Earlier this month, I had the great pleasure of attending one of The Vude’s events. The Vude is an underground dining experience that feature various up-and-coming chefs, distilleries, and wineries. It also provides the opportunity to mingle with foodies alike. I attended alone and ended up sitting with some really awesome, chatty folks! I will admit that I was a little intimidated in going alone to this event, but the host and conductor of The Vude, Jon made it a very warm and inviting place to be. He was very good at breaking the ice and getting people out of their seats to socialize more before the dinner started.
We were allowed to take photos in the kitchen. However, if I wasn’t so nervous to get in the chef’s way, I would have taken advantage of that opportunity more.
Appetizer: Caramelized Squid Broth, Charred Squids, Tapioca Pearls, Olive Oil
During our mingling session, the squid appetizer, fried cauliflower appetizer (not pictured), and a signature cocktail was being passed around. I pretty much downed that cocktail too quickly that I forgot to photograph and ask what it was. It was the perfect mix of sweet and tart- possibly being one of the best mixed drinks I’ve ever had. Note to self: email the owner and ask what that was!
In The Garden: Baby Beets, Baby Radishes, Baby Bok Choy, Baby Green, Zucchini, Goat Cheese Cream, Edible Soils
King of The River: King Salmon, Rhubarb, Miso Nori Salt, Sea Beans, Watercress
The sous vide salmon was the true standout of this whole meal. It was a moment I never wanted to end. The salmon was pretty much pure salmon “butter”. It was my favorite dish prepared that night. I’ve never had salmon sous vide before this night and it has become to me- the best way to ever eat salmon. The texture was a silky, melt in your mouth, butter-like feel. When a protein is cooking in a water bath, it retains all of its flavors from the meat and other ingredients you add to the vacuum-sealed bag; ensuring it evenly cooked and extremely flavorful.
Hen: Fried Young Leeks, Pressure Confit Garlic, Pickled Pearl Onions, Charred Ramps, Morrels, Allium Chicken Reduction
Pond Bird: Wild Mushroom, Kumquats, Freeze Dried Green Apple and Pecan Crumble, Pickled Green Strawberries, Strawberry Duck Jus
I’ve never been a fan of duck and this place really got me to love it! My coworker always looked at me crazy cause I told her I couldn’t stand duck. After telling her about how delicious it was she said, “See that’s because you had it prepared properly!” I always thought of duck to be too greasy- and this it definitely was not. It was perfectly moist, unbelievably tender with just the right amount of fat. I could seriously go on and on about this duck, but I will move on. Wow… just… WOW!
Kurobuta: Nettle Parsnip Puree, Glazed Japanese Turnips, Mustard Seeds, Fried Lotus Roots, Compressed Pears
Pea & Carrot: Roasted Carrots, Glazed Thumbelina Carrots, Sweet Peas, Pea Vine, Pea Jus
Dessert: Yuzu Meringue, Green Tea Cake, Coconut-Pandan Broth, Grapefruit
It was my first dining experience where molecular/modernist techniques were used in practically every dish. When I first saw this event posted, I had to jump on it immediately. I was a bit nervous going into this knowing I needed to try everything presented and there wasn’t one dish that I didn’t like. Every dish presented that nigh had at least one special highlight- even beyond the protein.
I was beyond elated when I saw who I would call “THE Maxime Bilet.” He is one of the authors of the ‘modernist culinary bible’ I can’t afford at the moment, Modernist Cuisine. Big ups to Seattle Public Library for carrying these books! Reading through the Modernist Cuisine books, it was a major reason I was so inspired to practice molecular gastronomy at home. Not only are you experimenting with the science of flavor, aromas, and cooking techniques, but also the art of presentation. The dishes become culinary showpieces.
Every dish had a very earthy tone throughout. From the use of the morels, ramps, and the edible soil (which almost tasted of Oreo cookies). Overall, I really enjoyed myself here! A very inviting space, delicious food, and exciting people made this an experience well worth doing again and again.
Address: 308 9th Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98109