Sunday, June 22, 2008

Supper Club with Randy Rucker

Randy Rucker cooks at home

Chef Randy Rucker held a supper club at his house last week. Details of the dinner are already on posts by She eats and I'm Never Full. I will just add a few notes and photos.

Rucker may make supper club an ongoing event. Details probably will be posted on his blog. His cooking is also available through his private chef service, Tenacity.

Even when he started laidback manor in his 20s, Rucker was possibly the most experimental and creative chef in Houston. Although his technique and experimentation are still apparent, he now seems to focus more on highlighting ingredients.

Rucker prizes most the ingredients that he grows himself. He led me around his yard/garden with great enthusiasm, pointing to ingredient after ingredient that I have never heard of, inviting me to nibble on various leaves. Perhaps because of the season, he seemed particularly interested in herbs.

All of his dishes reflected pure, intense flavors. His plating is artistry.

These are just a handful of photos:

cured rainbow trout in yusu with microbasil, saffron, Korean chili threads

tilefish tiradito (Peruvian ceviche) with lemon verbena, fennel blossoms (the intensely licorice-flavored yellow blossoms) and kimchee consomme

Peach, komatsusma lettuce, lime-eucalyptus emulsion, and fenugreek meringue (the crunchy white tube)

Compressed pork (a wild hog killed by Rucker's friend) with japanese cucumber and sauce ravioli (a sweet coca cola-flavored sauce) - my second favorite dish of the night


I did not get a good shot of my favorite dish of the night, but She Eats did. It was a vichyssoise made from potatoes that had been soaked in pig fat and then smoked in a large smoker. The vichyssoise was poured over crab and dashi and topped with a garlic flower, which really did taste like garlic.

To end the evening, Randy served an wonderfully strange, intense drink made from herbs that had been fermented for 3 weeks in this jar.

Like everything else, it was a thing of beauty.

UPDATE: Another supper club is planned for July 10. Details here.

8 comments:

sheeats said...

I love that you got a picture of the "moonshine" ingredients. Intense-looking stuff, wasn't it? :)

Matt K. said...

Wow, the food looks amazing. Have you heard anything about Chef Randy getting back into the restaurant game or do you think he will just continue with Tenacity for the time being? I never had a chance to eat at laidback manor but always heard great things about it and look forward to trying some of his creative dishes.

Thanks for providing such a great blog to visit for interesting critiques on the Houston dining scene.

Matt

neverfull said...

ditto to what K said.

yeah, the "moonshine" was made with vodka and sparkling wine, my 2 favorite things to drink.

rr said...

thanks to everyone for their nice words...

round #2 is just around the corner...

anonymouseater said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rr said...

those red things on the tiradito and on the canape were both korean pepper threads

anonymouseater said...

sheeats: the "herbal drink" was excellent. Why can't I buy anything that tastes like that?

matt: I'm not sure about Chef Randy's plans. For now, his projects are Tenacity and the supper club. I imagine he would get back in the restaurant game if the situation was right. But he seems very happy and excited about what he is doing. Watch his site for details on round 2.

neverfull: and herbs.

rr: There is no need to thank me. I thank you for a wonderful dinner! Also, I corrected my post to reflect the true nationality of the peppers. Thanks.

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