Friday, April 1, 2011


"Soap" bars made with cocoa butter.

Do you remember the feeling you got when you were little and the cool kids asked you to play with them? That's pretty much how I felt every time I was asked to participate in the charity dinner hosted at my work. Chefs from Mugaritz visited and showed us some amazing things.

The opening dish, watermelon carpaccio.

You think you know watermelon? Think again. Several days and severe conditions later, watermelon takes on the texture, color, and flavor of meat.

Edible clay from the Mugaritz team.

The restaurant has its own line of kitchen products that are available to the public. Kaolin is a very fine, food grade clay which the chefs used in several of the dishes.

The most delightful item they made was walnut shells to go with the goat cheese ice cream dessert. Kaolin, chocolate, and a couple other secrets were mixed together and molded in ten unique silicon molds that Mugaritz had custom made. Ramon, their lovable mountain of a pastry chef, made all the walnut shells himself. You could tell he was incredibly passionate about pastry and that he enjoyed food and new tastes deeply.

Injecting the walnuts with jelly one by one.

Each walnut shell was filled with a liquor jelly before service. The shells were so delicate that quick and gentle handling were required to avoid breaking or melting them.

Ramon mixing ice cream, walnuts, and goat cheese.

The walnut shells were paired with real walnuts, milk ice cream, and goat cheese. It sounds strange, but you can bet that more than one bowl was passed around the kitchen for taste testing and re-testing with no other aim than to indulge ourselves in the wonderful flavor and texture combinations.

I'd love to post more for you to read, but I have to be up in less than seven hours to get back to the (happy) daily grind. Keep your fingers crossed for a continuation :)

X Melissa

P.S. Also, please forgive any spelling or grammar slips... I'm sleepy and want to bring this to the masses (ha) ASAP!

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