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Thursday, February 23, 2012

The NO KETCHUP Rule

I had a very fataboulous birthday night with my family last weekend.  We went to one of the hippest restaurants in Orange County, California.  The Playground it is.  This is surely the HIGHLIGHT of the night!  We all enjoyed every dishes and the hospitality there. 

Inside of the Playground

Chef Jason Quinn with me (the birthday girl) and us

Exterior of the restaurant

Talking about this restaurant and the owner and the Chef of this place.  I have been a royal fans of the Lime Truck since they launched.  Their food is truely fresh, refreshing and delicious just like the lime logo on their truck.  They were busy because of their food.  But now they got even more popular after they won the hit show "The Great Food Truck Race" on Food Network.  Last year, I heard that the Chef, Jason Quinn from the Lime Truck left his partner and the truck to open his very own "Playground" restaurant in downtown Santa Ana, CA.  I was beyond excited and could not wait to try his "creations".  Let me tell you, everything on the menu were good and fresh.  The dishes are more on the adventous side if you like to order the same thing at the resturant, this place might be too adventurous side.  However, if you are ready to put your trust in the Chef and his team, and want to try something different and unique, you NEED to come to here.  You won't be disappointed by the quality and creativity of their dishes. 

Their signature burger is beyond awesome.

From their Large bite menu - 26oz ribeye steak.  It's really flavorful and juicy.

Broccolini with black vinegar reduction

Pork loin with pineapple and mango salsa

Smoky chicken wings


Scallop sashimi with citrus and greenapple slices
with hints of yozu dressing

I just read an article about Chef Jason Quinn on the OC Weekly.  That truely inspired me about how I should decorate my cupcakes in future.  One of his rules is "No Ketchup" at his restaurant; he explained,

"Everything [I make] is made from scratch and is beautiful, so how can we say, 'Hey, we worked for eight hours to make these French fries, but we're gonna serve you ketchup that we got out of a can?'" he says. "Those things do not equate with each other."

That makes me think about this theory should apply to my cupcake works too.  I used great ingridents and baked them with love.  Sometimes, they got ruined by those overly-sweet fondant, gumpaste and not so tasty spinkles.  These lovely stuffs somehow downgrade the taste of my cupcakes.  His article pushed me to set an additional goal for this year - decorating my cupcakes using different edible ingridents to make the cupcakes pretty and enhance the flavor of the cupcakes.  But no worries, I am not going to ditch the lovely fondant, gumpaste and spinkles because they still make the cupcakes pretty. I just want myself to experiment with more different ingridents and media for decoration.

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