Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tasty beats

It's one thing to be vaguely aware that your friends and community are talented and creative. And it's another thing to have twenty of them show up at your warehouse on a Saturday afternoon and just blow you away.

Yesterday we hosted bEATS: an Iron Chef and DJ remix challenge. Four teams created four wildly different and impressively tasty meals, based around the secret ingredients: chayote squash and peaches/nectarines. Meanwhile, three DJs remixed Jolie Holland's Old Fashioned Morphine. Two hours later, the vultures descended and we all got what more than one person described to me as the best $5 meal they'd ever had; the only challenge for the non-competitors was not dropping your plate when the remixes moved you to dance.

While the chefs chopped, fried, and stirred, and the DJs put their headphones on, the rest of the crowd got to play around with Michael Broxton's PhosphorEssence interactive video art (which you'll get to see again at False Profit's Alchemy in April, and knowing Michael it'll be full of twice as much madness by then), and Audrey Roy illustrated everyone's haikus by the door.

I'll post the remixes as soon as Jason, Ben, and Toast get them to me, and I'll link to some photos soon too (Omari's lens was everywhere, and I'm looking forward to seeing how that turned out). [Update: here are the remixes!]

But without further ado: time to make anyone who didn't make it jealous by describing the unbelievable meals we got to enjoy. (My only regret is that I only managed to try about half of the dishes!)

The Braisin' Bitches cooked up a five-course feast in the Langton main space (San Francisco's Test Kitchen, eh?).
  • Chayote soup (this ended up like a tortilla soup with squash instead of tortilla and was incredibly addictive)
  • Collard rolls with chayote, carrots, asparagus, avocado, chives, sweet chili, and cilantro-lemon hummus
  • Strata with potato, chayote, eggplant, cheddar, and mozzarella
  • Nectarine and peach flan (wolfed down in seconds, as far as I could tell)
  • Peach daiquiri

The Hairnet Banditos (certainly the most hygienic team in their matching hairnets) shared the Langton main space and whipped up six dishes in a self-described rustic style.

  • Kale Chips (I wasn't the only one heard saying but I don't even like kale on the fifth handful)
  • Mushroom Chayote Delight (an intense mushroom experience)
  • Swiss Chard and Asparagus Supreme
  • Tomato-Chayote Salad
  • Agil's Azeri Tava stew (the event's only meat dish)
  • Peach and Goat Cheese Dessert with Agave and Pomegranate syrups (exactly as sweet and tasty as it sounds)
The Lemonettes took over Langton's upstairs kitchen and put together a stunningly beautiful meal. We're talking branches covered in flowers on bamboo mats, individually foil-wrapped crepe balls... let's just say I'm hoping somebody got some good photos of these. And it tasted good, too.
  • Spiced Chayote and Mango Crepe Shots with Crisped Shallots (described, accurately, by Lemonette Han as magical orbs during a mid-competition interview given through the Langton kitchen window by Mike on a ladder)
  • Curried Chayote, Kale, and Eggplant with Basil and Fragrant Basmati Rice with wildflowers
  • Coconut Rice with Nectarine, Mint, and Lemon Zest in a Jack Fruit sauce

The Stand Mixapps retreated to their kitchen around the corner (which we webcast back to Langton) and made up an individual-plated gourmet festival.

  • Green Rice Coconut Curry with Crispy Tofu and Nectarines
  • Fresh Rolls with peaches, fresh mint, thai basil, fresh lime juice, & mozzarella cheese
  • Southwestern Stew with Chayote Squash, flame-roasted poblano peppers, bell peppers, carrots, chiles, & p├ępitas sauce (toasted pumpkin seeds, pasilla peppers, cacao nibs, &c.)
  • Shots of peach nectar, coconut creme, blackberries and white rum
  • Napoleons of roasted beets, roasted japanese yams, nectarines, herbs de provence, goat cheese, honey, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, cracked black pepper


agil said...

Thanks for organizing and eating! I had a blast cooking and listenign to the remixes. A small correction: the Azeri stew that adopted the secret ingredient is called Tava.

Chris Rosakranse said...

yeah, way to go with the organization. everyone i know had an awesome time!

Jin said...

The aroma of the food cooking built a buzz of anticipation. When the food and the music finally rolled out, it drove us all into sensory bliss. Thank you!

dessert cup said...

Absolutely any of your favorite desserts may be adapted to dessert shooters - get creative and mix and match ingredients and create your own dessert shooter masterpieces.