Thursday, May 31, 2012

5x5 Chef Collaboration - Providence

This post is a bit late, but last Monday I was graciously invited to join PinoyPanda, food je t'aime and kevinEats for a 5x5 chef collaboration dinner at Providence. This is the second dinner of the series, with three more to come until September.

For this dinner, the five chefs were Michael Cimarusti of Providence, Michael Voltaggio of ink, Gino Angelini of Angelini Osteria, Rory Herrmann of Bouchon, Josiah Citrin of Mélisse, and guest chef Jeremy Fox, who does not have a set restaurant at this moment. The host restaurant provides the amuse bouche and dessert for the evening and each chef makes a course each. It was a great way to try different preparations and styles of food all at the same dinner. Plus, the atmosphere and service of Providence can't be beat.

butter and breads (olive, bacon with sundried tomato, seaweed)

seaweed bread - light and fluffy but not much seaweed flavors

amuse bouche - (clockwise from top) chips and dip, the uni or the egg, a scallop in the weeds

The "chips" weren't actually chips at all, but a piece of salmon skin fried to a nice crisp, accompanied by a trout mousseline. So creative! And look at the tiny straw that they provided for the egg, which was filled with an uni custard. The brine-y flavors totally hit you in the face, but the presentation really topped everything off. The waiter laughed at me because I actually clapped with it was brought to the table. Coolness fail.

blue crab - blue crab jelly, rice milk ice, ice plant, tomato pickle
Michael Voltaggio

twice shucked peas - pod consommé with white chocolate, chocolate mint and macadamia
Jeremy Fox

Props to Jeremy Fox for twice shucking these peas. I learned what that meant from Ms food je t'aime that night ... it means not only taking the peas out of their shells, but also taking off the thin skin/membrane that surrounds them. So many peas! So many membranes! His prep staff must hate him. Also, I really didn't taste any chocolate in the dish, everything was very fresh and light.

olive bread - so good but getting so full (excuse the shadow)

ravioli al nero di seppia - ripieni di granchio, salsa ai ricci di mare
Gino Angelini

Basically black squid ink ravioli pasta stuffed with crab and then topped with squid and sea beans and dressed with uni sauce. I wish there was another couple plates of this because four was definitely not enough. My favorite dish of the night! The twice-shucked peas come in as second favorite.

spanish mackerel - chorizo, marinated firefly squid, pickled jingle bell peppers, young fennel cucumbers, extra virgin olive oil jam
Roty Hermann

dry aged lamb loin and braised shank - courgette, santa rita hills porcini, green almonds, lamb jus
Josiah Citrin

manjari 64% - espresso, sweetened condensed milk, gianduia, ube
David Rodriguez

Dessert capped everything off and it was super rich and intense. Intense chocolate and intense coffee. The ube that accompanied it gave a bit of sweetness, so I wish there was a bit more.

petit fours - cascade hop pâtes de fruits, peanut butter cups, chocolate truffles, kaffir lime macarons

The chefs walked around the restaurant throughout the course of the night and were happy to chat with patrons enjoying their dinner. A hot topic going around the room was of course the foie gras ban, which is set to be implemented in a month's time. We shall see if it gets overturned!

The restaurant also provided us with a box of pastries for breakfast the next day, which I thought was totally sweet and adorable, although when I woke up I was still a little full from dinner. The cherry scone, blackberry financier, and lavender shortbread cookies were enjoyed with a cup of tea the next morning. The 5x5 collaboration was a great experience and of course the company made it better (aww!) ... if you're interested in one of these meals then try to get into one of the dinners!

5955 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038


  1. "The host restaurant provides the amuse bouche and dinner for the evening and each chef makes a course each."

    Dessert. ;)

  2. Ah ha! Thanks for catching that ... your pictures are so much prettier than mine. =)

  3. You should've asked me for some pointers during the meal!