NYC – 11/13/14 – Push Project Part V – The Art of Masa w/ Rick Bayless

I have enjoyed every Push Project since Alex Stupak started them at Empellon Cocina. The basic idea is that every few months he will invite a guest chef to collaborate on a dinner that pushes them both outside of their boundaries. Unfortunately it has gotten much more difficult to score a reservation and sadly no preference seems to be given to past attendees. But luckily a friend had more success than I did and we finally made it off of the wait list. Rick Bayless is one my favorites and such an obvious choice for this series that I am surprised it didn’t happen earlier. I was slightly skeptical of a whole menu based on masa but I thoroughly enjoyed this entire dinner, perhaps most surprisingly the desserts. Although my favorite dish of the night might have been a component devoid of masa – the trout rillettes.
Being in November and a Chicago chef collaboration, I started reliving last year’s Thanksgiving Push Project with Chef Achatz. I tried to not make any comparisons as its not fair to compare two totally different experiences. But that was still hands down the best Push Project and now that a year has passed can I PLEASE have the recipe for the Kabocha Cornucopia?? And while I’m making requests how about a Tortas Frontera at EWR terminal C?

Heirloom masa crackers – smoked steelhead trout rillettes, trout roe guacamole
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Sand and Sea – fluke green ceviche (serrano, three herbs, two citrus), tortilla sand

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Enmoladas – tortillas enrobed in oaxacan green mole, steamed wild striped bass, white ayocote beans, chayote, herbs

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Mole Negro – roasted Elysian Fields lamb, oaxacan black mole (three chiles plus 28 other ingredients), camote mash, roasted eggplant, masa spaeztle

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Porridge – leftover tamales simmered in chicken broth, sherry vinaigrette, white truffles

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Guava Atole – guava-masa pudding cake, mexican guava, guava-atole ice cream, masa tuple

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Masa Sorbet – piloncillo, lychee crema, coffee

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