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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

Breaking It Down with Chef Noah Blöm at SOCO Uncorked

We attended as a guest of SOCO

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On a recent Thursday evening it was all about food and wine at the first annual SOCO Uncorked event hosted by LCA Wine and SOCO where wine producers from all over the world joined the award-winning restaurants of SOCO in a tasting of small bites and wine. For my sister Shan and I, the evening began with ARC’s Chef Noah Blöm’s three-course food and wine pairing cooking demo at Surfas Culinary District. Considering we pretty much live for the next meal you can only imagine our excitement.

So what was on the menu? Great food, great wine, and some food wisdom from our chef.

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“I’m a big fan of making everything… For us it is always about the process of, if it’s possible to make it, we will make it.” ~ Chef Noah Blöm

This passion for process carries through with Blöm sharing his love for breaking down animals and creating dishes best suited for each part or cut of meat.

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“Our job as chefs is to utilize product and the Arc menu is reflective of that. That’s why butchery is so important to me. Getting your hands into it, you appreciate it a lot more.” ~ Chef Noah Blöm

Here’s a look at what Chef Blöm prepared for us.

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Kushi oysters on the half shell with pickled onion, Roussane granita and a touch of preserved Meyer lemon zest. These small oysters from British Columbia are clean tasting and resemble the Kumamoto. Our little bites of ocean heaven were paired with Gerard Bertrand’s Code Rouge, a traditional method sparkling wine from Limoux. This blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Mauzac is crisp with mineral notes and a little acidity. Though white, it comes in a stunning red bottle, making it an attention grabber when pouring.

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“I love to make tartar more than most things on this earth” ~ Chef Noah Blöm.

Next up, steak tartar mixed with house made mustard and melted shallot, with chervil, quail egg, and orange zest to complete the dish paired with Domaine de Cigalus. A white wine of mostly Chardonnay, with a little bit of Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier blended in.

The care Blöm puts into his technique is proof of his love for making tartar. Starting with using 21 – 28 day aged beef, he carefully chops some of the smaller portions of the cut once it’s broken down and carefully cleaned. The shallots are minced with a little bit of garlic and left to sit in a warm cast iron skillet for several hours near the stove so that the moisture in the cells starts breaking them down naturally and imparting flavor of the caramelized sugars without the texture. The mustard is house-made with mustard seeds that have been brining for about two years mixed with a touch of honey, shallot, vinegar, a little sherry. The shallot mixture is cooled down and then added to the chopped beef with the mustard. Curly parsley and chives are added and the tartar is topped with the yolk of a quail egg and orange zest and served on toasted buttermilk roll.

Both the wine and the tartar were perfect on their own, but together… pure bliss.

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Our final dish was a seared rib eye medallion with Roquefort, seared Hudson Valley foie gras and a berry jam of mulberries… the season just started, blueberries and strawberries paired with Hommage aux Vignerons, a 100% Granache from Tautavel, a very well respected village in the Cotes du Roussillon. Sublime.

After many meals at ARC in SOCO, Shan and I thoroughly enjoyed learning first hand the thinking that Chef Blöm puts into his dishes. Sometimes you go out for dinner because it’s easier than doing it yourself, sometimes to socialize, and sometimes because you want something amazing that is almost impossible to replicate at home. For me, ARC is always a memorable dinner that you just can’t come close to at home, and I love that!

Dana Wilde grew up playing “sous chef” for her father as he churned out one amazing meal after the next for family and friends. She inherited her father’s life long passion for cooking and has spent the past two decades studying, reading, practicing, experimenting, and creating in the kitchen.

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  1. Come Taste SOCO Uncorked With Us - OC Mom Dining - […] educational cooking demo at Surfas Culinary District with ARC’s Executive Chef Noah Blöm (“Breaking It Down With Chef Noah…

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