America, Fork-Yeah!

America, FORK-YEAH!

A Downtown Los Angeles Supperclub so worth the night out.

 

RE CREO SUPPERCLUB | Dining at a Chef’s Table is pretty extraordinary but being invited into their home for a private and intimate supper club is something “next level”. I was honored to be invited to attend the Re Creo Supperclub dinner one beautiful and temperamental Saturday evening located in Downtown Los Angeles’ most wonderful cross section: 4th + Spring! Viewing the area, I was surrounded by interesting art, the smell of some of the best restaurants in the city and fresh summer rain, streams of lights lining the middle of the street, one of the coolest little art parks equipped with wi-fi, and the promise of some delicious fare within reach. Hosted by Chef’s, Jean Valcarcel (Mo-Chica {DTLA}) and Gabriel Cappelli (Saint Martha {K-Town}) we were given a discreet address and told to follow the signs once we enter the building. (Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a culinary treasure hunt?!)

Once I arrive at the allocated door, I enter. Inside I’m greeted with two huge smiles fixed on the chefs faces, an island fully stocked with rows of martini glasses, a gorgeous redhead (Angela) and metal decorative, individual letters that quaintly spell out: RE CREO. Without missing a beat, Chef Valcarcel hands me a glass now full and dressed with a Peach Cobbler Martini. It must be said that the Peach Cobbler Martinis that Chef concocted to fill those empty awaiting glasses was nothing short of perfection. Homemade simple syrup, peaches treated with love, patience, and innovation, and the dusted rim? Let’s just say should he ever get bored of cooking food, he’s got a long standing career as a mixologist.

Before I go on, let me explain just what RE CREO is all about:

Re Creo Supper Club is the passionate, culinary brainchild for the ever creative Chef, Jean Valcarcel. Jean is a lifelong culinary enthusiast whose background adds quite the colorful spectrum to the cuisine he creates. Born & raised in Lima, Peru, Chef has a palate that extends from Reykyavik to Paris, Prague to Cartagena, and some of the great American food cities like Portland, New York, Chicago and San Francisco. In other words, the man will travel far and wide to try a bite of something that might inspire his own fare. Now a bonafide Angeleno, he has taken his expertise, including having been a chef in some of LA’s most notable kitchens, and instead invites guests to super secret, highly entertaining supper club locales with menus that are playful, humorous, refined, or simply … surprising.

Martini

Now onto dinner …

While not everything on tonight’s menu blew my mind, the adventurous take and witty execution is enough to make me a fan eagerly awaiting their next popup dinner. I mean, the dinner was themed after “Team America” and that is certainly an intro worth enjoying. 

 

The Menu | AMERICA, Fork-YEAH!

  1. Amuse Bouche: Loster Roll Devilied Egg
  2. BLT Tartare: Tomato confit + bacon tartare, “everything bagel” vinaigrette, smoked mayo, toasted pan de mei
  3. Frito Pir Gnocchi: Tomato + chile sauce, oregano oil, jalapeño, smoked Gruyere crumbs
  4. “Apple Pie” Gazpachi + Apple + Beet Gazpacho: sesame crostini, apple + beet chips, fresh chives, pepper olive oil emulsion
  5. Oreo-Crusted Braised Pork Belly: celery root+apple slaw, piquillo pepper sauce, parsley oil
  6. S’Mores: Mezcal sugar ice cream, lime graham cracker, “tortillas”, avocado marshmallow, coconut white chocolate sauce

 

Our food is the catalyst for the dialogue, but it’s our diners, seated at a communal table, who create the conversation. Each guest brings their own unique contribution to Re Creo.

Dinner

My REVIEW

Amuse Bouche | An amuse bouche is the mood setter for a dinner. While some take it lightly, it truly is what sets the standard for the pace of your palate. With each dish that follows the amuse, they should begin telling a story that remind you of the elements you began with.

This particular amuse bouche was good and the egg was well balanced and seasoned, though I must admit, it was remiss the lobster (I didn’t get a trace of the juicy crustacean).

BLT Tartare | A touch of an American staple that makes any meat lover truly happy.

This was a dish that I genuinely appreciated. The mayo pearl drops were bouncing with flavor resting on the greens and the tartare was a fun twist on the classic sandwich. Once you put all of the components together, it was both nostalgic and seamless in my opinion. Seriously, the mayo really surprised me! 

Frito Pie Gnocchi | Fritos may very well be one of the greatest inventions there ever was in terms of junk food and snacks. Throw in potato gnocchi and you have my attention.

Sadly, this was my least favorite dish. I was longing for the salty remnants one associates with Fritos and gnocchi is beautiful when seasoned well. This particular gnocchi wasn’t seasoned nearly enough and wasn’t the consistency I hoped for. Where the dish really lost me was the bath of tomato. The chile sauce was sublime and had the tomato been gently (and sparingly) used, this dish could have really elevated itself. 

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Apple Pie Gazpacho | “As American as Apple Pie …” a saying that is the epitome of why certain things like an apple pie engages the need for flavors that comfort.

This was like nothing I’ve ever had. It was a dish I had to keep filling my spoon with to taste. Literally tasted like summer and childhood. Couple the complexity of the gazpacho (one that I would order every time), the interesting beet chips, and the subtlety of the ground pepper – I could have ended the evening here. 

Oreo-Crusted Braised Pork Belly | How do you eat your Oreo?

Well, tonight our Chefs gave us a very different interpretation (and suggestion) on just how to eat your Oreos. They dusted a braised pork belly with Oreos and rested it on an interesting take on coleslaw. The flavors were there but my pork belly was dry and while it happens, pork belly is meant to be juicy in every bite. That said, the chocolate on top of the pork belly was like a freeze dried mole rendition and it was certainly something I’d try again with a better cook of the pork. BUT – that pepper sauce? Holy cow! I would have bought 10 bottles of that sauce! It was genuinely perfect. Just the right amount of heat, the most beautiful seasonings … I didn’t even care about the pork at this point. 

S’Mores | Graham Cracker, chocolate, and marshmallow. That’s what we all imagined.

However, that wasn’t what we had. Personally all I needed to have was the Mezcal sugar ice cream and a small portion of the avocado marshmallow with just a smidge of that coconut white chocolate sauce. The “lime graham cracker” and “tortilla” took way from what could have been a truly sublime finish. They weren’t easy to eat. All in all, this could have been a fun twist on a campfire favorite but instead was a bit disjointed.

PBR Pâte de Fui | In theory, these are classic French candies brimming with delicious fruit flavor.

This was not that bold flavor I wanted from a pâte de fui and while I appreciate the true possibilities, the flavors were forgettable. 

 

While there were some part of the dinner that didn’t quite mesh together, the entire experience was sublime. Both chefs were the most hospitable, fun, and wonderful chefs and the group gathered here tonight really made for an unforgettable evening. Thank you to Chef Valcarcel and Cappelli for a dinner that really was inclusive and interactive. It was lovely and I am so looking forward to experiencing this again. To book a reservation to the next dinner, visit: www.RECREOSUPPERCLUB.com

Photos below courtesy of Re Creo Supperclub.

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