Sometimes I find awesome things accident.
I was at the restaurant earlier this summer and I was looking to make a dessert for that weekend. I was thinking about doing something with prossecco but wasn’t quite sure what. I liked the crisp freshness of it for a summer dessert and I thought my guests would as well. I had an open bottle of prossecco but wasn’t sure if there was enough bubbles in it. Naturally being a chef rule number 1 is always, if your unsure taste it. So, I did so, and perceived a very strange result.
Any person who enjoys wine will tell you that you need to cleanse your palette before you drink it. This cardinal rule I ignored at this moment in time and found something quite shocking. I had just had a soda at lunch, coca cola, which was still lingering on my taste buds. As I drank the prossecco to check for quality I found a new flavor combination.
Honestly after that first sip I was seriously confused. Did I really just enjoy that flavor? Hmm well as a student of flavor combinations I decided to add some coca cola to the prossecco to make sure of this discovery. I looked at the tan, bubbly liquid and pondered to myself, am I really about to drink bubbly and coca cola. Good chefs try anything, let’s do this!
Weird, strange, yet oddly pleasant, it was like a sparkling Carmel or sparkling Madeira. Now for the real question ” Am I crazy or was that actually tasty?” To answer this question I decided to take my new flavor combo and highlight it in the cleanest fashion I could think of.
Coca cola and prossecco infused jello. A fun way I thought to highlight this flavor in the light whimsical fashion it was conceived. So off I go tooling the right amount of gelatin into the mixture while retaining as much of the bubbles as possible during the process.
An hour and half later I have succeeded in making it into jello. Now I must test it out on friends before I serve it to the guests at the restaurant. I call on a couple of buddies of mine to come try my crazy concoction and I refused to tell them what it was so they could judge it purely on flavor. After a few thumbs up I released it for dessert that night.
That night I had 2 cooks, an executive chef, and a food critic at one of my tables. I refuse to tell them what is in it just listing it as a unique flavor you haven’t had before. After trying it you could see the critic thinking very hard about that crazy mix. After about ten minutes he approaches me and states that he has never had a flavor like that before and he must know what it is. He knew there was a sparkling wine in it but could not place the other flavor even though he enjoyed the mixture. Once I told him it was Coca Cola he face was shocked but understanding. The four of us spent the next hour chatting about different experiences in the industry and other crazy ideas we had all had throughout our careers that either worked or didn’t.
Once again good food brings people together. It is a common ground we all have. I am very lucky and blessed in a way by the guests that frequent my restaurant. I have never had a more good hearted set of people to support me and my dreams. For that I thank you all from the bottom of my heart and I look forward to meeting more great people through great food.