– Flip it. – Shhh! Shut up, John! Hey, it’s Andy Baraghani here and I’m here for a secret conversation about Chris Morocco. Once again, we’re gonna put Chris’ super taster abilities to the test, this is Gabriela Camara’s Tuna Tostada.
We’re challenging Chris to replicate this exact dish with every ingredient in just one day. He’ll be able to taste it, touch it, smell it, but at no point will he be able to see this dish. Because he only has one day, we’re going to give him three life lines but there is a catch.
Using them will dock points off his final score. At the end of the day, we’ll come back to see his final creation and I’ll be the judge. – Brad Leone’s one year aged miso. This is gonna be like weirdly specific but I thought I smelled like micas, you know? Like some kinda like tortilla, egg, like something a little bit crispy fried.
Huh, so like maybe a crispy tortilla thing, maybe I’m not like so crazy after all. This is a really good tostada. I have to say, it’s like delightful. It’s like it actually has like tons of character to it.
Like almost like you made a tostada from like a vista hermosa tortilla or something like that. Oh! That was lime. What are you? Oh, honestly you feel an avocado out of context and it’s a little spooky, I’m just saying okay.
What is this? At first I thought maybe it was smoked salmon, but it doesn’t taste smoky. It’s gotta be like raw fish but it’s just like tuna or salmon, I mean I’m leaning a little bit more towards tuna it’s tricky because there’s stuff all over it.
I mean, there’s like some kind of like spicy mayo situation. Like smoky kind of like dried chili. I’m trying to think of like you know, who the chef would be, what influences like, clearly they’re looking at Mexico with that tostada but clearly you know they’re also seemingly looking to possibly like Japan as well and like could that like chili heat be coming from something like togarashi and then like that shreddy something.
Ah, what the is that? – It looks like we broke you. – You can just cut, I’ll be here for the next hour. This specific component is just really throwing me because it’s just like so incredibly neutral but it’s like neutral sweet.
It’s got some texture, but it just doesn’t have like flavor. Soon I’m gonna run out of it and then I’m not gonna have like anything left to do. Like go in the bathroom and cry. This is really bothering me.
There is a quality to it that like I know I should get and I’m just not and that’s like, it’s really under my skin. The texture is giving me like a vertically shredded like kind of scallion and yet it doesn’t really have any like oniony bite to it.
Maybe what it actually is is kind of a sweated bit of leek. And that’s like what’s giving you the sweetness and the little bit of earthiness but like zero bite to it. Whose putting cooked down leek on top of raw tuna and then with some like creamy creamy, you know? – Who is? – Didn’t we do this one before? – Don’t get caught up on the nubs.
– Just seal it. – The nubs are all I see. – Chris, you’re wearing a blindfold. – Should I know this, is this a thing? Is this like what the kids are wearing? There’s a little bit happening that’s kind of store bought, there’s a little bit happening that is conceptual.
Corn tortillas, neutral oil, Hellman’s but then also QP mayo, lime, avocado, leeks, tuna, togarashi, and then if it weren’t togarashi I think we could say sort of like cayenne or ancho chili powder. Samars gonna love me.
Unless she has it in the back in which case, she will also love me. I don’t know, I’m just curious like what makes it back here. I mean if you’re looking for like sushi-quality tuna in Fairmont, like you better have a plan, right? Right? Nothing, nothin’.
I mean this is them, it’s them, they got the togarashi, got the QP, but then why is this honkin’ big bag of masa here. It’s like if you’re using a tortilla with great flavor like this is the vermosa we were talkin’ about, like that’s kinda where it’s at, right? Samar, you did not make your own tortilla, did you? – Can I answer, Matt? – You can answer that.
– Could the tuna, assuming that’s what it is, had been like you know kinda seared the way you do sometimes or at least the way we did in the ’80s for those of us who were around in the ’80s to see such awesomeness as Iron Eagle, one and two in the theater.
But I don’t think it was because tuna when you cook it, obviously the texture completely transforms. I didn’t get anything like that. I also didn’t get like, any flavor on the tuna.
