y4pcT1JaIwGptQJPO6l_mZmgv34 tiffin unboxed: February 2014

Tiffin Unboxed Has a New Home! http://tiffinunboxed.com

Hello reader.

Let me wish you a very happy 2014. It's hard to believe we are one month down already.

In order to streamline this blog, and make it easier to find and discover, I've relaunched it at a new address: tiffinunboxed.com

Should you be receiving this message, you have somehow not been automatically redirected to the new URL. Please note the new address and update bookmarks as needed.

If you are subscribed to an RSS feed, nothing will change. You will continue to receive new posts. The only difference is that the previous site address will not be updated with new content

Over the past 2 months I've been implementing many lifestyle changes, some intentionally and some that just came up unexpected. More on that later.

As a result I've realized that in order to continue delivering with the quality and frequency I'd prefer, which I've slowly getting farther away from, moving to more of a micro-blogging format makes more sense. Easier to write and easier to read.

If the topic and passions warrant, there might still be some long, detailed, image heavy posts. However, instead of piling my electronic folder full of topics and ideas that I have not yet found time to turn into posts, or keep deferring because they are not as timely as they once were, I'd love to more quickly get the ideas out.

As always, thank you for reading. When I began the blog in 2010 I never expected to exchange ideas with readers and still enjoy blogging so much. Your comments and feedback are always welcome.


Return to the Multi-Course Meal at Chef Curtis Stone's Maude

Chef/Owner Curtis Stone's new Beverly Hills restaurant, Maude, is described in its website as:

"One key ingredient. Nine courses. Twenty-five spots. My dream little restaurant."

For me, as a diner, it was and is my dream restaurant too. It's inspiring, mouth-watering food, intimate location, open kitchen superb service, and mostly, the passion evident in every little detail, just blew me away.

Open for prix-fixe 9-course dinners featuring a monthly "seasonal story", a special ingredient, every seat in the room becomes a chef table experience. 

I was very fortunate to partake in the opening preview, or "friends and family" dinners, thanks to a kind friend. Not only, that but Chef Curtis Stone cooked that night himself. 

The lineup of chefs hail from the likes of legendary restaurants like  AlineaThe French LaundryelBulli, and Joel Rubochon. Just being able to eat their food in one place is impressive in itself.

My excitement was only compounded by the fact that legendary food writer, Ruth Reichl dined at the adjacent table. You can find her spot on write up from the evening over here. Curtis Stone is disarmingly even more charming and handsome as he appears on TV (Top Chef Masters, among other shows). 

Being a celebrity chef I assumed he owned restaurants all over the world. However, Maude, inspired by his grandmother who taught him how to cook, is his first. 

Theme: citrus family

Our star ingredient of the evening, and continuing through February, is citrus - finger limes, Buddha's hands, satsumas, yuzus, blood oranges and more.

The meal began with a succession of snacks - kusshi oysters topped with osetra caviar and rose cava gelee, lime sorbet with cara cara orange segments, crispy mussel with orange aioli, onion bhaji with cilantro cream.

Following came a divine carrot and smoked parsnip soup topped with a piece of crispy serrano jamon, a sublime Garden Salad with nasturtium pesto, pickled onions, frisee and dressed with orange reduction as well as a buttermilk carraway dressing.

Chef Stone grated a dehydrated, cured duck yolk tableside for Duck Duck Goose, a duck and swiss chard raviolo dressed with smoked goose fat and a finger lime beurre blanc.

Each course resulted in the table declaring it their favorite course, but throughout the meal, each course was topped in flavor.

One of my favorites was the spiny lobster crudo with watermelon radish, crimson turnip cream and brioche.

One of the most exciting chicken dishes ever, was this chicken terrine with sunchokes and mushrooms, pain perdu and Djon mustard ice cream. The textures melded flawlessly into a taste explosion.

One of the ultimate table favorites was the comfort food plate of Snake River Farms Beef, with a melt in your mouth beef cheek perched on top of a crisp potato cube, broccoli, rosti and rutabega. The dollops of citrus sauce shone through this flavorful plate of food.

Even when you think you are way past nine courses, a most elegant parade of cheese and desserts come out - Abbaye de Belloc cheese, citrus mostarda, semolina crackers, warm freshly baked orange madeleines with salted caramel and a gorgeous blend of dulcey cremeux, lemon curd, yuzu sorbet and hemp tuiles.

The vintage tableware, including a few pieces from his grandmother throughout the space, adds a colorful touch to the expected white plates.

There is a lovely sense of simplicity in not having to choose from a menu, and its beer and wine (no cocktail) choices. After the meal the menu is brought out to you.

We lingered for some time enjoying the ambiance of classic furniture, stunning peonies, the Vegemite jar on the shelf and the wonderful staff, before ending a superb evening.

For reservations, click here.

Maude on Urbanspoon