Archives for category: Chef John Shook

The first all-foie gras dinner I attended was in October 2011 at Animal and ever since that dinner my love for foie gras has only grown. In fact, I’ll be attending another foie gras dinner on Monday, May 21 at Son of a Gun. So far this has definitely been my favorite all-foie gras dinner. All the dishes were creative and incredibly delicious and it surpassed the high expectations I had.

Oysters, Oyster Shell Gelee, Foie Gras Terrine, Rye Toast, Camembert (Chef Ludo Lefebvre)

Powdered Terrine, Celery Root baked in Salt & Wild Fennel Branch, Coffee, Oro Blanco (Chef Michael Voltaggio)

Foie Gras Soup, Black Pepper Crackers, Seared Foie Gras, Baby Turnips (Chef Roland Passot)
A simple foie gras dish cooked perfectly and omg, that soup. Grace and I were jokingly saying that she should go to the kitchen with her cup and say “please sir, I want some more”.

Foie Gras Beignet, Coca-Cola Caramel, Corn Mayo (Chef Ludo Lefebvre)
Um, so… I had to literally shove the whole beignet in my mouth fast since my dinner companions were greedily eyeing it. I’m obsessed with beignets so of course, if you put foie gras in it my obsession multiplies by 100. Everyone at the table said this was one of the best dishes that they’ve ever had. A bold statement since we all eat a lot.

Foie Gras Ssam, Rhubarb Char-Siu, Herbs, Green Curry, Peanuts (Chefs Vinny Dotolo & John Shook)
This was a favorite at the first foie gras dinner at Animal so I was very excited to see it again. The flavors were exactly the same and it was just as delicious as the first time.

Beef Rossini “Tongue in Cheek” (Chef Michael Voltaggio)

Foie Gras Icebox Cake, Fermented Raspberry, Citrus, Yogurt, Hazelnut (Chefs Vinny Dotolo & John Shook)
I need this to be my wedding cake.

Foie Gras Night at Animal // 435 N. Fairfax Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90048 // 323.782.9225

xox Joanna

Animal
435 North Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 782-9225
www.animalrestaurant.com
Dinner: Friday, 10/14/2011

Not to sound completely ungrateful, but lately I’ve gotten a bit tired of dining out. Honestly, it’s the same old stuff on the menu. Some kind of hamachi with jalapeno and a citrus, the same trendy pork belly (I enjoy pork belly quite a bit, but tasting 20 different kinds of pork belly at a food event gets boring fast). It was getting to a point where I was contemplating going on a detox, because everything I was eating was predictable and boring. Of course, just as I was seriously planning out a week-long detox, Chef Ludo Lefebvre with Chefs John Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Animal) teamed up for an 8-course foie gras dinner and completely blew my mind and taste buds away.

Despite the $175 per person (additional $50 for wine pairing) price, the event was very popular and successful. The day that phone lines opened, a friend and I were dialing non-stop on 2 phones each for a few hours. After hundreds of phone calls, we realized we were supposed to leave a message. Thankfully, I received a phone call back and snagged the earliest reservation time left at 12:30 AM.

Marble Foie Gras Terrine, Proscuitto, Fennel, Yogurt, Honey, Bruleed Figs
A great, “light” start to the meal, the sweetness of the figs, yogurt, and honey balanced out the creamy foie gras terrine well. I’m a fan of terrines so I was definitely left wanting more of this dish.

Foie Gras Crudo, Dates, Lemon Confit, Black Ash Brioche, Mushrooms
A similar dish (Foie Gras Crudo, Raw Mushrooms, Grapes, Brioche, Hazelnut Oil) was served at LudoBites 007 and it was one of our group’s favorite dishes so I was excited for another taste. This was another “light” foie gras dish and it worked perfectly with a little bit of lemon confit and date to add a hint of sweetness to every bite.

Smoked Foie Gras, Veal Tongue, Pumpernickel, Crab Apple
One of the heavier dishes of the evening, but very delicious. The veal tongue was cooked perfectly with a slight crispy outer texture and even though it was a bit salty, the creamy, smoked foie gras balanced out the saltiness of the dish.

Foie Gras Ssam, Herbs, Peanuts, Green Curry, Bibb Lettuce, Plum Char Siu
I’m very familiar with ssam (means “wrap” in Korean) and often have it during Korean BBQ meals. There were no Korean flavors here and instead, Vietnamese flavors were very prominent. I love slight, spicy kicks to my dishes and the Siracha that accompanied this dish added that perfectly. It was a very unique combination that the whole table enjoyed.

Steamed Foie Gras, Cabbage, Mustard Ice Cream, Duck Fat Potato, Juniper Berries
The foie gras was steamed perfectly and with just the cabbage, it didn’t offer much flavor. But the combination of everything on the plate added a hint of sweet and sour to the dishes that I quite enjoyed.

Roasted Foie Gras, Cheeseburger Flavors, Benton’s Bacon
I love a good cheeseburger and absolutely loved that this foie gras dish had cheeseburger flavors. It was definitely a more upscale, richer version of my usual cheeseburger. I also loved that there was a beer pairing with this dish, which definitely gave it more of a good old fashion cheeseburger vibe.

Liquid Foie Gras Agnolotti, Corn, Black Truffle
The agnolotti were cooked al dente and lightly covered in a rich, flavorful sauce. I loved the “pop” from every bite and thought the liquid foie gras filling was very inventive.

Brownie Sundae, Foie Gras Chantilly, Caramel, Vanilla Ice Cream
The perfect ending to a delicious meal. A simple, brownie sundae made more interesting with some foie gras chantilly. I was beyond stuffed by the time dessert came out, but I was determined to eat every bite of this last dish and almost licked it clean.

Throughout the 8-course, I savored every, rich, unique, and delicious bite. Every time a dish was taken away, a part of me wanted to cry because that was one dish closer to the end of the meal. This dining experience was honestly one of my favorite meals and very memorable. The sale of foie gras will be banned in California in July 2012 (please sign the petition to get rid of the ban) so I definitely plan on eating my share until then and even planning on holding an underground foie gras party (think Boardwalk Empire Prohibition scene).

xox -

Joanna

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