Rachel Khoo

Notebook

Posted by Rachel

March 2nd, 2012

Edible Tales, Buenos Aires

Edible Tales BA rachel and frankie

It was a long weekend, but in the early hours of Monday the 28th February we toasted the last night of Edible Tales Buenos Aires on the rooftop terrace in San Telmo.

Edible Tales BA menu

The event was probably the most challenging chapter so far, in large part due to the language barrier, the ingredients not behaving how we expected them to (namely, the flour), not to mention the suffocating heat and the oven which reached 250 degrees C on its minimum setting. The puff pastry didn’t appreciate that.

Edible Tales BA rachel and frankie

The terrace setting was spectacular and John, the owner of Rick’s Place, was super patient with Rachel and I who camped out in his kitchen for the 4 days prior to the event.

Edible Tales BA backdrop

Each day we trotted along to the Mercado San Telmo to pick up batches of bone marrow – the butchers thought our insatiable appetite for bones was somewhat usual – then prepped in the baking hot kitchen churning out batches of bread, pork belly, puff pastry, punching alphabet vegetable letters and sewing up napkin bundles.

Edible Tales BA bookmarks

The guests were more punctual than we imagined, being in Argentina we feared an hour late would be the norm, but diners were highly respectful of the 8.30pm kick off which we implemented with the warning that they would miss out on the pre-dinner cocktails should they arrive after 9.15 pm.

edible tales ba bookworms

The guests gathered on the terrace mingling and swigging the cucumber, lemon, spearmint and vodka cocktail, while we handed around our chimichurri ‘bookworms’ in our open-book tray. Holes had been cut into the books and we poked the bookworms out of the books to serve them to the guests.

Edible Tales BA frankie unsworth

Papyrus Paper with Edible inks

Edible Tales BA palettes

For the first course, diners were asked to become creative with their food. We served them edible papers, a crispy flatbread, and a paintbrush with 3 edible paints nestled in a an artist’s palette. The romesco sauce, avocado ink and carrot and sweet potato houmous were painted onto the breads.

The flat bread imitated the first form of paper used in Ancient Egypt, which was derived from the papyrus plant growing on the banks of the Nile. Someone actually asked me where we found papyrus paper. I am not mentioning any names.

Edible Tales BA messy palettes

Oracle Bone Marrow

Edible Tales BA bones

Oracle bone script refers to incised Ancient Chinese characters found inscribed on bones. In Ancient China, during the Shang (1600–1050 BC) and Zhou (1050 BC – 256 AD) dynasties documents were engraved on bone or bamboo. To communicate the tale of the Ancient Chinese oracle script, we decided to serve bones.

Edible Tales BA parsley in bones

Being big bone marrows fans, inspired by London’s St John restaurant, we roasted bone marrow. The neat white other bones are the result of scrubbing, boiling and sitting in denture solution (half of them then hopped on a plane across the Atlantic). They were then inscribed and used to serve the parsley and caper salad accompanied by a caraway seed encrusted baguette to slather the marrow on.

ET BA bone marrow daylight

Crispy Pork ‘Hide’ with Vegetable Fonts

Edible Tales BA pork belly

Our main course drew on the concept of the animal hides being used as paper in the Middle Ages. We also wanted to include some of the spices associated with that age, namely cinnamon and star anise. We served a pork belly with very crispy pork crackling, a cauliflower puree spiked with star anise and roasted and skinned cinnamon plums.

E-book vol au vents

Edible Tales BA ebook vol au vent

In our chronological tale it seemed necessary to end on a thoroughly modern note, so we came up with an e-book, vol au vent-style.

Edible Tales BA dessert plating

We served it with a mate (the classic Argentine tea) flavoured crème patissiere. As a nod to the almighty Apple Inc, we included some brunoise apples, an apple puree and some dehydrated slices of apple as a garnish.

diners edible tales ba

Many thanks to Bodega Septima for generously supplying the wonderful wines and our lovely helpers: Maxi and Molly.

Photos: Caitlin Margaret Kelly

salud edible tales ba

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2 thoughts on “Edible Tales, Buenos Aires

  1. Looks like a fabulous adventure – your cooking style is very refreshing & also loving your tv series on BBC – Well done from Eddy in North Wales :)

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