As I teased you with my post on the3six5.com on Thursday, PIP Dad and I headed out to Cleveland’s Tyler Village on Wednesday, April 13th for the next Emerging Chefs’ event: Dinner by Design featuring Chef Ellis Cooley from AMP 150.
As a reminder, here is what Emerging Chefs is all about: Emerging Chefs is a Cleveland, Ohio-based firm that specializes in creating distinctive events around emerging chefs, culinary trends, and destination dining experiences.
More on “Dinner by Design”: Chef Cooley is a master of refining elements, mixing ingredients, and crafting the perfect meal, dish and plate. Design is simplicity. Design is complexity. Design affects the senses – it alters your tastes. Please be our guest as we restyle an epic hallway, formerly the lifeblood of the Tyler Elevator Company, transformed into an expressive venue for Chef Cooley’s dynamic culinary designs.
We entered the transformed space, snagged a few glasses of wine and settled into our table. I was excited to see what Chef Cooley would do when given the chance to cook outside of the AMP 150 kitchen.
Lucky for us, we were treated by a guest appearance by Chef Adam Bostwick, the brains behind the menu of the last Emerging Chefs event, ThEATrical. Here’s what was served at the Dinner by Design event:
Amuse by Chef Adam Bostwick: house made bocconcini, tomato leather, pea puree, chorizo oil, micro cilantro:
Thanks to Edsel for his description of all the components of this dish.
1st Course: Yellowtail and Hamichai Crudo: Dill, Apple, Celery, Sesame.
…with a puree of dill and apple, and gelled celery roe. Served with a champagne cocktail with lavender.
2nd Course: Torchon of Foie Gras with “Ice and Snow”, Brioche Funnel Cake.
The “ice”: gelled ice wine. The “snow”: more foie gras. Seriously. Served with Chardonnay.
3rd Course: Pea and Coconut Soup: Marshmallow, Jelly, Tuile, Carrot.
According to Ellis, that carrot jelly was served NOT as planned, but that sometimes happens when you play with your food. Served with Chardonnay.
Intermezzo by Chef Adam Bostwick: “A "tequila" lime wedge made a non-alcohol gelée made with agave nectar, lime, and jalapeño”
Again – thanks Edsel for the dish description.
4th Course: “Black and White”: Bay Scallops, Farro, Squid Ink.
I’ve already requested this to be served with quinoa at the restaurant. Served with Pinot Noir.
5th Course: Herbed Lamb Loin with Chippolini Soubise, Favas, Spice.
Let’s just say that Hans was very regretful hat he didn’t attend after seeing this dish.
Dessert Course: “Bacon, Sour, Apple, Sweet”
Clockwise from the bottom left corner: a dark chocolate truffle, dehydrated honey, milk chocolate panna cotta, bacon tuile, a beet “Sour Patch Kid,” beet and chocolate sauce, and a white chocolate foam. Served with Moscado.
The favorites from the evening included:
The use of molecular gastronomy: Throughout the dinner, it was obvious that there was some PhD level stuff going on back in that kitchen. Chef Cooley put his wide array of molecular gastronomy skills to good use,. These included the spherification of the celery in the first course and the use of maltodextrin (which can turn a high-fat liquid into a powder) the foie gras dish. After the meal, it was wild to hear him tell us about the wide array of neat techniques he used to create a memorable meal.
The Yellowtail and Hamichai Crudo: Speaking of gastronomy, the two types of fish were melded together by something similar to a “protein super glue”. Ellis mentioned to use the product that bound the proteins together, he had to wear gloves or he would have bound his hand together! The technique alone was impressive, but the taste of the dish was just as memorable.
The Pea and Coconut Soup: Who knew that the soup course would blow everyone away? The sweetness from all those veggies didn’t overpower your palate, but was still available if you dug into the marshmellow. I said to Ellis at the end of the evening that he was a way with soups. If you had the mushroom soup at AMP 150, you understand. I then suggested a beet soup – I may have got him thinking about adding a borscht to the menu!
The Bay Scallops: So buttery, those little bites melted in your mouth. While the farro was a bit much for my dad, I think the squid ink is the component he had problems getting past. That said, there wasn’t a single scallop spared at our table. Glad this is on the menu at the restaurant!
Pairing the food with wine selections: While previous event featured signature cocktails, I like the change of pace from those events with the serving of wine. While the selection was limited, I did like the pairing with the food overall.
The transformation of the room throughout the evening: as the sun set, the room grew darker and the vibe took on a nightclub atmosphere. Accented with blue lighting, it made for a fun, hip environment.
The Emerging Chefs leadership and Chef Cooley did a wonderful job taking on a challenging venue. Overall, it was another successful evening filled with tasty food and great conversation. Thanks again for making my dad’s 53rd birthday a memorable one!
Along with my take on my dad’s first foodie experience over at the3six5.com, I encourage you to check out these recaps of Dinner by Design:
- CLEgal’s take on her first Emerging Chefs event
- Brad’s write up on his blog: Cleveland Food and Brews
- Edsel Little awesome photography stream on Flickr
Ready for their next event? On Friday, May 27th, Emerging Chefs will feature Executive Chef Chris Quinn at Mardi Gras en Mai! Get your tickets for the May event by visiting the eventbrite.com site today!
Disclosure: I was provided a media pass to the Dinner by Design event via Emerging Chefs. In return, I agreed to blog about my experience. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.