I am in Milwaukee, Wisconsin visiting with chef Justin Carlisle and his team at Ardent restaurant. Our dinner and a workshop combination allows chefs to bring us to them. They take advantage of some continuing education for themselves and their staff, and we have some fun in the kitchen. The inspiration for the dishes for the guest chef dinner begins early on. Stories and ideas are shared. They help shape my perspective of the kitchen and dictate the tenor of the interactions. For this dinner we are busting on Matt Haase of Ardent, who believes hot dogs should only be served in a bun. We are stretching the idea of hot dogs and beans to include ring bologna and bean curd. The bean curd will be braised in baked bean sauce. The ring bologna will be scored and seared like foie gras. And mustard will, of course, make an appearance. Letting the environment catalyze creative thoughts allows for great discoveries in the kitchen and anywhere else.
January 17, 2005