On Friday night, I was standing at the counter, watching Chef Patlazhan meticulously plate this fifth course while still munching on a plate of his fourth course, when it dawned upon me- How did I get so lucky to stand in my shoes at that moment? I had the best of both worlds- I played food photographer, got a chance to sample all six courses, and even gave samples of baresoaps away to the guests. I had such a great time, and the experience has made me realize that I really enjoy photographing the story behind the food rather than eating it.
My goal was to capture the process and the work behind each course. It’s impressive that Chef Patlazhan was able to churn out six courses for a crowd of 12 in one night. It took him three days to prepare for this event, but even still, each course took a good 20-30 min to prepare and plate. The plating process is a precise art, flourished with vibrant greens and edible flowers. For $80 a seat, this is a steal. On the way out, a dinner guest proclaimed this to be one of the best meals he’s ever had, with food on par with Per Se. I’ve never been to Per Se (clearly that guy has), so I can’t tell if he was exaggerating, but that’s one compliment to be proud of, if true.
This dinner party was hosted by the gracious Tamora in her gorgeous Midtown West apartment. It was spacious for a table of 12, and better yet, there was plenty of counter space with bright lights, making the photographing super, super easy.
Six Course Tasting Menu
Peach/ Pumpernickel/ Mint/ Tabasco/ Olive Oil
Baby Beets/ Figs/ Ruby Grapefruit/ Mustard Green/ Cocoa/ Wild Rice / Mustard Yogurt
Egg Yolk Gnocchi/ Brown Butter Mushroom/ Hay/ Garlic Chive/ Peas/ Crème Fresh
Artic Char/ Corn/ Israeli Cous Cous/ Red Pepper/ Meyer Lemon/ Yogurt
Short Ribs/ Black Garlic/ Piquillo/ Mushroom/ Horseradish/ Barley Wild Mushroom
Deconstructed Apple Pie
My favorites of the night were the second, fourth, and fifth course. Chef Patlazhan makes good use of sous vide and liquid nitrogen in his dishes. In the fifth course, he sous vide the short ribs for THREE days in a ~136 degree F water bath. It was by far the most tender and flavorful short ribs I’ve ever tasted. Really blew my mind.
You can find out more about Chef Patlazhan at his website. While his dinner parties are infrequent (once every couple of months), he’s available for private events.