Samar this is sushi quality, right? – Absolutely. – Okay, thank God. I’m cutting it against the grain, like get like a nice kinda cross section there. Definitely not trying to go this way just ’cause you’re never gonna achieve a clean slice whereas like if you come across this way, I think you can do just that, wash everything down and then another piece of plastic wrap over this.
I’m gonna cut this leek in half lengthwise. They are like the filthiest vegetable. I like leeks, I like them, they’re fine. But like it’s a lot of fuss and for what? Great, you made a leek. It didn’t necessarily taste like an alium and it would make sense that you know a cooked leek because very mild.
Salts gonna help start to dry out moisture from those leeks. Then I might cover it and let it just kind of steam out a little bit it will just make the leek give up its texture a little bit. I mean this would like look sort of cool you know, on a piece of fish.
Little chew, little softs, feel pretty good about that. All right, I think next we’re gonna fry up some tortillas. And that means like practically doing a deep fry on them. I so wanna just like frisbee one of these things.
Wanna grab it, Matt? All right, reach. Oh . It faded left, it’s okay, it’s fine, it’s fine. I’m gonna put them in at 350. These really wanna puff up a lot which is great if you’re making puffy tacos but not as good if you’re making tostadas so you can like sandwich it between a couple of spatulas or a couple of flat things.
That looks like pretty good. That is it, it’s a match. In my brain like somethings going like ding ding ding. You know Which brings us to mayonnaise. So mayonnaise obviously you know, it’s an emulsion of usually egg but it can be another binder as well.
The QP just doesn’t taste as good to me frankly. I just like that the Hellman’s is just kind of bringing a little richness, super creamy, I don’t know, we can work with that for the minute. See what happens.
But in terms of our chilis, so we have ancho, cayenne, shichimi togarashi and then just regular togarashi. This is the ancho to start things off. Little heat, little warm. Cayenne, way more intensity.
Very little else kinda going on. This like, shichimi togarashi has like a lot of texture to it, I felt something just like a lot smoother. The pepper only style, I think the texture definitely disappears a little bit more.
Thinking back, I guess, the thing that really stood out was just that it tasted like creamy and fatty but that it also had heat. – How would you describe the mayo that you tasted? – Hmm, what do you got in your notes? – Can I tell him? Well it’s your notes, yeah.
Smoky is one of the things that you said. – Did I? Did I say smoky? Smoky. Smoky. Okay, well maybe let’s go with some chipotle and Adobo and see where we get. – I have that. – You have that. Chipotle and Adobo makes sense too just because like that super intense Adobo sauce just has so much chili heat in it, also the nice thing about it is it’s decided lack of texture.
I’m finding myself wanting to reach for lime. This feels like it wants balance. Yeah? I already like, I’m not even sure what I would do to change when I would do the dish again. Go with like one big piece, avocado, then leek.
So here we are, this is my first attempt at this dish. I mean, overall am I feeling terrible? No, I’m not feeling terrible. I still feel like I don’t understand this dish. So in terms of ingredients, you know I’d say I’m at like an 80.
Taste? I’m gonna give myself a 93. It’s a crispy, high quality tortilla, a piece of tuna, creamy chiptole mayo. Honestly, if the original dish isn’t a leek, well I figured out how to make the same thing with a leek so you know, you’re welcome world.
Here it is, I mean come on, that’s gotta be like at least a 90, right, right? The techniques today is where I’m having a hard time kind of understanding where I would be off. I cannot make a better tortilla than the vista hermosa tortilla if I’m gonna make mayo it’s gonna be because I’m putting olive oil into it, good quality oil.
Like I don’t think the dish would be better for me making either of these two components. The plan for next time is honestly, go upstairs, play defense, read some e-mails, and then come back and serve you the other tostada I didn’t already mangle.
– You got your lifelines if you want to think about that during lunch. – Ugh, that’s just painful. Okay, well listen, I feel stuck, I feel like there’s clearly something going on that I don’t get which is very often the case.
So one of my lifeline options is for three points off my score. If you can tell me one key ingredient that you think I’m missing, I would love to hear it. The eye twitch is back in a big way. Really? That’s soy, right? – Yeah! – Really? On that fish, there is soy? What I’m stunned at is like soy is like a very obvious flavor that should really stand out and I’m really questioning why I didn’t get it.
