From the cubicle to the kitchen
Posh Improvisational cuisine in Scottsdale, Arizona is known for pushing culinary boundaries. On any given night diners can expect everything from exotic ingredients prepared with flair to more traditional fare elevated to the sublime.
In the midst of the madness that is Arizona Restaurant week, Owner/Chef Joshua Hebert has once again shown why the trail he blazes is one to be followed. Shunning the norm and turning Posh over to it’s first amateur ‘Chef 4 a night,’ Hebert throws the gauntlet down and dares others to follow.
Enter Joel LaTondress (aka @Azhotdish on twitter), Web Developer by day and winner of a recent culinary duel dubbed ‘Foodie Fight 2,’ who was invited to prepare his winning three course menu for Posh diners.
Beginning with a lite, refreshing Amuse Bouche of chilled cucumber avocado soup with mint, LaTondress showed he was serious about his food.
First up, a snapper ceviche rolled sushi style in thinly sliced avocado with hot sauce pearls and a delicate lime foam, sprinkled with black sesame seeds.
The fish was perfectly seasoned and the lite lime foam cut the fattiness of the avocado. My one complaint is that the ratio of succulent ceviche to avocado was less than I would have liked.
On to the second course, delicate avocado stuffed turkey meatballs served over a grape gastrique with tempura avocado fries.
This dish was simply delicious. Kept moist by the avocado stuffing, the turkey meatballs were juicy, flavorful and perfectly complimented by the gastrique. The avocado took on a completely unexpected texture when sliced into thick wedges, rolled in panko bread crumbs and deep fried. What a unique treat!
To finish, LaTondress served up a cannoli piped with a mixture of avocado, citrus and ricotta whose texture I wasn’t very fond of, but which had an unexpectedly pleasant taste. Along with the cannoli came an avocado ice cream sprinkled with crunchy bacon (yes I love the stuff), rich and creamy with a bit of salty goodness.
Chef Hebert took a chance on an accomplished, poised and confident amateur cook during a time when every restaurant in town is struggling to impress, and won. This is a great idea and was a dining experience worth repeating.
*Full disclosure, prior to tonights meal, I had been invited to try my luck in the unforgiving environment of this upscale kitchen and wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to spy on the competition. On October 4th I enter Hebert’s kitchen, I hope to deliver a performance equal to that of LaTondress.