Saturday, May 26, 2012

PRIX FIXE GOURMET VEGAN DINNER BY SEABIRDS TRUCK & CHEF JOE YOUKHAN'S TASTING SPOON

Last night the geniuses from the kitchens of the Seabirds Truck and Chef Joe Youkhan's Tasting Spoon teamed-up to celebrate the season with 'A Taste of Spring' all-vegan, all-amazing, four-course prix fixe dinner at Nekter Juice Bar in Costa Mesa. Using the freshest seasonal ingredients - from fava beans to artichokes to strawberries and everything in between - the menu played with every part of your palette and was a fantastic, healthy & delicious way to kick-off the long Memorial Day Weekend!


I attended the dinner with my husband, English author Tim Watson, who is the kinda' guy who can be found standing in front of his barbeque 12 months of the year grilling large slabs of every kind of meat imaginable. The two of us are big meat-eaters. So, in my mind, this was going to be an adventure - breaking out of our shells to try something new. A vegan dinner for Tim & me. Were we going to need to stop by the In 'n' Out drive-thru on the way home? Hmm....  WELL, I'm happy to report that after just the first course our excitement grew. We devoured all four courses of this amazing food, to the point where if licking your plate would have been acceptable etiquette, we would have. And at the end, we were stuffed. No drive-thrus required!  Dang, these chefs are good.


The dinner was hosted at Nekter Juice Bar in Costa Mesa & the lovely folks from Nekter offered a juice tasting as part of the experience.  Ever had cashew milk before? Neither had I! And man, oh man, it is GOOD. I was also a huge fan of their juice called 'The Sublime' - accurately-named if you ask me - this tangy mix of Lime, Orange, Parsley, Kale, Spinach and Cucumber was a refreshing & invigorating addition to the menu.

Right: 'The Sublime' - Lime, Orange, Parsley, Kale, Spinach and Cucumber.
Chef Joe handled courses 1 & 2, while the Seabirds were in charge of courses 3 & 4. Below, feast your eyes on the entirely-plant-based culinary magic that unfolded last night out of these two kitchens-on-wheels. And, be sure to follow both Seabirds Truck & Chef Joe Youkhan's Tasting Spoon on Facebook & Twitter for their regular schedule updates so you can catch them on the road around Orange County!

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in the kitchen of Chef Joe Youkhan's Tasting Spoon
Chef Joe prepares course 1: Corn 2 Ways: Grilled Mexican 'Street Corn' with cumin scented crema & raw almond 'cotija' and Fresh Corn Polenta scented with white truffle & topped with a fava bean succotash
Corn 2 Ways: (left) Grilled Mexican 'Street Corn' with cumin scented crema & raw almond 'cotija' and (right) Fresh Corn Polenta scented with white truffle & topped with a fava bean succotash
Chef Joe prepares course 2: Coriander Roasted Baby Carrots & Artichokes with a Rice Crepe, Spinach, Pine Nut Currant Gastrique & Lotus Root
Left: The Carrots & Artichokes are placed | Right: Fried Lotus Root
Finishing touches by Chef Joe before the plates are served to guests
Coriander Roasted Baby Carrots & Artichokes with a Rice Crepe, Spinach, Pine Nut Currant Gastrique & Lotus Root
The ladies of Seabirds prepare course 3: (Above) Heirloom Tomato Salad with fresh Thyme
Course 3: Dijon Portobello Steak with romanesco mash, heirloom tomato salad, Nekter cashew milk beurre blanc & fresh herbs
Inside the Seabirds Truck as the Seabirds Prepare Course 3: Dijon Portobello Steak with romanesco mash, heirloom tomato salad, Nekter cashew milk beurre blanc & fresh herbs
The Seabirds Prepare Course 4, Dessert: Strawberry Tart made with Tanaks Farm Strawberries, coconut lemongrass custard, pistachio ginger crust & strawberry-kaffir lime reduction
Left: The Seabirds Truck & Chef Joe Youkhan's Tasting Spoon Dream Team! | Right: Chef Joe & Chef Stephanie

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