Like you know, that’s just like it’s really actually a bit depressing for me. I’m pretty much just sitting here, kinda making up. Like the more flavor I add to this, the more I sit there and ask myself like how is it possible that I miss this on the first pass? Now the other eye is twitching.
It went from the right, your right, my left, to your left, my right. Look, it’s not bad, what little clings to the fish, it’s honestly somewhat subtle. Is there a technique or an ingredient that can help minimize the flavor of the marinade? Does that make sense to you? Does that make sense to anybody? – Ah! – Remember, it’s not my recipe.
– Hey Chris, if we potentially have the option to do another tasting, would that be helpful? – Let’s do it, it! The new formats out, old format is back. Fire up the music, we’re comin’ in hot, okay? I’m gonna run upstairs.
It’s like everywhere you go there’s just like squidge. All right so that was one piece of fish on here, or no, there’s two pieces of fish. The soy is very subtle. I can imagine I’m maybe smelling something kinda toasty.
Samar do you have toasted sesame oil? – I do not. – , God! Ugh, all right well you better get this outta here because my contacts are like slowly working their way into the back of my eyeballs.
So, that’s definitely gonna ruin the old day so just take it away. You know, maybe this was a big mistake. Being given soy sauce, you know I have to say it’s still like tasting it the second time, you could blow right past it.
You know, hit the brakes, boom, soy flies right by. There’s a part of me that’s like my God, should I just have one try to try to get the dish right? – Now Chris, are you doing anything differently with the leek? – No Kelly, if somebody wanted me to do something differently they should’ve put a little more flavor in it so I’d know what to do.
– Oh! – Shots fired! These picked up a little too much color. I think I gotta go with like the originals. So this time I’m going with two smaller pieces of fish and one piece of avocado.
Okay, I’m good to go. When you have a dish with like 30 ingredients but it’s a dish that you sort of know or think you know, you can, I mean I don’t wanna give away my secrets. But I mean you can practically guess 15 of the ingredients right off the bat, you know what I mean? If you know what the dish is.
Your taste buds can only tell you so much, you know? Salt, fat, acid, heat, sweet. You get texture as a bonus and that’s it and then you just have to recognize flavors from there. You know, it’s as much about intuiting what the dish should be as what it is, you know? Okay, I’m ready Samar, I’ve got hands on cloches.
– I present to you, Gabriela Camara’s Tuna Tostada from Contramar. – Okay, okay. That’s leek! I’m sorry, like everything else could be totally wrong, but if that’s a leek, I walk away happy! I mean a cooked leek! I think raw or tender, let’s just say fish, and crunchy tortilla, dynamite combination.
Honestly, just leek. Just one word, leek. – So on ingredients, how do you feel you did? – I don’t even know like where this lands me, I don’t know, I feel like I’m somewhere around like an 83. There’s a part of me that’s like even if I don’t do the dish correctly like if I’m the dish that people feel like taste better than I’m still happy.
Taste, 90. I think all the right techniques are pretty much represented here I would give myself like a 90 for this one. Appearance, come on, I mean like Morgan, Morgan has let his man bun down, it’s all spilling out, come out right, just say appearance, what is it? – It looks pretty identical.
– Buns out, guns out, pretty identical, I mean in my world, that’s a 95. Matt up, couldn’t book the talent, so we don’t have a judge today . No, it’s cool. We are gonna be zooming in with our judge next week hopefully so we’re gonna pick this back up then and I will get my final scores.
Hey Beanie! You wearing your cape bud? Ally, upstairs and big hand wash, okay? – Whenever you’re ready, Andy. – By the way, I’m wearing my emotional support hoodie. So whatever, whatever is about to happen, I’m prepared ’cause I’ve got my armor, okay? – So with the ingredients, you gave yourself a 90? – That sounds possible, that was like two weeks ago, which might as well be two years.
– That felt a little high just looking at the fact that you did miss the soy. – Oh, I called in a life line for the soy. – You missed the orange juice. – