It started at Star Chef's ICC 2007. Chef Seiji Yamamoto presented a video where he used a Hawaiian shave ice machine to shave frozen tuna. I was struck by the brilliance and simplicity. I was hooked. Unfortunately shave ice machines are not inexpensive and at the time I was yearning for a Pacojet. The following year we did a dinner with Spike Gjerde at Woodberry Kitchen. While there we were fortunate enough to work with Jay Caragay of Spro Hamden. Jay used to have a shave ice company and, lo and behold, he had a shave ice machine we could use for the dinner. We made rhubarb and lovage shave ice that we topped with olive oil and salt. Now I was really hooked. Unfortunately, at the time Jay was still using his machines for seasonal events and could not part with one. Oh well, I could lust.
As time moved along I became impatient with my inability to produce shave ice and other shaved ingredients. I resorted to using the mandoline to make shaved green gazpacho. It was awesome but it did not create the long ribbons of ice that I was searching for. This did not stop me and we continued to shave ingredients like strawberry ice cream. This year I was down in Baltimore with Bonjwing visiting Spike and Jay. Our conversation naturally turned to the shave ice machine and the shaved ice coffee Jay should be making (hint hint) at his place in the summertime. Then it transitioned to the few machines Jay still had and whether I could borrow one for a bit. To my delight, Jay happily obliged. I left Baltimore amped on coffee and with a shave ice machine in the back of the car. Our first frozen concoction was shaved ice lemonade. With that under our belt I returned to ice cream. This morning we shaved our lemon curd and ginger ice cream into ribbons. And I smiled.
July 17, 2009