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Old 07-29-2007, 06:30 AM   #1
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"You made a what? A truffle foam?"

So said the executive chef when I had him try it. I think he was freaked out because he thought I might've used the fresh truffles. I actually used the truffle "juice" that we get from imported canned black truffles. Added some truffle oil, heavy cream for body, salt, some lecithin, and it was good to go. I smoked some muscovy duck breast from Sonoma Valley and then stuck them in the freezer. Tomorrow I'm going to shave thin slices of the frozen duck using the meat slicer for a special. I also pickled some white asparagus and made a confit of ruby red grapefruit infused with lavender. The truffle foam will be incorporated into the dish as well, as will micro shiso and fleur de sel. My co-workers think I'm nuts.

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Old 07-29-2007, 10:36 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironchef
My co-workers think I'm nuts.
Nah, just envious of your talent and creativity. Good job, fella!!!! Hope you take a picture of the creation.
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Old 07-29-2007, 11:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironchef
So said the executive chef when I had him try it. I think he was freaked out because he thought I might've used the fresh truffles. I actually used the truffle "juice" that we get from imported canned black truffles. Added some truffle oil, heavy cream for body, salt, some lecithin, and it was good to go. I smoked some muscovy duck breast from Sonoma Valley and then stuck them in the freezer. Tomorrow I'm going to shave thin slices of the frozen duck using the meat slicer for a special. I also pickled some white asparagus and made a confit of ruby red grapefruit infused with lavender. The truffle foam will be incorporated into the dish as well, as will micro shiso and fleur de sel. My co-workers think I'm nuts.
Hope he wasn't foaming at the mouth. (Had to get a foam joke in there somewhere {groan} lol) The dish sounds wonderful. Curious as to how much the dish costs (if it's not too personal). Also wondered about the lecithin. It rang a bell, as I think my dad used to make a vitamin supplement concoction with it. I googled it, and if I understand it correctly, it's also a stabilizer. Do chefs usually cook with/use lecithin? Maybe dumb questions, but never hurts to learn something new. Thanks again for sharing your creations.
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Old 07-29-2007, 12:46 PM   #4
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Very nice work! Might we be lucky enough to see some images of that masterpiece? :)
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Old 07-29-2007, 01:26 PM   #5
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Ironchef that sounds truly inspired and amazing. Thats going to be some awesome special.
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Old 07-29-2007, 05:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *amy*
Hope he wasn't foaming at the mouth. (Had to get a foam joke in there somewhere {groan} lol) The dish sounds wonderful. Curious as to how much the dish costs (if it's not too personal). Also wondered about the lecithin. It rang a bell, as I think my dad used to make a vitamin supplement concoction with it. I googled it, and if I understand it correctly, it's also a stabilizer. Do chefs usually cook with/use lecithin? Maybe dumb questions, but never hurts to learn something new. Thanks again for sharing your creations.
It will be an appetizer so probably in the $12-14 range. It will probably have 6 slices per order. The slices are going to be really, really thin like carpaccio which is why I needed to freeze the duck overnight. Lecithin is available in health food stores because like your dad did, it's mixed in homemade protein or vitamin shakes as a supplement. What it also does is it stabilizes foams so that they last longer, and you're also able to incorporate more air into the liquid. Lecithin is not normally used in restaurants except in those that use foams or other methods in molecular gastronomy. I have a good, clear picture of a foam that was stabilized with lecithin here. I would not have been able to get the foam that consistency without the use of a stabilizer because of the ingredients in there. To make a foam without lecithin, you need a lot of fat, and you usually need it to be warm or hot. Because the foam on that dish was going to be served cold and incorporated with other light and refreshing flavors, I needed to use the lecithin.

I enjoy the questions. Foams got a bad rap because everybody was trashing on Marcel in Top Chef Season 2. Because of that, many people in the industry and also the general public were like, "Foams are stupid."

I like doing them because they are very unique to restaurants in Hawaii. Besides where I work at, I think only 2 or 3 other places incorporates foam in their dishes. People are curious about it and specials with foam tend to sell pretty good. I also like to use foams because you can incorporate a flavor into a dish without changing the composition of the dish as much. Say you wanted to add yuzu to a dish, but you didn't want to add just straight yuzu because it would be too acidic. You could incorporate it into an aioli or vinaigrette, but then you're adding more fat to a dish. Say you wanted to serve it with oysters. Oysters are already very rich. By incorporating the flavor into a foam, you can now add it to a dish without the need of added fat. So besides the cool factor, foam does have functionality as well. Here's a list of some that I've done:

Parmesan Foam
Cucumber Foam
Cucumber-Parmesan Foam
Beet-Blood Orange Foam
Beet-Orange Foam
Roasted Garlic Foam
Carrot-Ginger Foam
Truffle Foam
Yuzu-Horseradish Foam
Lobster Foam
Sweet Corn Foam
Bacon Vinaigrette Foam
Basil Foam
Ponzu Foam
Curry Foam
Kaffir Lime-Coconut Foam
Tangerine Foam

There's others too but I can't remember them all.
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Old 07-29-2007, 06:10 PM   #7
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That sounds like a fair price for the appy. I would definitely try it, and the tomatoe soup with cuke foam. (Meant to mention how good that looked as well.) Thanks for explaining the lecithin. (Yep, my dad was a walking health food store. ) It must be a blast to be able to go to work & experiment/create something new. The closest I'll probably get to 'foam' in the near future, is a New York City egg cream, lol (j/k) . Thanks, IC.

Egg cream
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Old 07-29-2007, 06:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *amy*
That sounds like a fair price for the appy. I would definitely try it, and the tomatoe soup with cuke foam. (Meant to mention how good that looked as well.) Thanks for explaining the lecithin. (Yep, my dad was a walking health food store. ) It must be a blast to be able to go to work & experiment/create something new. The closest I'll probably get to 'foam' in the near future, is a New York City egg cream, lol (j/k) . Thanks, IC.

Egg cream
If you live anywhere close to NYC then you have the opportunity to sample many foods with foam. I would say Manhattan is the foam capital of the US.
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Old 07-29-2007, 08:03 PM   #9
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You can enjoy a lot of wonderful chefs creations using foam in a few choice restaurants in Vancouver, BC.

West and Lumiere come to mind.
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