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  • Writer's pictureRose Bud

Chef Fish's First Pop-Up Is Fit For The Epicurean



The Fish Family are one of the most hospitable people I know and it's no wonder how they managed to pulled off such a success pop-up restaurant. The special event took place on a Monday inside a bakery in Temecula, California. Mrs. Fish did an incredible job setting up the front of the house. The candlelit space was whimsical with a touch of sophistication.

What I like most about pop-up restaurants is that they're all about gastronomy. During this provisional event, chefs break away from conventional menus by creating a personal masterpiece they will introduce to their guests.

While a pop-up is a trending phenomenon, it has a feel of exclusivity for those in attendance. Often times they are marked by a ticket price, limited number of seating and a fixed menu. They may also fall on an odd day, time or place.

On this occasion, I was delighted to dine with the company of one of our Instagram followers. As you may have read in a previous article, Tasteful Escape was very excited to partner with Fish's team in a contest that gave one random follower the opportunity to experience a pop-up restaurant. I want to give a shot-out to everyone who participated in the giveaway, to @the2winegirls for attending and to Fish for his generosity.

Partaking in Chef Fish's very first pop-up restaurant felt like I was the luckiest foodie in the country. The memorable event began with a charcuterie platter and a glass of wine. While guests arrived, we helped ourselves to fine slices of meat, cheese, fruit and nuts. A pour Old Vine Zinfandel or Chardonnay eventually became an open bar. Had you known... had you known! As I recall, this appetizer course was not noted in the ticket description and so, it was taken as a sweet surprise.

First Course

In a previous conversation I had with Fish about cooking, he explained to me sous-vide. When I jumped to the conclusion that it's similar to boiling, I stood corrected.

Sous-vide is French for "under vacuum." This cooking method requires that food be placed in a plastic pouch or glass jar and cooked in a water bath for an extended period of time. The water temperature is regulated, set at low and never touches the food. This ensures that an item is cooked evenly while retaining moisture. And well... you guessed it! He chose this cooking method for his dishes.

The first course taunts us with a Deconstructed Potato Salad. Sous-vide potato wedge is then deep fried and tossed in champagne vinaigrette with crispy pancetta and micro herb salad. The base ingredients are plated with garlic aioli, shaved parmesan, green onion and a soft boiled egg. A divine take on the traditional potato salad had familiar notes with superb textures.

Main Course

A Rack of Lamb fit for the gods was presented as the main course. The sous-vide method provided tender, pink lamb chops. The flavorful chops had a dollop of bright mint pesto and were served with eggplant puree. Adding to this celestial dish are pickled mustard seeds and spiced roasted vegetables.


Bursting fruity bubbles of blueberry caviar added pizazz to the creamy Lemon Panna Cotta. Toasted meringue and lemon curd made from scratch took this dessert to level heaven. In the mix is graham cracker crumble and mint. This is Panna Cotta at it's best, baby!

After dessert, everyone seemed to chill for a bit. I don't think any of us wanted to leave to be quite honest. An encore would have been nice; instead, Chef came out to chill with the party before we left. Could I not wake up from this tasty dream.

For more on this chef, search his Facebook page.

Chef Daniel Fish



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