Hey all - I know I said I was gonna get back on the regs with the blogging - and I didn't.  But I like, mean it this time.  Tell you what, I'll just continue to blog whenever something, you know, happens.

I spent this past week in LA for the first time!  Folks told me I'd either love it or hate it, and I'm proud to say that I fall firmly in the former category.  To the point where I'm very seriously thinking that 2018 will be the year of West-Coast-Babish.  So look out.

While visiting, I had the opportunity to cook for a lovely young couple that have been extremely generous patrons of my Patreon campaign for 6 months now, earning them a private meal cooked by yours truly.  In true Babish fashion, I decided to make almost exclusively dishes that I had never even tried before, with ingredients I had never used.  Nervous for more than a few reasons, I headed to their beautiful home around 4PM, and got down to work.  

My hosts were kind enough to loosen me up with some brown stuff the moment I walked in the door, a selection of which the husband had carefully curated.  A few sips of courage juice later, I began working on a meal loosely inspired by Hannibal - six courses of Japanese-Italian fusion, again, a facet of cuisine I have never once attempted.  The pressure was on.  Luckily, this couple and their assembled friends made me feel immediately at home while I began churning out the first few courses.

First up was some blistered shishito peppers with lemon zest, parmesan, Maldon salt, and goat cheese whipped with more lemon.  Trendy, I know, but I'm a sucker for these little guys.

First up was some blistered shishito peppers with lemon zest, parmesan, Maldon salt, and goat cheese whipped with more lemon.  Trendy, I know, but I'm a sucker for these little guys.

Next up, a hamachi crudo with citrus vinaigrette, blood orange, basil, and black sesame.

Next up, a hamachi crudo with citrus vinaigrette, blood orange, basil, and black sesame.

Time to get a little bolder - sesame-crusted seared tuna belly with (purposely) burnt tomatoes, balsamic cream, oregano oil, and Maldon salt.  This was kind of a play on Sicilian-style tuna.

Time to get a little bolder - sesame-crusted seared tuna belly with (purposely) burnt tomatoes, balsamic cream, oregano oil, and Maldon salt.  This was kind of a play on Sicilian-style tuna.

First main course - bucatini in a matsutake and chantrelle cream sauce with parmesan, basil, and another one of our burnt tomato friends just for fun.

First main course - bucatini in a matsutake and chantrelle cream sauce with parmesan, basil, and another one of our burnt tomato friends just for fun.

Two pasta courses?  You bet your ass.  Bucatini in a champagne-sea urchin sauce with caviar and uni sashimi.

Two pasta courses?  You bet your ass.  Bucatini in a champagne-sea urchin sauce with caviar and uni sashimi.

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Kinda hard to see, but dessert was some lemon-poppyseed poundcake filled with matcha cannoli cream, topped with strawberries.  The original idea was to make straight-up cannoli, but I left the shells at my airbnb!  One of the dinner guests came to my rescue with a lovely poundcake.

All-in-all, a massively successful/productive/enlightening week.  I'm super-grateful to my very generous dinner hosts, and look forward to seeing them in the near future - 'cause I'll be back.  A lot.  

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