Culinary Debut! Snowcology x Monniker Cafe
Never thought that I would take up this culinary debut!
This has been Snowcology's biggest chapter till date since it was started in December 2014.
In early February, I received an email from Monniker Cafe. As usual, I was skeptical about collaborations especially when capital is involved. I wasn't a professional chef, nor a celebrity chef to begin with, just a passionate home cook. However, after looking at the presentation slides and financial model which they sent me, it looked pretty well done and doable!
Monniker Cafe engages home cooks, private chefs, professional chefs, and entrepreneurs-wannabe to head their kitchen during weekends. To kick start this concept, they roll out a 10 weeks line up of cooks / chefs starting 1 April.
So now, how am I gonna do this myself when the speed I churn out food is home scale?!?
2 persons immediately came to my mind to work on this.
Felix and Jonathan!
Felix was a Junior Sous Chef from a renown restaurant and Jonathan used to be from Shatec though he has been out of kitchen life for the past 12 years.
We accepted it under the theme: Snowcology.
Menu planning, research, trial and errors, food tasting were underway. Throughout the whole process, Jonathan has been very positive, playing the devil's advocate when Felix and I were too engrossed in our food research and recipes. I could feel the stress and pressure as I do not wish to tarnish the reputation of Snowcology and at the same time, wanting to prove that the creations are as good as it looks and live up to the name of "Pretty, good food".
I set out my objective clearly.
Snowcology is all out to impress, profit is not on the menu!
It wasn't easy thinking of the starters, 2 mains to choose from, and the dessert.
Intuitively I settled on doing a salmon for starter, pork belly and pasta as mains, and a baked dessert.
And that's how we came up with the preliminary menu.
Food tasting with Monniker in March went very well indeed, with no comments on the dishes we have prepared! We are truly glad!
We continued to further improve on the food recipes as we still had more than a month after the food tasting to the actual service weekend.
Now, for the actual details on how each dish was inspired, crafted and plated!
Snowy Citrus Ceviche
I remembered doing several ceviche dishes and curing and sousvide salmon has been my forte. I wanted something appetizing to the taste buds for starters. It had to be refreshing, wow, and something diners most likely have not eaten and experienced before. So salmon with something citrus would be fantastic. The type of salmon plays a part as well! I decided on using sashimi grade salmon trout as the flesh was firmer and more suitable for low temperature cooking! The color of the flesh was more vivid as well.