Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A.B.C Azul Bizarre Cobaya "Take 21"

Our latest Cobaya experiment took place on December 13, 2011 with super star Chef Joel Huff at Azul at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Brickell Key.  Joel and his crew nailed this dinner from start to finish including outstanding service from the wait staff.

On hand to experience and document our little "underground" Cobaya group was a special guest from the Travel Channel, Andrew Zimmern and his Bizarre Foods crew.  I really enjoyed sitting next to Andrew and discussing each course with him. It was a lot of fun seeing his initial response to each dish and hearing him describe them on camera.  I know the producers were very happy with the footage they obtained in the kitchen.  Hopefully, Chef Huff's skills and the Cobaya experience translate well on TV.  Stay tuned.

As you may recall, I recently wrote about a fantastic meal I had at Azul so I will not go into detail here about the restaurant or the impressive resume of Chef Huff and the kitchen crew.  In a nutshell, I told you that special things were coming out of that kitchen and they did not disappoint the thirty guinea pigs in attendance. Their cutting edge skills were clearly evident in each and every morsel of food.

We were treated to an outstanding meal that tapped into several senses as the menu progressed.  Each dish was visually stunning and texturally wonderful. Chef Huff also successfully incorporated our sense of smell with his aromatic "forest floor" risotto dish which also included one of my favorite scents, the white truffle. Oh and everything tasted even better.

Upon arrival guests were treated to a champagne cocktail created by Chef Huff. It featured a very rare Japanese Peach.  Next up was a liquid nitrogen mojito demonstration by Joel and his sous chef, Brad Kilgore.  I would encourage everyone to check out Brad's blog for a great inside look on some of the food coming out of the Azul kitchen on a daily basis.  This guy is a future star.  If you haven't been to Azul since Joel took over you really need to go and treat yourself to a special meal.

My words could not give this spectacular meal justice so I'm not even going to attempt to.  Hopefully, my iPhone, (flash off Andrew) shots capture it.  Regardless, you can see some fantastic shots from my co-conspirator, Frodnesor  here.

Big thanks to Joel, Brad, Allie and everyone at Azul for making this happen and to my fellow guinea pigs for the continued support.  Special thanks to Andrew and the Bizarre Foods crew for being a part of the Cobaya experience.  

Andrew Zimmern Pre-Cobaya Filming
Azul's Open Kitchen
Brad and Joel preparing Liquid Nitrogen Cocktail
The Cranberry Mojito with Mint Merengue

Santa Barbara Uni Monstera Fruit Sorbet
Pumpkin Sword Tataki, Pickled Squash,
Pumpkin Oil, Spiced Seeds
Beetzanella- 32 Components, Wisconsin Bleu Panna Cotta,
Brioche, Gorgonzola Snow
Smoked Octopus, Cauliflower-Vadouvan Puree,
Burnt Babbaganoush, Crispy Cauliflower Leaves
Carnaroli Risotto, Basil Snails, 63 degree Organic Egg,
Chantrerelles, Nasturtiums on an aromatic "forest floor"
Oh and White Alba Truffles!!!!!
Steamed Turbot, Caramelized Shallot Gremolata,
Artichokes, Sunflowers, Meyer Lemon Puree 
Beef Duo "72" Snake River Farm 72 seconds A9 NY Strip
& 72 hour short rib, Marble Potatas Bravas,
Parsley Root, Castello Vetrano Olive 
out of the shadows... photo credit Frodnesor
"Strawberries" Whipped Sour Orange Curd,
Sesame Toffee Sable, Anise Hyssop
Chef Huff and Andrew "Bizarre" Zimmern
Petit Fours- Milk & Dark Chocolate Ganache,
Tamari Soy Sauce, Olive Oil &
Caramelized White Chocolate Ganache,
Passion Fruit and Clove  
Azul on Urbanspoon

(305) 913-8254
500 Brickell Key Dr
Miami, FL 33131

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