It’s been a while since we’ve checked in on Melrose’s Marcona but they have an upcoming something that you all will like: they are hosting fancy dinners with guest chefs on October 24 and 25. It sounds great! Lots of details on the event after the jump!
Four weeks from today, Melrose Avenue gourmet sandwich shop and fine foods purveyor, Marcona, will host two “Marcona Guest Dinners” featuring Chefs Sergio Perera and Steve Monnier. The dinners, both eight-course tasting menus, will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, October 24 and 25, 2012, with seating options at 7:00 PM, 8:00 PM and 9:00 PM. Reservations for either night are $69.00 per person, and a free “BYO” policy will be in place.
Perera’s and Monnier’s eight-course dinners will feature modern, nature-driven plates such as oysters served with warm potato espuma, truffle caviar, beet vinegar, and passion fruit; an “edible garden” served with horseradish cream and vinegar powder; a vegetarian option of avocado with truffle caviar, smoked crème fraîche and herbs; and a pork belly dish incorporating a “compressed granny smith”. The tasting menu will include vegetarian stand-ins for certain courses, as well as a dessert course. (Full working menu available upon request.)
Born in Zaragoza, Spain, Perera’s culinary career reaches back nearly two decades. Inspired and initially kitchen-trained by his Grandfather, Perera broke into the culinary workforce in Zaragoza’s more traditional restaurants and tapas bars, where he mastered the cooking basics. Perera continued to advance his cooking foundation at some of the top restaurants in Barcelona, focusing on basic, rustic regional Spanish dishes.
Perera has worked at some of the world’s top restaurants under numerous chefs with varied techniques. He formed the basis for his modernist cooking style in the Basque Country, at the world-renowned restaurant, Arzak. Perera then spent two years in Kyoto, Japan, where he learned Kaiseki at Minokichi-Takesigero and Kitcho. Kaiseki is a Japanese style of cooking that incorporates technique, advanced skill, aesthetic beauty, nature and seasonality. Perera further refined his culinary skill at Mugaritz, where Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz’s practice aligned with Perera’s desire to both respect and elevate his ingredients. Perera then moved to the U.S., working for two years at New York City’s Michelin-starred Jean-Georges. Most recently, he has participated in collaborations with Albert Adrià of elBulli, Tickets and 41 Degrees, and Ludovic Lefebvre of LudoBites.
Hailing from Reims, France, Monnier’s cooking foundation was also family-formed, and furthered in the kitchens of no fewer than four Michelin-starred restaurants in both Paris and Cannes. The early part of Monnier’s culinary career focused on Mediterranean cooking, which he learned from Christian Willer at Cannes’ Hôtel Martinez. In an effort to expand his culinary horizons, Monnier moved on to study Basque Country cuisine – in this case, heavily influenced by Asian ingredients – under Alain Dutournier at Carré des Feuillants, in Paris. This is also where Monnier began his exploration of techniques like sous-vide and slow cooking methods.
While in Paris, Monnier continued on his eye-opening culinary journey by working with Philippe Braun at Le Laurent, and Michel del Burgo at Taillevent. Arriving in Los Angeles in 2002, Monnier spent state-side time in the kitchen of La Cachette and with Christophe Bellanca, at L’Orangerie, among other French fine dining establishments. Always looking to gain new inspiration and learn new techniques, Monnier also recently interned at Copenhagen’s Noma, which was named as the world’s best restaurant for the third year in a row.
The exclusive October engagement at Marcona serves as a showcase for Perera’s and Monnier’s intertwined culinary style. The duo chooses their ingredients based on sustainability, purity and the potential of the ingredients to be the best that they can be, and then, utilizing inventive, modern and progressive avenues, turns those ingredients into dishes meant to bring the diner into the moment – to remember and appreciate the experience and tastes in front of them, while also understanding and respecting their very basic nature and derivation.
“We are expressing ourselves through food in a city of talented chefs. We’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the best in this town, and now we’re putting our stamp on L.A. This city has grown tremendously with food culture and talent,” says Perera, further explaining the team’s motivation for this series of Marcona Guest Dinners. He continues, “We will focus on great, local produce, quality and consistency. Our cooking is a collision of ideas, cultures, techniques and gestures. Our goal is to be fun, evocative and whimsical, with standout service.”
Perera and Monnier plan to continue their limited engagement dinner series, eventually offering à la carte dishes and more of a restaurant-style “tapas” service.Full Story →