Friday, July 3, 2009

Fooddigger at Ludobites:"Pushing the Boundaries"

A dinner hosted by Fooddigger is no mere dinner. Before there was the whole suckling pig prepared specially for us at Ford's Filling Station. Then there was the amazing sushi dinner at Shibucho paired with vintage Bordeaux, most of which were older than me.

Here at Ludobites, as expected the wine-collecting Fooddigger co-founders Brian and Marshall came bearing some great wines which they hope to pair with the mystery meal prepared by Chef Ludo. Before the dinner started, we had fun comparing each other's Flavor Match scores based on a short survey we took on Fooddigger a few days before. Apparently my best flavor match of the group was KevinEats.

I've been to Ludobites three times before, but that night's dinner was a big surprise even to me. I felt like I finally got closer to Ludo's true tour de force.

The most memorable and notable dishes for me that night were these:

Tuna sashimi with sushi-rice ice cream.
With all the usual ingredients and flavors, Ludo deconstructed and reconstructed it to a wholly unexpected dish. The sushi rice ice cream tasted like rice, and even had similar density to rice, but the texture and temperature is completely different.

Chorizo gazpacho, onion ice, with cornichon
The chorizo gazpacho tasted like, well, chorizo, and very pleasantly so. Bursting with that spicy flavor but without the oil and grease. The onion ice, which is the green island in the middle, cools down the heat in your mouth, so you can keep eating more and more.

Foie gras tart, maple syrup, mushrooms
The big soft slabs of foie gras contrasted with the crunchy texture of the raw mushrooms. The fat is cut with the sweetness of the maple syrup. Not to mention the truffle essence that really takes the cake.

Vanilla panna cotta with caramel and caviar.
Panna cotta with caviar seemed so strange to everyone at first, but together everything worked harmoniously well. The saltiness of the caviar combined with the thick caramel is strongly reminiscent of salted caramel, which complements the rich and sweet panna cotta very well.

Thanks to Fooddigger setting up this dinner for us bloggers, we got to try some of Ludo's dishes we probably would never have at Ludobites. Some dishes Ludo himself said he had done in Bastide's 16-man kitchen and that he wouldn't do it again at Breadbar's small kitchen. Luckily we got to try it before he realizes what a feat it was ...

I no longer remember what wines we had that night but you can find more on the other bloggers' posts: Kung Food Panda, Gastronomy, Alli411 (not up yet), Two Hungry Pandas, Grubtrotters, Teenage Glutster, Rants&Craves (not up yet), KevinEats (not up yet), DianaTakesABite.

I was expecting something special out of this Fooddigger dinner, and it certainly delivered. I thought that what they said about the vision they had for these dinners and Ludo's ideas are quite a match: It's all about pushing the boundaries.

8 comments:

FoodDigger

Hey Fiona. He definitely pushes the boundaries. I'm glad you enjoyed the experience. Food, wine and friends...that can't be beat.

Will

kevinEats

With this event, I think I may have the dubious honor of being the one who posts last, thanks to my 8-deep backlog.

burumun

Oh I felt the peer pressure after everyone posted about it and emailed it around, so there it is :P

Daily Gluttony

It was so nice to finally meet you that night! I love meeting cool new peeps whilst sharing great food.

And aww man, I am sooooo super slow at getting this post up--thanks for the reminder that I have to get my butt in gear & finish it! :)

Wesley

Nice write up. It was a pleasure meeting you (and sitting next to you). I have this funny picture of you gazing at the cheese platter (with hands folded) as Ludo is explaining the various types of cheeses. Anyways - it was a pleasure meeting you and I look forward to seeing you at future events!

glutster

Hey Fiona, nice.

see you around.

Aaron

Certainly seemed like Ludo was really trying to impress. Did you hang out with Ludo at all before or after the meal? Glad to see FoodDigger actually has its Flavor Match profile working

burumun

Aaron: We did watch Top Chef Masters with him after the meal, which was lots of fun. But not much opportunity for conversations with him unfortunately.

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