In the middle of last year, I came across some blogs, videos and photos featuring I’m a Kombo from Copenhagen.
Bo Lindegaard and Lasse Askov, both chefs classical trained, turned their backs on the way things usually are for chefs.
Creating a creative island in the sea of ex-noma sous chef restaurants in Copenhagen, their philosophy goes way beyond food, The Social Acts are very intelligent constructed dining experiences.
After many conversations via mail and skype, we had the basic concept settled for the collaboration of I’m a Kombo and 2am:lab in Singapore, taking music theory as a base and constructing the dinner based on the set up of an album. Their idea of constructing a beat box that will give the rhythm for the whole meal, while being controlled by the guests, was first hard to understand but ended up being a really essential fun element.
Interaction is just one part. Confronting the guests with different tasks (opening wine and pouring it for the other guests or finishing a cake together as a group) strangers become companions on a journey conducted, but not totally controlled by the hosts.
Instructions from bo and lasse do not feel like orders as In many restaurants, where the maître tells you a specific way to eat the food. It is more like being at a friend’s house being asked to give them a hand with something.
The longer the night, the stronger the feeling of a social gathering becomes. It is not a dinner with strangers anymore,
It is a Social Act.
For a detailed presentation on I’m a Kombo – Control & Coincidence by Bo & Lasse watch the youtube video from the WGS2013 jam session
Food being obviously the main reason to come for a dinner, it becomes secondary very quickly. Not that I’m a kombo’s food is boring or not tasty, their food is very tasty, creative and comforting. The food is the kick start for everything by sharing the culinary and conceptual experiences, the guests have a starting level of social interaction. It does not matter where you from, what you do and where you going to be, right now they are all in the same place and share the same new experience.
One of their signature dishes is the passion fruit.
Mint jelly injected into a whole passion, simple at a first look, but on a second it is very smart.
Like a Kinder Egg for grown-ups, it is looks like a normal passion fruit, you get to cut it open with a knife and there is a surprising filling.
Summarizing the experience of collaborating with Bo and Lasse, they went really deep into detail of what is a good night. Some of the best nights in our live were not in a 3 star restaurant, the best nights were together with old and new friends, sharing good food and drinks, talking about everything and nothing.
to get a little impression of how the dinner was,
Big Tak to Bo, Lasse and Pawel!
2 nos rabbit loins with belly meat (about 250g)
5g five spice powder
100g yuzu juice
50g sea salt
50g rose petals
100g red wine vinegar
1 nos Leek, mature
5g butter, salted
1000g parsley, flat / Italian
green leek trimming
salt & olive oil, amount depends on parsley & leek
Braised Pork belly
500g pork belly (cut from the middle for a fat and meat balance)
1000 g water
60 g salt
30 g sugar gula malaka
110 g soy sauce
70 g black vinegar
10 g black tea
bring all ingredients to the boil
infuse for 15 min, strain & cool
black garlic puree
100g black garlic
20g black vinegar
2g sea salt
pass black garlic through a drum sieve
mix with remaining ingredients
keep at room temperature for service
Citrus oil from “Mystical” – miso egg yolk, tuna, katsuboshi, bitter green sphere, soursop
5 g lime zest
20 g long lime zest
7 g orange zest
100 g lemon grass
58 g pomello zest
33 g lime leaves
25 g ginger
250 g grape seed oil
1. make sure all the zest is clean and without pith
2. crush and chop the lemongrass and ginger
3. add all ingredients in the thermo mix and blend until fine
4. set on 70 degree and heat for 5-10 minutes (after the temperature is reached)
5. keep on smelling while heating, when the aromas start stop right away
6. transfer into a container, cool down fast and infuse for a minimum of 24 hours
7. strain threw a super bag
8 pc prawn
50 g sake
- sous vide the prawn and the sake, marinate for 20 min
- using a skewer to maintain the shape of the prawn while flashing it in a pan
- serve cold
30 g dry shitake
5 g nori
1 g salt
- blend all ingredients in the thermomix to a powder
Toasted black sesame seed biscuit
133 g black sesame paste
157 g egg whites
65 g yolks
32 g flour
10 g sesame oil
2 g salt
3 siphon charges
- melt the coverture and chocolate butter, set aside
- sieve the flour and ginger
- mix the egg whites, yolks, flour, black sesame paste, sesame oil and salt
- pour the mix into a 500g siphon and charge with 3 charges
- shake well, then rest in the fridge for 10 min
- cut the base of disposal cups cross wise
- fill 1/3 of the cup with the mix
- cook in the microwave for 20 seconds on 1000 watt
500 g water
80 g tapioca flour
4 g squid ink
0,5 g salt
- boil water, salt and tapioca flour until the mixture starts thickening
- add the squid ink and spread the mix thin on a silpat
- back on 80 degrees Celsius for 60 min
- take off the silpat and portion
aromatic Chocolate Dressing
40 g chocolate 28%
32 g olive oil
12g coriander seeds
- toast the coriander seeds
- warm the olive oil pour over the seeds and infuse for 30 min
- with a pestle and mortal, crack the seeds in the oil and strain
- melt the chocolate and mix with the oil
Filet of suckling pig
400 g filet of suckling pig
- sous vide the suckling pig
- cook in the steamer on 64 degrees Celsius for 45 min
- cool down right away & portions into 50 g
- coat with Mole and set aside
- before using regenerate on 90 degree Celsius
80 g mole
250 g chicken stock
1,5 g salt
3 g kappa
- dilute the mole in the stock and salt
- add kappa and warm up
- keep on a warm spot
- cover the portioned suckling pig filet
Spicy chocolate foam
180 g chocolate 28%
20 g red curry paste
400 g coco nut milk
4,2 g egg white powder
4,2 g sugar
- melt the chocolate and keep warm
- heat milk with curry paste. Strain and cool
- mix all ingredients in a bowl, using a hand blender to create bubbles
- remove the bubbles with a slotted spoon and serve
Alcohol bubbles on the beauty and the beast
Product: Sucrose ester
250 grams Bourbon
250 grams Apple juice
100 grams Grand Marnier
50 grams Pernod
150 grams Pomelo juice
100 grams Lime juice
50 grams Mangosteen puree
100 grams Syrup
10g Sucrose ester (Sucro)
Bring Syrup and Sucrose ester to a boil, whisking carefully.
