juniper, star anise, cinnamon)
Tender quail egg, black pepper and litsea cubeba essences
Buckwheat cake (vegan sub: carrot curls)
 Dill butter

Dungeness crab, radicchio

Hazelnut and hops flower iced cream (vegan sub: coconut milk, hazelnut, hops)
Bee pollen

Doug Fir oat granola, marionberry, doug fir needles (Doug Fir Sugar)

Korean dang myun sweet potato noodles FRIED
Japanese buckwheat soba noodles
American durum wheat semolina pasta
sesame dressing
Shiso leaf, kimchi
Black garlic puree
cured egg yolk
purslane, radishes

4. COBALT 60 BBQ Plate
Pork shoulder wrapped in hay and green walnuts (vegan: meat subtitute) SLICES (veg sub artichoke flower + lemony mayo)
Crisped pork belly
Cobalt 60 sauce version 1: BBQ
Red Cabbage

roast squab (vegan sub: tofu)
beet blood
black soy squab claw
beet ball
pickled green strawberries and mustard seeds
smoked green wheat, pumpkin seeds, micro carrot

Mini shortcakes
soured cream
cherry with butter and heavy cream caramel
black and red currants
urban-foraged fruit
jasmine pearl and white nectarine sorbet in apricot half

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Chicken & The Egg: Summer Dinner Series #1

The Chicken & the Egg: Eggcentric Summer Series #1

All photos by the amazing Mr. Ryan Fish. To check out the full album please see the Special Snowflake Supperclub FB page

On Sat June 24 we hosted a small gathering of about a dozen people for an intimate supper to highlight the gorgeous eggs of Little Gnome Farm. Right now I'm obsessed with Rudolf Steiner (Waldorf Schools, Weleda grooming products, architecture, farming) and biodynamic farming. There's a great book about biodynamic wine growers in Oregon called Voodoo Vintners; also the work of Maria Thun is a compelling documentation of biodynamic farming practices. Little Gnome follows biodynamic faming principles and I can honestly say that their eggs are unparalleled, I have never tasted a richer yolk, encountered a more vibrantly colored and deeply satisfying egg. 

Over the past year, we've served up some large suppers (50 at our height) and we wanted to do something really focused and also that would feel more like a dinner party so we were excited to launch our summer egg-centric dinner series.

Our friend Tyler Hauptman, who works at Courier Coffee, recently completed his master sommelier studies and he brought the most amazing complements for the supper, see wine list below.

The final menu highlights both the chicken and duck eggs of Little Gnome Farm. We also branched out with flying fish roe infused with wasabi. We started off with chicken (confit, liver mousse) from Kookoolan Farms as a playful opening to the old "which came first?" question.

We made two different accompaniments for the chicken liver mousse and couldn't decide which to serve: I liked the maple vinegar the best and Cliff favored the pomegranate molasses gastrique. We put both out so guests could vote. They were all diplomatic and voted for, "both." Ha.

The Tao of Tea in Portland offers a really potent pine-smoked tea, aka lapsang souchong. We cold- smoked eggs with a mixture of sugar, tea, star anise for about 5 hours and then boiled them for 6:20 so they were still tender and the yolks oozed like a rich red-gold sauce onto the rice. In a nod to ochazuke, we brewed matcha (green tea) and poured over the rice.

Earlier in June we took an urban foraging class with Rebecca Lerner (her blog, Firstways is beautiful and inspiring), where we learned about the amazing edibles that are literally growing underfoot in our NE neighborhood. Inspired, we harvested Doug Fir tips from our neighborhood and used these to pickle mushrooms for the main plate. We intensified the locavore focus by decorating with flowers from Ariadne Garden, a community-based urban garden located just a couple of blocks away from us.

Cliff has just started making fresh pasta from scratch. He's a natural, and his pasta is so light and just beautiful to behold, especially as it's air drying in long thin sheets in the kitchen. It was fun to make pasta the Italian way and sauce it with spicy Korean red bean paste (gokulchang) and Bo Ssam-style beef. We amped up the egg intensity with shavings of cured chicken egg yolks onto the duck egg pasta. Yowza.

The vanilla bean and bourbon semifreddo is rich with egg yolks and formed the conceptual base for the "fried egg" visual for the dessert that is supposed to look like a diner breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast. The mango and saffron jelly made the "yolk," and rhubarb ribbon stood for the crispy bacon.

We're sketching the next menu and it might be a Momofuku meets the Lee Brothers (Korean plus Southern) mash up. It would be great to make ramen broth and we have this big ham in the freezer from our hog share and we're tossing around some ideas of what we'd like to do with it. Stay tuned!

Final Menu: The Chicken Comes First

Chicken Liver Mousse, Pomegranate Molasses Gastrique; Maple and Rum Vinegar 
Avocado Mousse
Chicken Confit
Little t's Baguette 
Pizzette with Anchovy and Oregano; Goat Cheese and Tomato


Pine-Smoked Black Tea Egg with Matcha Rice, Kimchi Cracker, Pea Shoot Tendrils

Cured Salmon, Wasabi Flying Fish Roe, Shiso, Aquavit Spritz

Tender Greens, Agricca, Salad Burnet, Sorrel, Cucumber and Tomato Waters

Duck Egg Pasta with Cured Chicken Yolk,  Korean Bo Ssam Beef, Pickled Mushrooms with Doug Fir Tips

Eggs and Toast: Bourbon and Vanilla Bean Semifreddo, Mango and Saffron Jelly, Rhubarb Ribbons, Toasted Brioche with Butter

Wines curated by Tyler Hauptman
Pazo Do Mar Ribeiro 2010
La Valentina Cerasuola Rosato
Chalone Estate Syrah
Rochette Morgon Micouds 2007