The Grand Gelinaz! Shuffle Two

Dinner – Thursday, November 10, 2016

40 chefs from around the world (naturally, all part of the “cool kids club”), swapping kitchens for one night of service – welcome to the Grand Gelinaz Shuffle, round 2. For the diner, the guest chefs are anon until you’re seated – a dangerous game of Russian Roulette, given the prices of some of the meals. This evening, while Dominique Crenn was off dazzling the Thais at Nahm in Bangkok, her atelier was taken over by Mitsuharu Tsumura, of Lima’s Maido. When we visited Peru in 2014, we hit a number of places (three of which I blogged about here, here and here), but not Maido, so this was an opportune way to experience his food.

Squid ink rice cracker, plantain, chorizo

Rice cracker, toro tartare, kewpie gel
Octopus, olive tofu

Kampachi, corn, leche de tigre

Lobster, abalone, frozen leche de tigre

“Catacaos”
Rice tamale, prawn bisque

Named after a town in Peru famous for its gastronomy, this was my dish of the night. A sticky rice “tamale” filled with a well-cooked prawn, warm and chewy – an interesting take on mochi. The hot, concentrated bisque was briny and sweet, redolent of shrimp shells. I’d have liked a few more of these dumplings.

Yucca soba
The noodles had excellent texture, springier than the traditional buckwheat – almost like shirataki. The tsuyu was based on leche de tigre – the third and final appearance of Peru’s iconic “tiger’s milk” on the menu.

Toro, avocado, bonito, quinoa crisps

“Fish sandwich”
Fried black cod, steamed bun, rocoto tartar sauce

Black cod misoyaki
Candied almonds, porcini powder, apple gelee

Snake River Farms wagyu short rib
Potatoes, crispy garlic, cauliflower

“Mussel”
Lucuma, tangerine, cacao

Atelier Crenn’s talented pastry chef Juan Contreras came up with this whimsical take on a mussel. The shell was cast from Peruvian single-origin chocolate, and filled with lucuma ice cream and frozen coconut. Underneath, a tangerine sorbet and cacao foam. I quite enjoyed this dessert, particularly the sourness of the sorbet balanced against the cacao foam (we have been big fans of cocoa husk tea ever since visiting Peru). Note the rocky serving vessel, which was actually made of sugar – very nice.

Gelinaz turns dinner into global performance art, but the time constraints of the event put a lot of pressure on the chefs and their host kitchens – some rise to the occasion better than others. Our meal was mediocre – this was a gamble that we lost. I am breaking my long-standing pattern of posting only about great meals, as I want a reminder of this costly experience. Perhaps next time (if we bite again?) will be better…

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