Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fresh to Death: Cooking with Chef David Bouley at the International Culinary Center

By Anne M. Raso

“The Essence Of Japanese Food/Adaptation Of Japanese Ingredients Into French Dishes” cooking demo by the legendary David Bouley at the International Culinary Center in Soho on January 25th was an eye-opener, even to the most seasoned NY chefs - and many were in the audience!

At the event, Bouley announced that his new eatery Brushstroke, would be replacing his legendary Viennese-with-a-twist-of-Modern-American place, Danube (at 30 Hudson Street), in early July. Brushstroke will focus on the naïve cuisine of Kyoto, known as Kaiseki cuisine, with the twist of French that Bouley brings to all his establishments. As all good NYC-based foodies know, Chef Bouley garnered worldwide acclaim over 25 years ago as a chef at Le Cirque and later owned Bouley in several incarnations including the original on Duane Street, Bouley Bakery and Bouley Upstairs. The guy cannot do any wrong in our eyes.

Bouley explained that this is the first time a Kaiseki restaurant is coming to New York because so few fresh ingredients were available here until very recently - and this cuisine demands that everything be fresh off the farm or out of the pond. Fish and cattle are slaughtered in different ways in Kyoto—fish fins are snapped by fisherman on the boat—but you’d probably not want to know that. In contrast, Wagyu beef comes from cows that are fed beer and massaged all day like kings. They live the life of an Ivy League frat boy with money until their dying day!
Chef Bouley did the class with the help of sous chef Isao Yamada, a chef at Bouley Upstairs who will be head of the kitchen at Brushstroke. Bouley refers to Mr. Yamada as “the machine” since he moves at lighting speed and incredible precision. (He recently won a New York rising Star Award—and no wonder—it is a real pleasure to see this “maestro of the mandolin” in action!)
Chef Bouley told us clever tales about his love of the Japanese Mountain yam (which is going to be a staple veggie at Brushstroke), and with Yamada, cooked two styles of Wagyu beef and two styles of scallops. He noted that he could not serve the roasted Wagyu in his new eatery because it tastes best three minutes out of the pan. Hmm—maybe we here at can come hang out in the kitchen when Brushstroke opens!
Foodies, don’t get jealous! Here are the four delectable dishes that made up the menu from my afternoon with Bouley and Yamada (I can still taste that luscious, heavily marbled sliced Wagyu beef rolled up with a warm garlic chip inside):

Japanese Sea Scallop, Alaskan Dungenese Crab & Mountain Yam Dumpling
Black Truffle Dashi Sauce
Shiso Flower
House-Made Tofu
Yuzu Gelee, Ponzu Gelee

Japanese Scallop Marinated In Blood Orange
Green Apple Cloud, Kinome Leaf
Sliced Wagyu Beef Mille-Feuille
Fresh Wasabi And Toasted Garlic Chip

Roasted Wagyu Beef
Grilled Naga-Imo, Caramelized Vidalia Onions
With Red Wine And Bone Marrow

(For info on future classes open to the cooking professionals and the general public, go to

[Photos by Anne M. Raso]


USA Newspapers said...

Fabulously fresh recipes for every season.

farmerbob said...

Aweson! Bring on the Wagyu Beef.

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