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Monday, May 7, 2012

Hanging With Some great Chefs, Updated (Again)


I needed to add a couple pics because there was one I really liked, and the other is from a fun place we went to for dinner.

Below is a shot of a Hemingway Daiquiri from La Florida Bar in Havana, Cuba, that we had the other night, made from rum, fresh squeezed lime juice, simple syrup, and maraschino liqueur.  It was excellent and not too sweet either.  Hemingway apparently liked a version made with grapefruit juice, but I liked this plenty.  You just can't beat lime.

This shot is an homage to the first professional photography shoot I ever attended.  I was a young copywriter and had to beg to go.  It was with Grant Peterson who is a master at using studio light to mimic natural light.  His specialty was using pieces of scrap glass that he'd pick up from artisans all over Manhattan.  Then he'd shoot a high-powered light through it to achieve a dappled effect much like natural sunlight.  It had a big affect on me.

This is just pure, late-day Arizona sunlight coming through an ordinary window.  I thought it looked cool.

We also went to Kazimierz World Wine Bar in Old-town Scottsdale for some light bites.  It's a speakeasy without a sign.  All you see is a door with a nod to everyone's favorite Latin phrase In Vino Veritas.

I went back to Daily Dose and had the exact same thing I had last weekend when I first rolled into town, only this time I brought my camera.  And since it was also Cinco De Mayo and Kentucky Derby day, I asked for a tequila mojito as a way to bridge the two together.  The bartender looked at me like I had three heads, but seemed pretty interested once I told her how damn good it was.

I got a kick out of the two girls next to me.  They looked about college age and were drinking mimosas.  You can see the bottle of champagne they were served.  But also notice they left the juice part of it untouched (two little glass containers partially obscured by the napkin).  Hilarious.  Then one of them paid the check with a $100 bill.  Money to burn, baby.


Here are some recent additions to the food and drink fest here in the Valley Of The Sun.

Classic cocktail:

The Last Word, rediscovered by Murray Stenson from the the Zig Zag Cafe in Seattle.

Gin, maraschino liqueur, Chartreuse, lime juice . . .

Chicken Marsala with pancetta and mushrooms with pan roasted carrots and courgettes gratinées.

Classic cocktail:

The Jack Rose, from the pre-Prohibition Waldorf-Astoria bar.

Applejack brandy, lemon juice, grenadine, Peychaud's bitters . . .

Radiatori with shrimp, chive butter, butternut squash, and mushrooms

Whoa, 4:50am, time for work.

The flipside is that it ends at 1:00pm!


It's a challenge waking up at 5am here in Scottsdale to get ready for trading.  What's been helping me for the last several months is that I've been trying to eat my biggest meal at lunch and then very lightly at dinner.  It's really been helping me wake up much clearer and easier.  I try not to drink coffee much, so I don't get to rely on that.

But the biggest challenge is that my cousin and his wife are such great chefs.  I'm getting to spend a few days with them before they leave me to watch over their house, and it's putting my plan in jeopardy, ugh!

They don't just throw some meals together.  They use recipes.  And not just any recipes, but recipes they've perfected and tweaked and made all their own.

First we start with drinks using things like homemade grenadine and homemade falernum, which is a prerequisite to many rum recipes.  (I'll have to add some photos)

Then we move into the food . . .

Pictured here are fish tacos with pickled onions, chipotle mayonnaise, and tomatillo salsa.  That's not just "fish" but pan-seared mahi mahi with chili powder, cumin, garlic, onion powder, and cayenne.  And it's paired with an Arizona coleslaw with avocado, cumin, and jicama.  Get it?

I could have used a food stylist, because there's a bunch of fish beneath the cabbage and the tomatillo salsa.   Trying to eat light portions is really tough!

Last night it was grilled chicken over a California-style orange salad with Marston's San Pasqual salad dressing, roasted walnuts, and dried cranberries.  OMG!

This scene beckons when I'm trying to work.  Good thing the market closes at 1pm out here.

Look for this post to expand as the week goes on.  This is really fun, and I'm lucky to have such great hosts.  A big Thank You to you both!

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