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I love Food. Cooking it. Eating it. Experiencing it. As a result, that's what this blog has evolved into: A journal of my gastronomical journeys abroad, as well as my culinary creativity at home. I hope you enjoy what I have to say, and I'd love to hear your comments... Cheers!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Aloha Means, Congrats!

What a treat last night... my wife and I planned on stopping in to Roy's to pay our respects for his 10th Anniversary celebration in Tampa. What was intended as a brief 'hello' and a quick drink turned into an incredible eating experience. Roy Yamaguchi, in his inimitable fashion, was more than gracious as the host. He works the room like a champ, and even though his amiable and talented staff will tell you he begrudgingly spends most of his time in the front of the house these days, the menu on this night serves notice that the guy still has the flair to create spectacular food in all its fusion glory...

We were first presented with a sample of Yellowfin Tuna with a crushed pistachio & rice cracker crust, which was like a perfect meld of his typically amazing sesame seared ahi tuna and a more substantial tuna steak. It rested on top of a butternut and leek pave which you could have sopped up by itself! Next to it on the plate was a Napa Cabbage pillow filled with Duck Confit, Bok Choy, & a Foie Gras ganache. Holy Taste Sensations, Bat Man! So many different, distinct flavors... just amazing.

Next came a sampling of two hearty offerings: first, sliced Wagyu Beef with a Morel & Shitake Ragout, and Porcini Buerre Blanc, served with a Parmesan Yukon Gold Mash. The beef was rich and the mushrooms the perfect complement, bordering on decadent. Next... my first time tasting Veal Cheeks. It was served Marsala style, atop a Poblano Mash. Wow! You could sense this was a bit of a stretch outside of Roy's comfort zone, but that is when a chef like Roy is at his best. His excitement about these components came through in the dish itself. Outstanding...

And just when we thought the joy ride was over... dessert! An light, airy version of Pumpkin Cheesecake with a moist graham cracker crust and a (pleasantly surprising) side of glazed, plump cranberries to add a touch of tartness to the plate. What a way to end a meal.

My thanks, as always, to one of the people I hold in highest esteem in the business. Roy Yamaguchi is a testament to the fact that talent can get you where you dream of going, but equal measures of kindness will keep you there, and take you farther even... the Aloha spirit is alive and well at Roy's!

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