At Imposter Kitchen, the concept of aging takes center stage. With an open-plan kitchen and guests from diverse backgrounds, the restaurant offers a unique culinary experience where the process of aging steaks becomes a spectacle. As the guests indulge in a three-course meal made with different aging techniques, the stakes of each stakeholder group are transferred or mediated to another via the audience’s performative engagement.
In this blog post, we will delve into the art of aging and explore the three-course meal served at Imposter Kitchen. From dry-aging to sous vide, each dish showcases a different technique that enhances the flavors and textures of the meat. Let’s dive in.
Appetizer: Dry-Aged Beef Tartare
The first course of the meal is a dry-aged beef tartare, which features finely chopped beef that has been aged for an extended period. Dry-aging is a process where beef is hung in a temperature and humidity-controlled room for several weeks. During this time, the meat’s moisture evaporates, and the enzymes in the beef break down the muscle tissue, resulting in a tender and flavorful steak.
The beef tartare at Imposter Kitchen is made with 8 ounces of dry-aged beef that has been finely chopped. The meat is then mixed with Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, capers, shallots, lemon juice, parsley, salt, and pepper. The combination of these ingredients enhances the beef’s flavor while also providing a tangy and zesty kick to the dish.
The tartare is served on top of toasted baguette slices, which provide a crisp and crunchy texture that contrasts with the tender meat. The dish’s presentation is visually stunning, with the finely chopped beef arranged in a circular pattern on the plate. The dry-aging process gives the beef a darker color and a nutty, earthy flavor that is distinct from fresh beef.
Main Course: Sous-Vide Ribeye Steak
The main course of the meal is a sous vide ribeye steak, which showcases a different aging technique. Sous vide is a cooking method where food is vacuum-sealed in a bag and cooked in a temperature-controlled water bath. This technique allows the food to cook evenly and retain its moisture, resulting in a tender and juicy steak.
At Imposter Kitchen, the ribeye steaks are seasoned generously with salt and pepper and placed in separate vacuum-sealed bags with butter, thyme, and garlic. The bags are then sealed using a vacuum sealer and cooked in a sous vide machine for two hours at 129°F (54°C) for medium-rare doneness. After cooking, the steaks are removed from the bags and seared in a hot cast-iron skillet to create a crust.
The result is a ribeye steak that is cooked to perfection, with a pink and juicy center and a flavorful crust. The sous vide technique allows the steak to retain its natural flavors and juices, resulting in a tender and succulent piece of meat. The garlic and thyme infusion adds a subtle but delightful aroma to the steak, making it a delicious and memorable main course.
Dessert: Aged Cheese Plate
The final course of the meal is an aged cheese plate, which features four different types of aged cheese served with assorted crackers, bread, and fruits. Aged cheese is made by allowing the cheese to mature for an extended period, which enhances its flavor and texture.
At Imposter Kitchen, the cheese plate includes cheddar, gouda, blue cheese, and brie, each with a different aging technique. Cheddar and gouda are both aged for several months, resulting in a sharp and nutty flavor. Blue cheese is aged for several weeks, which
creates a distinct tangy and pungent taste. Brie, on the other hand, is aged for a shorter period, resulting in a soft and creamy texture.
The cheese plate is served with a variety of accompaniments, such as honey, nuts, and dried fruits, which complement the flavors of the cheese. The plate is also accompanied by a glass of port wine, which is a classic pairing for aged cheese.
Exploring Different Aging Techniques
At Imposter Kitchen, guests are invited to explore different aging techniques and their impact on flavor and texture. The sous vide technique used in the first course results in a tender and juicy steak with a subtle flavor. Dry-aging, which involves hanging the meat in a controlled environment for several weeks, produces a more intense flavor and a firmer texture. Wet-aging, on the other hand, involves aging the meat in a vacuum-sealed bag, resulting in a more tender and milder flavor.
Imposter Kitchen also uses different aging techniques for its vegetables and fruits. For example, the restaurant uses a process called bletting to age its persimmons, which involves letting the fruit ripen and soften beyond its usual stage of ripeness. This process results in a sweeter and more complex flavor.
Collaborative Space of Performative Exploration
Imposter Kitchen offers a unique dining experience that goes beyond just the food. The restaurant creates a collaborative space of performative exploration, where guests become part of the experience and are invited to engage with their stakeholder interests.
The open-plan kitchen allows guests to witness the cooking process firsthand and interact with the chefs. Each table in the restaurant is occupied by a group of stakeholders, such as caregivers, researchers, engineers, animal rights activists, and entrepreneurs. Through the course of the meal, the stakes of each group are transferred or mediated to another via the guests’ performative engagements.
This creates a space for exploration and dialogue, where seemingly conflicting interests can coexist and reconnect with one another. The performative element of the dining experience also adds to the theatricality of the meal, making it a truly unforgettable experience.
Imposter Kitchen offers a unique dining experience that celebrates the art of aging through different techniques. The three-course meal and the cheese plate offer a range of flavors and textures that showcase the impact of aging on food. The collaborative space of performative exploration creates a dialogue between different stakeholder groups and adds to the overall theatricality of the meal.
At Imposter Kitchen, the art of aging is not just about the food, but also about the experience. It is a celebration of the culinary craft and the exploration of different techniques. For anyone looking for a unique dining experience that goes beyond just the food, Imposter Kitchen is the perfect destination.Chef de Cuisine of Imposter Kitchen