Dining at The wolvesden – Craig Thornton

Sometimes, you have a meal that blows your mind.

Sometimes, you have two.

It’s been a challenge putting this post together because there is so much going on: the food, the chef, the experience, it’s altered how I think about food. But let’s break this thing down piece by piece and hope that ya’ll don’t get bored. But in case you do, just scroll through the pictures and I’ll meet you at the bottom.

So let’s take it back to the old school. It started with a simple question, “Want to have dinner at Craig’s place on Thursday? He’s cooking.” I didn’t think much of it and said sure.

C had told me a little bit about Craig Thornton (@wolvesmouth). He was the personal chef for a celebrity. He loved to cook and he was kind of out there. For example, in March, he tweeted that he was going to give away some food on a random street corner in LA. You know what he gave away that day: foie gras. Needless to say, I wanted to know what was up with this guy.

The Wolf

This big bad wolf can be found on the streets giving away foie gras

Let’s just say that things were not what I had in mind. When we arrived for dinner that night, we stepped into a random Hollywood Hills home to find this view:

this table:

and this guy working the kitchen:

Suffice to say, my curiosity was properly piqued.

Soon after all the dinner guests arrived, we got down to the business of dinner.

Oyster with lemon juice, elderlower hibiscus gelee, compressed cucumber, and lime powder

Nothing out of the ordinary right? I thought the elderflower hibiscus gelee added a different spin to a nice tart oyster mignonette.

Squash blossom with goat cheese, thyme, raw hazelnut, compressed peach and saba

A simple dish really, but the goat cheese, squash blossom, and peach went great together. Craig compressed the peach, which enhances the flavor of the peach. It’s a common theme throughout his dishes and it’s got me wanting to compress all of my fruit before eating it. Wait, never mind, I don’t really eat fruit.

Beet curd, arugula black pepper ice, raw golden beet infused with bergamot, frozen roaring forties, pickled salt roasted beet, and arugula

This is when I said whoa. The first comment I made when this plate was set in front of me was how much it reminded me of our meal at Eleven Madison Park. This course was playful and whimsical, it was not just visual artistry, but gastro-artistry, a perfect blend of textures and flavors. I don’t like beets, but I was excited to see how the beets would taste with the arugula black pepper ice and frozen roaring forties. I have a new found appreciation for beets as a result of this dish. You can catch me eating beets Mondays at Souplantation (because Monday is cream of mushroom day).

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