Friday, November 11, 2011

"Gayot" Top 10 Molecular Restaurant in US Rating!!!

Gayot reviews website

I am so proud to announce that has recognized the hard work of my staff at Lounge ON20 Restaurant as being one of the Nation's Top 10 Restaurants in Molecular Cuisine!!!

To be recognized among the amazing line up of restaurants and Chefs in the top 10 is remarkable! I intend to continue to push the envelope!

Congratulations to all my dedicated and passionate staff for your support and hard work!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"The Experience"; A short food and wine film

Jessica Ringor Film.

As most of you already know, I work closely with a good friend and colleague of mine, Sommelier Anani Lawson. Anani is an amazing professional, visionary and entrepreneur. Anani has made a name for himself as a Sommelier at The French Laundry, and at Per Se in New York.

In the spring of 2010, Anani and I wanted to create a piece of film that truly reflected the passion and efforts we put into our collaborative events. There is such a special and unique energy around the events we host that it is extremely challenging to capture the essence with photographs and words.

When we interviewed Jessica Ringor of LoveSpun Films to handle the piece for us, we knew it was a perfect match. Not only was her personality exciting, but her energy was amazing! And she is a foodie. Right from the start we all meshed really well. I realized by her examples of work that this was the person to do our film.

The Crew, after a long day of filming.
Anani and I thought we knew what we wanted. However, after months of planning and organizing, our first shoots did not yield the results we desired. But as I have learned, from failure comes success. It was at this point that I realized Jessica's true potential. Something clicked, and she called me with a complete storyboard and an enthusiasm that was paramount!

From this point, we trusted Jessica's vision to create the artistic piece we wanted and to tell the story from start to finish. We were lucky enough to have Jessica recrute Yelena Johnson of The Stylish Soiree. Yelena is one of the most respected event planners in Southern California, and she was now handling all the set design and staging of our shots. Score!

Through a client of ours, we were able to secure an amazing home in Napa to shoot the film.

Clients home in Napa.
We shot for two solid days; it was a lot of hard work, and they had multiple cameras rolling at all times!
Finished fish course held by Scott Fenner

Wines donated by sponsors.

Basket of goodies, including Bouchon breads

Shooting the return from the farmers market.

To tell the whole story, she needed to follow both Anani and I to all places throughout the planning and execution of this event. So we spent time at the most amazing St. Helena farmers market and followed Anani to various stops along the way to bring this story full circle.

The Chef and his crew in the kitchen.

Without giving away too many details, the film is going to be amazing. It does indeed tell the story and capture the magical essence of what we provide for our clients.
Thanks to Jessica for her amazing vision, creativity and professionalism. But most importantly, for her passion for this project!

Many thanks to Yelena as well; her vision and knowledge in handling the set design was amazing. The results far exceeded anything I had expected and it was an honor to work with you!
And lastly, a thanks to Terry Daffin of Terry Daffin Photography for capturing the behind the scenes photographs of the staff and of the food. We acquired some amazing images from you! A talented and amazing photographer!

Film Release Date: March 2011

Trailer - view the trailer here

Watch for the full blog on the film upon its release!

Chef Pajo Bruich
The Private Table
Pajo's Boutique Catering

Sacramento Magazine Recognizes Our Efforts!

What an amazing thing! Today I picked up the February issue of Sacramento Magazine. The issue focuses on the changing dining scene and some rebel Chefs doing amazing things. Check out the cover... that is none other than I!

I would like to say a few things. First off, congratulations to all the Chefs mentioned in this issue. Your vision is what is needed to make waves and create change.

Next, I am grateful to be received so well by the community. From local Chef's, media and diners alike. Thank you.

None of this would be possible if not for the passionate staff of hard working individuals that have worked with me over the past years. Thank you!

For 2011 and beyond, I look forward to watching the dining scene expand and get even greater. I also look forward to seeing the palate of our diners evolve, accepting change and eager to venture out and try new things!

