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The Lost Supper

The Lost Supper

The Lost Supper

Every now and then a meal comes along that is so special you can’t wait to share it with all your friends.

Perhaps its was an expertly prepared,  mouth-watering entree. Maybe it was a decadent dessert that  left you savoring each bite, afraid to take your last one because you knew there would not be more. Or maybe it was eye-popping presentation, so carefully planned out and visually appealing that you wonder if the work of art can even be eaten.

What if your meal had all of these elements and added in the the perfect wines to compliment (or in some cases intentionally contrast) each course?

That is exactly how I would describe Chef Cory Rockwood and Chef Chaz Smith’s “The Lost Supper,”  which my wife, friends and I attended last night.

According to The Lost Supper’s website, the dinner is described “…as a clandestine exploration of food and libation that will present both the known and unknown and will challenge your beliefs about food, flavors and visual presentation.”

One of the unique features of the dinner is that the location is unknown.  It is only revealed to those lucky enough to get tickets (only 50 people attend and it sold out in 4 days) approximately 2 days before the event, although the organizers do provide email clues.

Not only is the location a secret, but not a lot of people know about it (although I have a feeling this will change).  As a matter of fact, I happened on it by chance through a fellow food blogger, Blake, who runs the website Taste of Pittsburgh.  Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to attend because of a previous engagement, so hopefully she can experience it vicariously through me.

The dinner, which started at 6pm, was held in the Lobby and Theater of Father Ryans Art and Culture Center in the McKees Rocks section of Pittsburgh.  It kicked off with 2 passed appetizers: Wild Field Greens/Goat Cheese/Walnut Crostini and 24-Hour Tomato/Quinoa/Salsify/Garam Masala/Lemon Oil.  Additionally, there was a Mango-Nectar cocktail, which Chef Chaz previously made on Food Network’s Grill It with Bobby Flay.

After some brief mingling in the lobby, the guests moved to the theater which was set up with 4 long tables (enough to each hold 12 guests).  Each table was simplistically decorated with pebbles, fireplace logs and votive candles atop white table clothes.  Despite its simple decor, I thought the setting was just right.

Once seated, the chefs explained the theme of the evening (asking the diners to think about which course compliments or contrasts the wine that is paired with it).  After the explanation the first course, a chilled roasted summer squash gazpacho with crab and mango was served. It was paired with a white wine, Quinto Do Casal Branca Ribatejo 2011, Spain.

Chilled Roasted Summer Squash Gazpacho/Crab/Mango

Chilled Roasted Summer Squash Gazpacho/Crab/Mango

The 2nd course to accompany the first white wine was Red Lentil Falafel with Marinated Faro, Olives, Pickled Carrots, Smoked Paprika Yogurt and Cucumber Caviar.  This meal was served on a wood roof shingle.  The olives and carrots were atop a nail sticking up through the shingle.

Red Lentil Falafel | Marinated Faro | Olives | Pickled Carrots | Smoked Paprika Yogurt | Cucumber Caviar

Red Lentil Falafel | Marinated Faro | Olives | Pickled Carrots | Smoked Paprika Yogurt | Cucumber Caviar

The next 2 courses were paired with Chardonnay de Pennautier 2009, Languedoc, Southern France.

The 3rd was a Salad of Baby Octopus.  My wife, who isn’t as adventurous as me was skeptical, but she ate every bite and it surprisingly pleased her.  I reminder her that most anything, if prepared properly, can have that effect.

Salad of Baby Octopus | Grilled Shrimp | Kimchi | Kalamata | Frisee

Salad of Baby Octopus | Grilled Shrimp | Kimchi | Kalamata | Frisee

The 4th course was one of the two courses I was looking forward to the most, a confit of pork belly with a fresh pea puree.  It was served in a hinge-locked glass jar.  Chef Rockwood came around with a cold-smoke canister with cedar to fill the room.

Fresh Pea Puree | Confit of Pork Belly | Scallion Potato Cake | French Fried Chickpeas | Apple and Cherry Chutney

Pork Belly Confit Presentation

Fresh Pea Puree | Confit of Pork Belly | Scallion Potato Cake | French Fried Chickpeas | Apple and Cherry Chutney

Fresh Pea Puree | Confit of Pork Belly | Scallion Potato Cake | French Fried Chickpeas | Apple and Cherry Chutney

For the 2nd half of the evening, the remaining courses would be paired with red wines. Courses 5 and 6 were paired with Pirineos Mesache Tinto 2010, Somontano, Spain.

Course 5, which I think was the overwhelming favorite of the night among the guests in my party, was a cumin dusted scallop atop avocado puree and rosted corn and black bean salsa. Personally, this was my 2nd favorite course.

Cumin-Dusted Seared Scallop | Mezcal Avocado Puree | Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa

Cumin-Dusted Seared Scallop | Mezcal Avocado Puree | Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa

A date stuffed rabbit was the 6th course.  It was served with a crispy pullet egg (egg from a young chicken – less than a year old).  Curious as to how the egg remained soft boiled, even though it was fried, Chef Rockwood revealed that he first soft-boiled the egg, then froze it before he breaded and fried it.  Pretty crafty (and tasty).

Date-Stuffed Rabbit | Pancetta | Roasted Fennel | Fingerling Potato | Crispy Pullet Egg | Agrodolce

Date-Stuffed Rabbit | Pancetta | Roasted Fennel | Fingerling Potato | Crispy Pullet Egg | Agrodolce

Up next was course 7, and as a big fan of short ribs, I highly anticipated it.  The mole braised short ribs were cooked for 3 days and was accompanied by wild mushrooms, potato gnocchi, spinach with an espresso demi-glaze and bechamel.  Thinking back on the evening it was my favorite (non-dessert) course.

Mole-Braised Short Rib | Wild Mushroom | Potato Gnocchi | Spinach | Espresso Demi-Glaze | Bechamel

Mole-Braised Short Rib | Wild Mushroom | Potato Gnocchi | Spinach | Espresso Demi-Glaze | Bechamel

The 8th and final non-dessert course was a crispy red-snapper with curried cauliflower and lentils, kale, and a 141-degree cooked egg in a mint oil.  On the side was a sweet raisin fritter.  I thought both the snapper and fritter were delicious.  However, this was the only course that left me a bit confused as I wasn’t sure how the two together complimented each other. That being said, I devoured every bite and really loved the runny egg with the fish. The presentation of this while simple, was extremely clever, as it was served in a sardine can.

Crispy Red Snapper | Lacinato Kale | Curried Cauliflower and Lentils | Mint Oil | Cured Lime Raisin Fritter

Crispy Red Snapper | Lacinato Kale | Curried Cauliflower and Lentils | Mint Oil | Cured Lime Raisin Fritter

Those final 2 courses were paired with “Mas Donis” Barnca by Cellar de Capcanes 2007 Old Vines, Montsant, Spain.

With 8 courses and some appetizers behind us we still had room for dessert.  And both dessert courses, paired with a Chilled Van Gough Double Espresso Vodka, did not disappoint.

The first was a chocolate hazelnut napoleon.  Honestly, had this been the only dessert I would have been a happy man.  Crispy and sweet, the hazelnut chocolate brought me back to my childhood.  It was amazing.

Chocolate and Hazelnut Napoleon | Toasted Cinnamon | White Chocolate Toasted Hazelnuts

Chocolate and Hazelnut Napoleon | Toasted Cinnamon | White Chocolate Toasted Hazelnuts

Luckily the napoleon was not the only dessert, because Chef’s Rockwood and Smith certainly did save the best for last.  4 desserts on one plate and I was indeed ready to die and go to food heaven.

Not only was this dessert delicious, it was one that I’ll remember for a very long time.  Coconut Cake, Chocolate Mouse with Tobacco Cream, Milk Jelly and Nutella Powder.

Coconut Cake | Chocolate Mousse | Milk Jelly | Nutella Powder | Tobacco

Coconut Cake | Chocolate Mousse | Milk Jelly | Nutella Powder | Tobacco

Both nutella powder and tabacco cream left lasting impressions.

Imagine if you took Nutella Hazelnut Spread and turned it to ashes. The ash actually turned back to the consistency of the spread when I ate it.  Incredible.  It was mind-blowing and was culinary creativity at its finest.

Coconut Cake and Nutella Powder

Coconut Cake and Nutella Powder

The tobacco cream, which topped the mousse, was made by soaking the tobacco of a cigar in cream for a few days, strained, then whipped.  The tobacco was just subtle enough to know it was there, but not enough to overpower the dessert.  Amazing is the best way to describe it.

4.5 hours, 2 passed appetizers, 8 courses, 2 desserts, 1 cocktail, 4 wines, and a shot later, The Lost Supper came to a close.  Chef Rockwood and Chef Smith wowed me and the 49 others who had the privileged of attending this exclusive event.  In true theater style the crew came out to take a bow and it was time to go home.

The Lost Supper was certainly a culinary adventure that I soon won’t forget.

The End

The End

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  1. July 22, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Reblogged this on riadsyah and commented:
    yammiiii

  2. Sean Breslin
    July 22, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Wow…that looks like an incredible meal!

    • July 22, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      It was an amazing meal made by some talented chef’s.

  3. October 12, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Hello there Dennis–I’m a student/writer for the Point Park News Service. I was doing some research for an upcoming article about supper clubs in Pittsburgh and was wondering if I could speak to you about your experience. It would really be helpful to me to have a viewpoint of a supper club attendee. If at all possible can you reach me back at my email address at your earliest convenience? Thanks so much!

    • October 17, 2012 at 6:53 pm

      I would be more than happy to talk to you. Email is the best way to get in touch with me.

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