Page 71 - WCM 2021 Winter
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   xVault by owner Myung Kim. Kim knew that he wanted some of his Korean heritage and love for West Coast food to be reflected in the menu, so you’ll find ramen, lettuce wraps, kimchi, and a California-style burger as menu mainstays. One of the things that the “X” in the name stands for is a variable (like in a math equation), meaning that the menu will change, and Alex puts together three different versions in a year. In recent months my family has enjoyed sushi (Thursday– Saturday evenings only), kimchi fried rice, chicken bacon ranch mac & cheese, and amazing fried Brussels sprouts with lime, scallions, mint, and crispy garlic.
So ... what is tableX food like? Astounding. A recent menu included cauliflower soup with a decadent, incredibly smooth texture, and a slow, slightly smokey heat to it. The garnish of crisped cauliflower and garlic added contrast to the texture, and complexity to the taste. It was served in a plastic deli container because, as Alex explained, “many chef’s meals are eaten out
of these, and many of my best meals have been con-
tableX Cauliflower Soup
Relatively simple, yet incredibly satisfying, this great recipe will be made even better if you blend the soup to be evenly smooth, and properly crisp the garnish to provide a texture contrast.
2 heads white cauliflower 1 large leek
2 large shallots
1/4 yellow onion
6 Tbsp. butter
2 pints heavy cream
1 pint water
White truffle oil to taste (about 6 Tbsp.) Salt to taste (about 3 Tbsp.)
This recipe is great with a lot of different vegetables! You can try seasonal variations by swapping out the cauliflower as the base with squash, carrots, or other hearty veggies.
Clean the cauliflower (cut off as much stem as possible). Set 1 cup of cauliflower aside for roasted cauliflower garnish.
Slice the leek, shallot and onions thinly.
Heat a large pot and add the butter. Once melted, add the leek, shallot and onion and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add the cauliflower, cream, water and salt.
Cook for 15 minutes until cauliflower is soft. Cooking for longer is OK.
Add the truffle oil 5 minutes before turning off the soup
Add the cauliflower mixture in batches to a blender and blend until smooth. You may need to add some water or cream. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or truffle oil as needed
Garnish: break up the 1 cup of cauliflower into tiny pieces, toss in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees until dark brown.
sumed out of deli containers alongside friends that I’ve worked 90–100 hour weeks with in the kitchen.” It was easily one of the best soups I’ve ever enjoyed. Next came a grilled romaine salad, with small but meaty chunks of smokey bacon, creamy and mild delicata squash, and a light balsamic dressing, delicate enough to not call attention away from the other flavors and textures. The entrée was a perfectly moist salmon
filet with brown butter celeriac and watercress, which complemented, without detracting from, the incred- ible freshness of the fish. A sparing amount of mayo added a tangy backdrop, and slivers of apple provided a hint of sweetness. It was all tied together by crunchy, toasted almonds, which cut the richness of the dish.
“People don’t usually see the chef, so you have to put everything you want through your food,” Alex said. The love of his craft and attention to detail that he’s putting into tableX cuisine are palpable, and the re- sult is an edible odyssey that will leave diners remem- bering the food like a favorite vacation.
Food grounds and connects us through times of both challenge and celebration. It has the ability to provide not only sustenance, but comfort and joy. Those re- wards come from somewhere - from a passion held by chefs and restaurateurs who know the power of good food and want to share it with you. ✶
The cauliflower soup from tableX is fairly simple to make, and can be made using several different vegetables, and seasonal variations.
 Matthew Crandall

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