We invite you all to attend one of our dinners soon! Check the websites below for calendar and event dates, and to purchase tickets...

And, don't forget to get your tickets to our Valentines Dinner... buy tickets and get details here:

Valentines Dinner Details

Lots happening this year, so stay tuned!

Chef Pajo Bruich

The Private Table

Pajo's Boutique Catering


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Holidays

As we rapidly approach a new 2011 year, I want to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous 2011. May the food scene in Sacramento get even better and may you all get to enjoy it!


Stay tuned for our film release in March, until then here is a short trailer!


Watch for our new website launching January 1, 2011~

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving; Sous Vide Turkey part 2

Thanksgiving; Sous Vide Turkey Part 2

Ok, so the first day of Thanksgiving has come to a wrap. A pretty easy going day, finished by a little crab, beurre monte, and Rombauer.

I've learned that putting a lot of hard work up front makes for an easier event day, be it Thanksgiving or any other. So here is what was accomplished with the Turkey.

Sous Vide Turkey, part 2.

So first off, meet the Turkey. A small bird, about 15 lbs, but really beautiful Brannigan Turkey acquired from John Paul Khoury of Preferred Meats.

Of course, mise en place. This is the standard mirepoix for the Turkey stock that will be ready to go for the bones.

Leg/Thigh portions separated, breasts, wing, and back broken down. Ready to proceed.

Above is the curing mix for the legs. As you can see, I have cured the legs below. They will stay like this until the morning, about 12-16 hours. At that time, I will post further photos.

Next up the brine. Here is the brine, ready for the bird. The breasts will brine about 6 hours, because they are thin and will be fully penetrated by the salt within that time frame. (See the ice cubes? Liquid is cold!)

Below is the browning of the bones. Fry them in very hot oil until nicely browned on both sides, transfer them to a pot. Work in batches. Then fry up all your mirepoix in the same pan. Add the mirepoix to the stockpot, then deglaze the frying pan with white wine, scraping all the browned pieces and reduce. Add that to the stockpot. Add water, garlic and herbs. Simmer 2.5 hours, then strain.

I did not skim and skim this stock away. I left it clouded and filled with fat because it will be used to make the gravy and to flavor the stuffing. So it will be better this way!

Tomorrow... I will post the photos of the turkey being bagged, compressed and cooked sous vide.

I will finish with a photo of the dinner we enjoyed! Nothing like the Holidays with Family! Until tomorrow... Cheers!

Thanksgiving part 1

Who knew this year would fly by so fast? Most people are still trying to grasp the fact that Thanksgiving is now 2 days away while frantically searching for family recipes. This year I have decided to take a "modern" approach to cooking the turkey.

Many people dread roasting the whole bird, aiming to get the perfect color and equal doneness of both the light and dark meat. It is impossible to do. So, I have decided to approach the bird as I would any other protien, and cook it in such a way as to maximize the qualities of each cut.

Sous Vide turkey for Thanksgiving!

The first step requires an amazing bird. Nothing but the best, a Brannigan Turkey. Remove the breasts with skin on, and the leg and thigh pieces with skin also on.

Debone the legs and thighs. For the breast, I brine in the following solution;

~ 7 cups ice water
~ 1/2 cup salt
~ 1/4 cup honey
~ 1/4 cup brown sugar
~ 1 cup apple cider
~ 6 bay leaves
~ 1 bunch thyme
~ 1 bunch sage, chopped
~ 2 Tablespoons black peppercorns
~ 1 green apple diced
~ 2 cinnamon sticks
~ 1 tablespoon candied ginger
~ zest and juice of 1 meyer lemon

Bring 1 cup water and 1 cup cider to boil with all ingredients. Once salt and sugar are dissolved, pout into a bowl and add remaining 6 cups of ice water to chill. Make sure this is ice cold, then add the breasts and brine in the refrigerator for 6 hours.

I find the above trick with ice water is the way to instant brining and not having to cool overnight prior to using.

