Courtesy of Chef Amadeus

Chef Amadeus is a large man – not in stature, but definitely
in personality. I’ve been following his radio show ever since considering going
to culinary school (insert post), and I listen carefully to the advice he
sometimes gives to his callers. He’s based in Jacksonville, FL, now, but he had
spent some of his earlier culinary years in Seattle. I was able to catch him
during his last visit to the area.

We sat down together at Miller’s Guild, in the Hotel Max.
Chef Jason Wilson, owner of MG, is known for his creative food items, so I was
curious about his breakfasts. I wasn’t disappointed with my Coffeflour® Waffle
with millet. Puffy, slightly tart, hearty, and dark brown colored, the waffle
was filling and thick. Chef had the quiche du jour and a side salad. Coffee
with milk for me and tea with honey for Chef.
As we started talking, I started jotting down key wisdom
bombs that he kept dropping. We briefly discussed our food, and I described
Coffeeflour, a product I had the opportunity to preview a few years ago when it
was being developed. We started throwing ideas around of what other
opportunities exist for our breakfast items and others, too. Early in our chat,
he looked at me and asked me the thesis question.
“What if chefs got together and brainstormed? What kinds of
great ideas would we generate?”
Chef continued by pointing out ideas that occurred to him
while he reviewed the menu, looked around the dining room, and studied the
giant plancha that Chef Jason, Chef
Kelly, and a few of the other founding team members had built. The questions
poured in:
Think of a basic dish, like a plain scallop. How
would you prepare it? What if you grilled it on Chef Jason’s plancha?
What other wood could you use in the fire?
Can you cook directly on the wood? On the coals?
Would you wrap the food in foil or clay to protect it from direct contact?
Look at Jamaican grilling methods for jerk
chicken – they grill directly on larger wood sticks placed above a fire to
impart a unique flavor to the meat surfaces.
If you wrapped the meat in clay, you’re making a
version of a Beggar’s Chicken
How can you harness the flavor from the smoke?
What other non-traditional foods can you smoke?
How do you use smoke as an accent?
Think of how scotch makers capture the peaty
smokiness in some scotches
How about dried and dehydrated foods? What can
you dehydrate that will change the format of the food but keep the spirit of
the dish?
Chef is dehydrating all sorts of ingredients to
really challenge the traditional or conventional dishes that we eat without
really reflecting on the components – until they’re made differently
Can you grind everything that you dehydrate into
a powder, if the product is dried out enough?
I ran out of space in my pages when I was writing, and I
write fairly neatly. It seems there’s no stopping the idea stream!

Tomorrow: a different structure of an idea stream.