Foodies with Benefits

Cooks Menu Pop-Up Highlights Kitchen Up-and-Comers

Chop chop
Chop chop Photo: Dinner Series via Flickr

Howard Ko, who tells us he’s a cook at Melisse, writes to tell us about a dinner he’s helping to organize at Il Grano along with seven other chefs with varying positions in restaurants like Church & State, Joe’s, and Melisse in a benefit for Breast Cancer Connections. On November 6th, Ko will be joined by Il Grano owner and chef Sal Marino, Church & State sous chef Charlie Skidmore, Melisse meat cook Brian Maynard and Joe’s meat cook Ben Gell, Melisse pastry cook Ethan Stiffelman, and Bottega Louie pastry cook Eulogio Rios for a six-course family-style dinner called “Cooks Menu” with a 60-seat maximum. Ko says the concept came to him and another chef after service while sitting at the bar discussing a way to bring attention to up-and-coming chefs and aiding the community. So what’s on these cooks’ actual menu?

In addition to Ko’s own 24-hour sous-vide pork ribs, Marino’s squid ink pasta with Santa Barbara uni, and Skidmore’s braised veal breast with fig compote, Katsuya cocktail maker Dawn Azura McElhare is mixing up four different drinks and Palmina and Brewer-Clifton are supplying the wines.

It’s refreshing to see a return of rising stars to the pop-up game (well, Marino is already a star in our book), no less for such a great cause. One look at the the full “Cooks Menu” below and it’s clear this crew has something special in store. If interested, $75 tickets can be purchased online.

Cooks Menu
November 6th, 2011
at Il Grano
7:00 P.M.-11:00 P.M.


by Howard Ko - Melisse Restaurant

Fried Yogurt with Vadouvan Aioli
White Bean Gazpacho, Sweet Maine Shrimp Ceviche,Paprika Popcorn,
Jalapeno Yuzu Crème Fraiche
Hummus with Pink Radish and Black Sesame Seeds

Charlie Skidmore - Church & State
Guinea Hen Pâté, Spiced Apple with Toasted Brioche

Textures of Beets and Persimmons with Puffed Rice
Brian Maynard, Melisse Restaurant

Braised Veal Breast, Fig Compote with Roasted Frisée Salad
Charlie Skidmore, Church and State

Squid Ink Pasta with Santa Barbara Sea Urchin Cream
Sal Marino, Il Grano

Harissa Octopus, Kefir Lentils, Pickled Root Vegetables, Charred Arugula, Spicy Micro Greens
Ben Gell, Joe’s Restaurant

24 Hour Sous-vide @ 58˚C Pork Ribs, Tomato Confit, Roasted Marble
Potatoes, Mushroom Fricassee
Howard Ko, Melisse Restaurant

Chocolate Fondue, Housemade Marshmallow, Pears
Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes with Caramel Sauce Filling
Ethan Stiffelman, Melisse Restaurant
Assorted Macarons
Eulogio Rios, Bottega Louie

Specialty Drinks by Dawn Azura McElhare - Katsuya

Razzle Lo
Kettle One Vodka, Cointreau, Muddled Raspberries, Lemon Juice

Cumbersome Henri
Hendrick’s Gin, Sake, Muddled Cucumber, Lime Juice

Pristine Pear
Grey Goose Pear Vodka, Cointreau, Muddled Raspberries, Lime Juice, White Cranberry Juice

Spiced and Blue Mo(jito)
Blueberries and Mint, Sailor Jerry Rum, Lime Juice

Wine Sponsored by Palmina and Brewer-Clifton Wines

Cooks Menu Pop-Up Highlights Kitchen Up-and-Comers