Ignorance is bliss. Foodie ignorance is not only bliss, it is a large savings on the old wallet. Food is so hot right now (and other temps too). With popups, underground dinners, and other unique foodie occasions to find out and choose from you could eat everyday at something new/temporary/secret/once/etc. My most recent and epic adventure involved scoring reservations to the restaurant within the restaurant of Jaleo by Chef Jose Andres in Las Vegas.
My young and early adopted foodie boyfriend wanted to do his birthday in Vegas so I looked up the rules to the game. 3 months in advance to the day. That happened to fall on the weekend we would be spending in beautiful San Luis Obispo for their SLO’s Rockin Harvest Weekend. That summed up to a Saturday with tents and tents of different wines being poured AND paired with a small bite from a local restaurant. This set up I must say now is the BEST WAY EVER to satisfy your foodies and their foodie faces. Lines stayed moderate because you had enough to step away for a bit and chomp and sip down the bites. Us not being your typical foodie took this to the extreme of course and ended up walking dead drunk style to the beach across the street to work all that off. The stray in the story is only to mention and promote that beautiful and wonderful event that I could not recommend more. The only problem is lack of cell phone service and even moreso a lack of love for technology in general in that area. That became a problem when I had to fax my signature and bank info and all the other secrets needed to score my reservations for E, the secret feast I heard lies somewhere inside Jaleo. You start with a very sexy and simple card and end in wonder.
I know as we were guest 9,300 and 9,301 to this secret and amazing time and were served by the chef and his team privately and exclusively alongside 6 other guests. With only 6 guests and 9,301 total people having visited, you wouldn’t think the odds of having a couple you meet there be a big Grilled Cheese Invitational fan and has seen your cheesy glory. But it happened, and before we event sat down we had become chummy and chatty with our fellow diners while waiting at a table outside in the main Jaleo area.
The rest of the meal I will present only with photos and names from the menu as I want to still keep some of the fun of the food and the experience secret. I know that the menu does change somewhat although some classics have stayed since the room’s inception. Our Chef was an outstanding man who was happy to share stories and answer all my technical questions about many of the molecular gastronomy tricks we enjoyed.
I especially was relieved when he told me the secret behind the famous red shoe served croquettes outside in the main restaurant. I mentioned to him that I had some back and forth Twitter chat with none other than Chef Jose Andres himself about how to make them and how they just weren’t holding together no matter how rough I got with my rue. As part-French man, I was ashamed at my food making failure until the chef mentioned that a little gelatin goes a long way for them. I enjoyed hearing this little gem was helping gel theirs together better than ours. I look forward to trying it out again and showing them off in one of my favorites soles!
If this amazing meal was not enough, at the end Chef mentioned that there was a gift left specifically for me as well. That gift turned out to be the “Made In Spain” cookbook that was personally autographed by Chef Jose himself! I am still smiling as I write and share this story with you as it is an honor to have someone that I idolize and respect in my home and in my kitchen do such a nice gesture. The dinner is one I will never forgot for the adventure and wonder it brought together with food, people, and a very secret fun place.
Thank you again chefs! I hope to bring home the final grilled cheese ultimate trophy in April and celebrate at Bazaar! Stay tuned!
é by josé andrés, Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas