Crenn + Hashimoto Dinner
Thought this might be of interest to the board. I just found out today that chef Crenn is collaborating tonight with one of the top kaiseki chefs, Hashimoto-san. I called today to see if there was any way to get a place and got the call back when someone cancelled. So excited! SF doesn't have any kaiseki restaurants let alone one with a chef of this caliber.
Took me a few days to get around to this, but here are some thought and images from the Crenn + Hashimoto dinner at Atelier Crenn. The premise of the collaboration was the idea of kami and the experience of nature as change and flow. Both chefs displayed this kind of sensibility in the dishes, but their different starting points, one traditional kaiseki and the other French/molecular gastronomy provide for a really interesting contrast.
From chef Crenn's side, I've never seen her cooking so consistently on target and creative. She seems to have really hit her stride. The sous-vide crevettes on smoked hay were a sensual delight. The vegetable garden had a brilliant range of textures and tastes that it just lit up your entire palette. Interestingly, the next dish from Crenn of oysters was similarly complex but compressed in palette range, which I found fascinating.
From Hashimoto-san, his most outstanding dish was the sashimi, which showed incredible knife skills. I've rarely if ever had sashimi that was as tender as this was. It melted away in your mouth. The other highlights from him was the daikon crane with matsutake mushroom, popped rice, carrot sauce and gingko nuts along with the green plum and tomato dessert. This was by far and away the most traditional Japanese cooking I've had in SF, something that is sorely missing.
Each Crenn dish was paired with wine and each Hashimoto-san dish with sake. The sommelier from Atelier Creen did a really nice job of choosing the sakes. I have to give credit to the staff for adapting to the circumstances and knowing their stuff. It's so different from the usual repertoire of techniques and ingredients that I'm sure it was not easy to digest all of the information coming their way.
Hats off to Dominque Crenn for putting something like this on. I don't think you'd see any other chef doing something like this. It really is a wonderful thing for the city. I hope events like this continue.
3127 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94123