y4pcT1JaIwGptQJPO6l_mZmgv34 tiffin unboxed: Fig Restaurant and VOSS Water's Chef's Tasting Menu

Fig Restaurant and VOSS Water's Chef's Tasting Menu

VOSS Water recently held a media dinner at Fig Restaurant in that Fairmont Miramar Hotel at Santa Monica, a tasting menu created by Chef Ray Garcia along with wine pairings and of course, VOSS artesian water from Norway.

Voss Glass_Sparkling
The purpose of this event was to bring awareness to Voss Foundation's 31 Days to Make a Difference Campaign, which launches on World Water Day, 3/22/12. The campaign furthers the foundation's mission of providing access to pure, clean drinking water to communities in Sub-Saharan Africa.

These iconic bottles appear in many distinctive restaurants, hotels and in the hands of the most discriminating water drinkers around the world.

The pure, clean taste that results from low mineral content ensures that the water tastes as great as the beautifully designed bottle.

During the meal, guests stayed hydrated and kept our palates clean with VOSS water served alongside champagne and wines.

The event began at Fig's bar, with a signature grapefruit basil cocktail and excellent hors d'oeuvres.

Voss Fig Mar12_1 appetizer b
Voss Fig Mar12_1 appetizer a

My favorites were the chicken liver pate, beats with goat cheese and brittle and salmon/caviar/cheese rolls.

Voss Fig Mar12_1 Fig interior

A selection of African handicrafts up for auction to support Voss Foundations' cause was also displayed on the table.

Voss Fig Mar12_1 table guests a

After some time the group proceeded to Fig's private dining room, containing a lovely round table with elegant place settings.

Voss Fig Mar12_1 menu
Voss Fig Mar12_Chef Ray Garcia

With champagne pouring, Chef Garcia joined us to present the 1st course, and all others. His style, immediately evident in this dish, consists of farm fresh, seasonal, local ingredients prepared to highlight each item.

Voss Fig Mar12_1st course hen egg truffle asparagus a
Voss Fig Mar12_1st course hen egg truffle asparagus b
Voss Fig Mar12_1st course hen egg truffle asparagus c

The 1st course, a Glaum Egg Ranch's poached hen egg with shaved truffles and asparagus, really invoked a feeling of spring and summer. It served as a light beginning to progressively solid courses.

The beautiful, runny yolk became the sauce for the dish, which I happily mopped up with the crouton and asparagus.

I love when I find produce on a plate I've never seen. Chef Garcia introduced the wild greens on the plate, resembling lily pads, as miner's lettuce.

Voss Fig Mar12_2nd course rabbit loin croquette ribs offal a
Voss Fig Mar12_2nd rabbit course loin croquette ribs offal b

Our 2nd course provided another thing I love to see on a menu, one item prepared multiple ways.

In this case, rabbit prepared 4 ways. The plate included a loin wrapped in bacon, offal rolled into greens, a rack of ribs and a croquette. All components of the dish stood out strong in flavor, although I found the loin a bit too tender in texture.

The crispy, sweet, fresh peas and puree, along with jus and greens added a perfect fresh element to the plate. The English peas from McGrath Family Farm, especially, could not have been more delightful.

This plate really shows the diversity and creativity of the chef.

Voss Fig Mar12_3rd course Sonoma lamb harissa olives garbanzos leeks merguez lamb heart a
Voss Fig Mar12_3rd course Sonoma lamb harissa olives garbanzos leeks merguez lamb heart b

By now, quite full, it surprised me how exquisite the 3rd course looked and tasted - Sonoma lamb with harissa sauce, olives, fresh garbanzo beans, baby leeks, carrots, house-made merguez sausage and a slice of lamb heart.

The lamb could not have been any more perfectly cooked, juicy and flavorful. Once again his choice of vegetables, and their freshness provided great balance to the meat. I believe he prepared the garbanzos two ways.

I loved the North African touches and spicy kick that the harissa chili sauce and the lamb merguez sausage added. Chef Garcia's continued theme of serving meat in various ways on one plate really worked well a second time.

Voss Fig Mar12_4th course blackberry pavlova vanilla mouse blackberry sorbet

Voss Fig Mar12_4th course wine
The 4th course, a wisely chosen, light dessert of a Pudwill Farms' blackberry pavlova with a light mouse, airy meringue puffs and blackberry sorbet.

I enjoyed the whimsical appearance of the dessert along with the fresh fruity flavors that cleansed and sweetened our palates.

The dessert wine served with dessert also highlighted its flavors.
  After the meal we spent some time introducing ourselves, meeting each other and also chatting with the chef.

The all-women group definitely provided unique perspectives and food backgrounds. It was also a pleasant surprise to encounter someone I knew already, a couple of people whose work I read and meet new people.

Voss Fig Mar12_1 table guests b
Voss Fig Mar12_1 table guests c
Voss Fig Mar12_Fig entrance gift bags

At the evening's end we received gift bags full of useful items to take home.

My big take-away from this evening was learning about VOSS Water's commitment to responsibility in achieving their no carbon footprint goals and providing community support globally to make clean water accessible where it is most needed.

VOSS 31 days promotional banner


Campaign Benefits The Voss Foundation With All Donations Going to
Support Building Wells in Africa

31 Days to Make a Difference is an international campaign designed to communicate the global need for clean drinking water solutions and help us increase awareness of the Voss Foundation which is dedicated to funding this need in Africa.

The 31 Days campaign will nationwide on World Water Day (March 22, 2012) and run through Earth Day (April 22, 2012). By simply texting DROP to 89544 on their U.S mobile phone people can automatically donate $5 to the Give A Drop campaign.

There are more than 300 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa who lack access to clean water. Since 2008, the Voss Foundation has helped construct 32 water access points in five countries, changing the lives of more than 100,000 people in Kenya, Mali, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Liberia. The primary beneficiaries are women, children and adolescent girls, providing meaningful aid at a critical time.

01 Photo Courtesy of Voss Foundation 2009

* This was a hosted event and meal. *

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