Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Streetfood dining event @ Teacup

After an intense few days of preparation, I think me and the Teacup team rocked the streetfood dining event, even if I do say so myself.  Some of JF's little twists on the food were just lovely.  Paco Rancero may have introduced me to gastro tricks, but JF has shown me how to use some of these techniques with my own food. 

In all honesty, I was a little put off my introduction to the sous vide technique while in Madrid after a rather unpleasant encounter with a clam (not that the clam had been sous vide(d), but the two events coincided).  In my defence, I was not being a squeamish vegetarian, as I actually pride myself on very much not being like that.  Hence how a half cooked clam ended up in my mouth.  It had been cooked for 7 seconds.  In my world, that sounds a bit like a hot wash as opposed to being cooked.  I didn't think it was dead at the time or maybe it was some muscle reflex - either way it was quite unpleasant, and both Sara and I had to restrain our responses (much to our amusement later on obviously). 

So back to the dining.... 

(and I apologise for the poor quality photography but it was so busy & I was seriously tired.  So mobile pictures it is!)

First course
Spicy thai green papaya salad wrapped in rice paper,
dressed with toasted rice

Second course
Ginger baked tofu & mamak peanut sauce, served on lumpung rice sticks

Main course
Indian cheese & spinach masala served on a squash & potato rosti,
with tamarind glaze & coconut cream

Crispy rhubarb samosas served with a ginger creme brulee,
and rose & agave glaze

So we had to use the afternoon tea & scone plates, but people raved about the tastes on this dessert plate.  I really think my puddings are improving now.  Sous vide rhubarb resulted in much less pastry explosion, plus the reduced rhubarby syrup booted up the flavour. With the gingery brulee & JF's perfect caramel technique...  yum! Just need to change the crockery perhaps?

I got so many compliments from diners, it was really lovely to hear and has made me more determined to make this food dream a reality.  My favourites were the meat lovers who raved about not missing meat or fish on their plate.  For me, that's a great plate of food right there!  The other great compliment of the evening was about out how each course improved on the previous, even when they thought it couldn't.  I can't tell you how good it feels to hear a stranger say that about your food.  I was buzzing!

Obviously, there's stuff I'd do differently next time.  It's also challenging doing restaurant service in a cafe.  But I have learned so much, every high and low of this last week has been worth it.

I am massively grateful to the team at Teacup too, and especially JF, for taking time to teach me stuff and most importantly, I've had a really amazing time.  It feels just great doing what you love.  Although my feet do still hurt a bit! 

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