Add juices off heat, and then alcohols, emulsifying with a hand blender.
Strain, and reserve until needed.
Sucrose esters are obtained by esterifying sucrose with edible fatty acids from palm oil. This enables them to be used as emulsifiers in virtually all food products. All sucrose esters can be declared as ‘emulsifier E473’ or ‘sucrose esters’.
Sucrose esters are used in many food categories such as bakery, confectionery, cereals, dairy, ice cream and sauces. Manufacturers have multiple reasons to work with sucrose esters, for example it can improve the production process by reducing mixing time or keeping viscosities low. Sucrose esters are also more and more used in low fat alternatives. In these products the mouth feel provided by fat has to be maximised, an emulsifier makes the fat globules much smaller and therefore provides good eating properties. A bakery product will have a finer crumb structure and a softer texture, the stability of dairy or sauces will be improved, the texture of a mousse finer and ice cream a better flavour.
Although sucrose esters are categorised as emulsifiers their function is not only emulsification. Functions such as aeration, texturisation, protein protection or starch interaction and fat or sugar crystallisation are often used. Sucrose esters are unique in a way that they can boost other emulsifiers and improve the air bubble structure or prevent proteins from browning or keep starches from early staling. The effect on sugar and fat crystallisation is primarily used in confections to prevent fat bloom in chocolate and to accelerate crystallisation in fine grained sugar confection.
2am: lab hosts Daniel Jorda for a week during the World gourmet submit.
One of the top bread makers in Europe, Daniel Jorda’s humble background and creativity has touched the chefs at 2am: lab.
We collaborated to make a 7 course meal where bread took centre stage of the dinner for the first time.
Different flavors and textures of bread were incorporated into the courses. (more photos can be viewed in our gallery)
When he first arrived, we took him to Ghim moh market where he tasted most of the local delights and bought much local herbs and fruits for the dinner and workshop.
Annatto bread recipe coming soon…
Daniel loves using spices, dried herbs and vegetables in his bread and it was wonderful seeing him being inspired by our flavor wall and picking ingredients from the wall for use in his bread.
Another bread he made for pre dinner course. one of his favorites….
250g whole wheat bread flour
10g baker yeast
5g sea salt
1tbsp oregano leaves
1tbsp rosemary leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
15g extra virgin olive oil
2g sea salt
Making bread sculptures for petit 4s.
Chef daniel and the 2am: lab chefs, made some experiments with the dough with flour, salt and water.
During the course of Ayako’s one month residence at 2am: lab, she frequented the markets and always coming back with numerous ingredients for experimentation.
How important it is to brainstorm and taste all the parts of the ingredients and work on it after 1-2 rounds of tasting.
Sometimes we do not think of food and its flavors in such a way but what was interesting about this collaboration with Guest Chef Ayako Suwa was her approach to ingredients.
She would describe tastes with sadness, happiness, fondness etc.
After almost a month of intense collaboration between 2am:lab and food creation artist ayako suwa, the menu for the experience dinner “journey on the table” had it’s premier on the last weekend on February 2012.
Taking the inspiration from migrating birds, the guests were taken on a journey from the lake threw the grassland, forest, along the city and to the ocean.
Following Ayako suwa’s philosophy of serving the guest an experience rather then a restaurant like meal, nonconventional combination of tastes, shapes, textures and senses were presented in combination with scenery, music and light changes.
Different to a chef creating a dish is not based on the ingredients for ayako, she gains inspiration from every aspect in live, walking along a river, the look of dried bark, the feeling of sand running threw the fingers, the smell of rain on warm stone, bright lights of a city by night…
Creating the menu with this special angle, there might be dishes that do not please everyone, but that is also not the intention. Introducing the guest to a different world, experiencing things from a different point of view, maybe changing the way they look at things or reminding them of long forgotten ones.
Thank you very much to Ayako Suwa, Shinya Furui and Chiaki Fujii from food creation for an amazing event.
Video of Journey on the table
Dishes of the dinner can be viewed in our gallery in this website.