Plantains with Caviar and Black Bean Puree
Trumps was a 1980s food destination in Los Angeles. The term foodie got its start in the excessive eighties and Trumps became a foodie Mecca. The simple, streamlined South Western influence of the architecture was just a faÃ§ade for the extravagant tastes and flavors that Chef Michael Roberts was presenting to the Hollywood players that stopped in night after night.
Many credit Trumps for finally putting Los Angeles on the culinary map because it was as sophisticated and imaginative as any Manhattan eatery and had the extra allure of the grandest of Hollywood pedigrees. Agents, actors, directors lunched there because the room was flooded with the magical glow of the Los Angeles sun. Everyone looked good, which is massively important if one of the prime purposes of dining is to see and be seen.
But the main attraction was the food. It was adventurous and ever changing. The oh so sophisticated creative community demanded new tastes and unusual combinations. An emphasis was placed on food with a certain glamorous flair, but always slightly exotic. Quesadillas stuffed with grapes and Brie was served with a sweet pea â€œguacamole”. So you get the ideaâ€¦these new and creative taste sensations were embraced proudly and with a vengeance. We foodies rejoiced and some of my earliest experiences with the truly gourmet happened at Trumps and during this decade.
Though the restaurant came to define the 80s, nothing lasts forever. Trumps quickly closed shop about 1992 when the chef decided he had had enough. I was lucky enough to be treated to a (unknowingly) final meal there right before they closed the doors for good.
Well, I am going to breath new life into a classic Trumps appetizer. I am bringing back a simple CanapÃ© of plantains and caviar with a black bean puree. This appetizer is really just a creative look at the classic blini with caviar. But the bold flavors, combined in a very confident and unusual manner, were what made this dish so fresh and provocative.
As promised some notes on my Panamanian Cooking Adventure. I am sorry it took me a month to get this to you. But that’s how life is, huh? You always gotta wait for the good stuff!
I was invited by Boquete Gourmet to come to Panama and lead a cooking demonstration. Not one to fear a little adventure– off I traispsed. My concept was to present 6 recipes from classic reastaurants of Hollywood. There is plenty of detail about my choices in previous posts. CLICK here for the original Panama announcement or on the purple links to posts about each recipe.
Panama City is a 5 1/2 hour flight from Los Angeles. We took the red-eye, so I slept on the plane and it seemed we arrived lickity-split (who slipped that Ambien into my cocktail?) to the Panama City Airport! It is big and modern and easy to navigate. We soon got our rental car and before you knew it, we were on the road. It’s a good thing we got an early start because our destination was still a full 8 hours away by car. We were off to Boquete, and it’s way up (over?) at the Costa Rican border. I am sorry I don’t have photos of this part of the trip, but I was a bit nervous about the cooking adventure and was a little lax on my photography, duties.
Did I mention that I am going to Panama to lead a cooking demonstration highlighting recipes from some of the grandest restaurants of the Hollywood mystique? I am practising these recipes here before I go, hoping to get your feedback. I started yesterday with an iconic 1980s Plantains and Caviar with Black Bean Puree appetizer from the restaurant that defined the outsized egoism of Hollywood in the 1980sâ€“ Trumps. I am looking back to the glamorous beginning of the restaurant tradition in Hollywood today by featuring a cocktail from The Cocoanut Grove.
You see, I was invited to Panama by a group of rather glamorous ex-pats (Boquete Gourmet) who get together and learn about food by inviting chefs and other food-obsessed freaks like me to come to the beautiful town of Boquete, near the Costa Rican border and cook. I am doing an evening of small plates highlighting recipes from several legendary Hollywood restaurants.
You want to hear something funny. SippitySup has a rank of 4332 in Panama. It’s my best rank per country in the world. Which means that SippitySup is a very popular site in Panama. It seems so random, but itâ€™s true.
I start with that little fact because I have some exciting news; SippitySup has been invited to Panama to lead a cooking demonstration for a group called Boquete Gourmet. Somehow little tiny SippitySup has managed to catch the hearts of a group of food loving ex-pats living the high life near the border with Costa Rica. Boquete is a beautiful town adjacent to the mighty Volcan BarÃº, and I am very honored and excited to be invited.
Boquete is a peacful little mountain community that is often described as Paradise. In fact Forbes magazine recently rated Boquete as one of the top 10 places to retire in the world. Harper’s Bazaar says, “Panama is the most beautiful retreat in the world and almost undiscovered.”
Well Sup! is about to discover it in a big way!
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