‘Fuego’ Heating Up at Stephan Pyles, Dallas.

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^ Stephan Pyles and his Exec. Chef Matt McCallister at the four seat restaurant-within-a-restaurant “Fuego” at Stephan Pyles in Dallas.

The guys put this concept on the front burner after they returned from the Madrid Fusion conference in Spain earlier this year. The idea is reminiscent of José Andrés minibar at his Café Atlántico in D.C. You will hear the buzzterm “molecular gastronomy” associated with this concept – but there’s more to it than that. Perceived practitioners of this style of cooking including Ferran Adrià of elBulli and Grant Achatz of Alinea distance themselves from the term, with Adria even stating: “Well, for starters, [molecular gastronomy] doesn’t exist. That’s the biggest lie out there in terms of cooking. What is molecular cooking?”

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^ Stephan Pyles Exec. Chef Matt McCallister and his book of tricks.

To be sure, there will be spherification, reverse spherification, agar agar, sodium alginate, methylcellulose, liquid nitrogen and all that, but more importantly – whimsy.

Matt says, “So ‘Fuego’ for me is a creative outlet for food I can’t pull off in a busy high cover count setting – it’s complex plating and long or difficult and precise prep.  I am calling it cuisine of the moment ’cause it can change whenever, I don’t want to be tied to a specific style.  We will use some avant garde techniques but not just that. I want to entertain our guests and give more of an experience than your normal dinner.  Dinner and a show…. “

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^ Salmorejo (Gazpacho encased in Cocoa Butter).

I’ve had the occasion to be a Guinea pig over the last few months, to the delight of my dinner guests. Here are some dishes we had fun with here and there – don’t look for them on the menu necessarily, but this gives a slight clue as to what we might see starting August 5th at Fuego.

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^Kampachi Tiradito (Spanish style) with Pil Pil and Crushed Tomato.

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^Uni with Potato and Gambas; ^Carrot, Mint and Tarragon Gel, White Beet, and Olive Oil Pudding.

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^ Sous vide Farm Egg with Migas, Truffle, Chervil and Asiago.

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^Beef Tartare.

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^Coconut Rice Crispy and Sticky Rice with Mango, Vanilla Raspberry Ice Cream, White Chocolate Foam and Black Olive; ^Study in Beets – Salad.

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^Foie Gras microplaned into liquid nitrogen, creating ‘Snow.”

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^Lobster Carpaccio with Foie Gras, Apple and Mexican Chocolate.

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^Matt ‘splaining a theory; ^Watermelon and Tomato Salad with Samphire.

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^Short Rib Pot au Feu “Southwestern” – Boracho Beans (w/ Estrella Damm), Short Rib, Foie Gras, and Quail Egg.

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^Desserts!

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^ The design and the dish (Matt’s pic): Sous vide Foie stuffed with a Fig, Maple, Sherry Vinegar and Citrus Glaze, toasted Brioche Shavings, toasted and shaved Pecans (powder) with Juniper Skins, Seaweed and good evoo emulsion, Malted Milk Crisps, Fig (Rocks, Fennel, Thyme, Rosemary, Bradford Pear Flowers, and last but not least, Maldon Sea Salt.

So there.

See you there.

Fuego: Two seatings (6:30 and 9:00) on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. $125pp – wine pairings for an additional $75.

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