Day three at Pebble Beach Food & Wine, picking up where Jessica left off at the afternoon cooking demo with Boulevard’s Nancy Oakes and Pamela Mazzola. The scene was certainly no Thomas Keller Jesus-fest, but Oakes’ fan base is a slightly different breed. She certainly commands the respect of a room (albeit a post-spa, wine-hazed one), especially when she cooks up an extremely complicated seared abalone with a slow cooked farm egg, a dish she admitted “was not necessarily to be tried at home.” It required a $900 “circulated egg” machine, a lab apparatus that keeps the egg yolk runny while cooking the white. Intense. There was much debate (most of it between Boulevard chef Ravi Kapur, who sat in the back, prompting Oakes to say, “don’t you have a spa appointment or a wine card or something?”) and Bruce Aidells (Oakes' husband, former owner of Aidells sausage, hovering over Oakes' shoulder throughout the demo) on the dematuration process of egg proteins (Aidells has a Ph.D in biology – he won). Like I said, not a tent revival, a serious culinary demonstration.
So what about Oakes' new restaurant, Prospect? She tells me things are moving along nicely and it’s slated to open in the Spring of 2010. There's signage up already up on Spear and Folsom.
Other noteworthy revelations? Oakes' favorite olive oil. It’s Tenuta Rocchetta Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Sicily. If you wanna cook like they cook at Boulevard, go out and buy some immediately.
Off to the Michelin Stars of L.A throwdown dinner...