ROCKSTAR FOOD at Sunset Marquis

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ROCKING FARE: ROD GRUENDYKE AND CHEF ROGER EGGLESTON
ROCKING FARE: ROD GRUENDYKE AND CHEF ROGER EGGLESTON

ROCKSTAR FOOD

It is here in this sundrenched glamorous city that I get my first taste of Rockstar food (literally too).

For the past 50 years, Sunset Marquis has been the secret hideaway for actors, writers, artists, filmmakers,  supermodels, restaurateurs, billionaire entrepreneurs and rock stars.

Interestingly, the stories of the Sunset Marquis and the history of rock ’n’ roll are inextricably intertwined. Several bands debuted in the bar here,  The Doors to Led Zeppelin. Neil Diamond ( used to perform by the pool to pay his tab) to  Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, George Clooney, Jennifer Aniston and many other regulars here.

BOLLYWOOD TO HOLLYWOOD

Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek and Aishwarya Bachchan have stayed here and enjoyed not only the place but also the food. Moreover, it is the worlds only hotel which has a state of the art recording studio where many Grammy-winning songs have been recorded. Madonna has recorded here so has Elton John (to name a few). It is here that the winners of “American Idol” stay for months and even as I eat the most unique “cauliflower steak” Michael Bolton strolls past in the  3.5 acres of Mediterranean oasis tucked away on  a hill just off The Sunset Strip.

Guarding these superstar’s  “peace and privacy” for over 23 years is the dapper and dynamic Rod Gruendyke who is so passionate about his work that he started working as a manager of travel lodge, when he was 15 years old. Since then he has not only launched several prestigious hotels but continues to redefine hospitality. He recounts how actor  Kevin Costner bumped into the Bachchans and concluded a deal without having to go to India. Interestingly Rod is also a believer in Amma, the hugging saint and has a long-standing affinity for India.

TASTY AND HEALTHY

Taking care of the beautiful people’s  tastebuds and balancing it with their health and fitness needs is

the brilliant Chef Roger Eggleston. He believes in appreciating what the earth gives us, to never stop learning and using the braising technique, of searing and then cooking in a liquid. The trick is to keep the temperature

“low and slow” he points out. To intensify the flavor, he uses vegetable stock but adds apple to it. He shares his recipe…

Cauliflower Steak

  • 4 Cauliflower steaks cut 1 inch thick.  Make sure to leave some as the stem to hold it together
  • Vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Sprig of thyme
  • 4 cloves of garlic

Season the cauliflower with salt.  Heat a heavy pan with some vegetable oil just until smoking.  Add the steaks and sear them until a nice color forms.  Flip them over; add just enough vegetable stock just to come up ½ way on the steaks.  Add the garlic and thyme and bring up to a simmer.  Place the pan in the oven and lightly braise just until tender:  about 15 minutes.  When done, remove from the liquid.

Garnish·     Corn grilled on the cobb and then cut off·     Cleaned morel mushrooms, lightly braised just as the cauliflower steaks·     1 tsp butter·     Sliced chives·     Baby fennel shave thin and placed in ice water·     Raw purple cauliflower·     Garlic blossoms

Heat the morel mushrooms up with some of their braising liquid, add the charred corn and finish with a little butter to glaze the vegetables.  Season with salt and finish with the sliced chives

You can make a Truffled Yogurt by

Whisking 4 egg yolks into yoghurt.  mustard, wine, canola oil,

squeezed lemon juice

To Plate

  • Spoon about 2 tbsp of the truffle yogurt onto the center of each plate· Place one cauliflower steak on top of the yogurt
  • Spoon the vegetable mix over the cauliflower steaks· Using a micro plane, grate the purple cauliflower all over the plate·     Garnish with the shaved fennel and garlic blossoms

Enjoy! keep rocking!

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