I then place the breasts in a bag with 1 stick of butter, 2 tablspoons of maple syrup, a splash of bourbon that has been cooked, garlic, sage and thyme. Cook 3.5 hours sous vide at 144 degrees.

For the legs, I dry cure in the following recipe;

~ 1/2 cup salt (1/2 kosher and 1/2 pink curing salt)
~ 1/2 cup sugar (1/2 brown sugar and 1/2 white sugar)
~ 2 Tablspoons chopped thyme
~ 2 tablspoons chopped sage
~ 2 tablespoons peppercorns
~ 3 bay leaves crumbled
~ dash of all spice, cinnamon, nutmeg

Rub the legs and thighs with the mix and place in the refrigerator on a sheet tray overnight, at least 12 hours. Rinse, then add to a sous vide bag and compress with 1 stick butter, 1 cup olive oil, sage and garlic. Cook 12 hours at 174 degrees.

For the carcass, I make an amazing turkey stock. Start by chopping into smaller pieces of 4" or less, frying until very dark, adding mirepoix, apples, sage, thyme, deglazing with white wine, apple cider. Then transfer to a stockpot and simmer for 2.5 hours. Strain and reserve. Use this for your stuffing and gravy!

When the turkey is done cooking, I simply will remove the pieces from the bag, dry them off, place them under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp up the skin and my Turkey will be served!

Of course, no big grand entrance of the bird, but I will be able to drink a lot more and worry much less on Turkey day!

Cheers... photos coming as I take them! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Epicure and Discoveries in Wine

People have been asking me continuously, "what is this event?" Well here I will sum up our goals and ideas which brought this collaboration into action. Anani Lawson, Sommelier at The French Laundry and myself both started conversation back in December. The talks were regarding the possibility of collaborating to share some food and wine knowledge, better yet to share a fabulous dining experience in an approachable and comforting environment to the people of Sacramento.

We started working the details out months ago, and today, we are less than two weeks from the launch date. March 27th, Anani and I will host 18 Sacramento diners for a truly unique, fresh dining experience. Part educational, part indulgence, this event will focus on specific elements of the dining experience. From flavor profiles, modern culinary techniques, textural variations and more to finding the perfect wine and the reason behind the choice.... Wines vary greatly based on the flavors they are paired with, but why? Do you know why? Many of us do not and Anani will point out several techniques in successfully choosing wines and maximizing their value by appropriately pairing them with the correct foods.

The evening will be a culmination of modern food utilizing amazing quality ingredients and specifically chosen wines to elevate the dishes. We have established relationships with some of the most amazing local small farms to supply us with some of the specialty products. We have utilized our access to Mishima Ranch Wagyu beef, to acquire a cut of "Calotte" or cap of ribeye, which will be a real experience for most diners to taste. Foie Gras, Kurobuta Pork, and many more specialty ingredients prepared with such care will be offered.

To add to the element of surprise, we will be offering several dishes not on the stated menu. Anani will be introducing a vary wide array of wines to taste and experience and will personally walk you through each one. Anani is a very personable guy, very approachable and definately breaks the mold of the common "Sommelier". He will also be offering some amazing "surprises" through the evening.

In addition, I will be sharing cooking techniques and recipes of the nights dishes. I will happily engage anyone interested in learning the ropes of a molecular kitchen, from hyrdrocolloids to modified food starches, cooking under vacuum vs. low temperature cooking, introducing the use of machinery such as the paco jet and why it is beneficial and much more. From the most basic cooking techniques and theories to the most modern, I will be happy to entertain your conversation.

I understand that people do not know what to expect and may be considering the price as a factor in their decision of attending; We have not offered much information purposely to elevate the overall experience. For these people, I ask for your trust. I ask for your faith in our vision. We will provide you with something so extremely unique, so amazing that you will want to return; and our goal is that we do this so well that you tell everyone you know! Word of mouth advertising for us is priceless and we will clearly display our vision through these events. Trust me, this will be an amazing value for the cost.

To purchase tickets, visit

or call me directly at 916-532-7178