Last week I attended a private cooking demonstration at Williams-Sonoma in Beverly Hills. Chef Michael Voltaggio and his awesome crew were on hand to whip up some delicious bites using modern cooking equipment, including a few devices I’ve only dreamt about having in my own kitchen.
Back in March 2009, during yet another exquisite meal at the Bazaar, Michael motioned me back to the open kitchen so I could watch him plate a new menu dish. On the counter sat a heavy slate plate with salmon (& cucumber “noodles”) under a clear glass dome. As I eagerly watched, Michael grabbed what looked like a laser price scanner and lifted the dome just a bit, then slipped in a small tube which filled the dome with smoke.
Back at my table, the server lifted the dome and a gentle puff of smoke wafted under the lights. The flavors in the salmon were fantastic (yet subtle), especially since the fish was smoked just minutes before being served. That was my first experience with the handheld food smoker aka the “Smoking Gun”, which is made by PolyScience Innovative Culinary Technology.
At the Williams-Sonoma demo, Michael and his team touted the Smoking Gun as well as PolyScience’s Sous Vide Thermal Circulator. I didn’t see the Anti-Griddle (which quickly freezes items) on hand, but was thrilled to see that the Smoking Gun was for sale! After a few glasses of bubbly, Peter gladly bought me one… as well as the additional set of flavored wood chips. My niece and nephew had a BLAST smoking our entire dinner last week, and we were surprised how easy and well the gun worked.
Voltaggio and crew at Williams-Sonoma
Foie Gras and Wagyu Shortrib Bahn Mi: Foie gras terrine with shortrib cooked sous vide, pickled daikon and carrot, fresh cilantro and jalapeno on mini french roll.
Chef Michael Voltaggio cutting the Wagyu Shortrib
Bacon, Egg and Cheese: Slow poached egg with bacon puree and aged white cheddar foam, garnished with mini chives
Chef Cole Dickinson making the Bacon, Egg and Cheese (note the Thermal Circulator filled with eggs).
Coconut Shrimp (Tom Kha): Poached and smoked shrimp skewered with pipettes filled with tom kha consomme, garnished with puffed wild rice and mini thai basil, lime zest
Chef Klein De Bow making the Coconut Shrimp
Lox, Bagel and Cream Cheese: Salmon smoked and cooked sous vide, cream cheese snow, red onion puree, bagel struesel, tomato heart, caper powder
Chefs Klein De Bow and Adam Cole making the Lox, Bagel and Cream Cheese
Love these “tomato hearts” for the Lox, Bagel and Cream Cheese
Peaches and Burrata: Fresh market peaches with smoked burrata, wild arugula and aged balsamic air
Chef Alexander J. Ramirez making the peaches and burrata
The Smoking Gun!
Unpacking the Smoking Gun (cooking dinner with my niece & nephew). I used my old steamer set for the smoking.
After reading directions
Lighting the Smoking Gun
Getting ready to test on tofu
Smoking Tofu: We (my niece Kindal above) tried all four wood chip flavors on the tofu (Cherrywood, Applewood, Hickory and Mesquite).
My nephew Chace, preparing to smoke grilled vegetables
Hickory and Mesquite for the grilled flank steak. The Smoking Gun was so easy to set up, and most of all… it was FUN!
All Photos Here
339 North Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Williams-Sonoma Event Date: Wed, 9/1/10
Purchase the Smoking Gun at Williams-Sonoma
Chef Voltaggio’s WebSite
The Thermal Immersion Circulator (for Sous Vide Cooking)
Follow Michael Voltaggio on Twitter
Follow Williams-Sonoma on Twitter
Follow PolyScience on Twitter
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The Bazaar by José Andrés
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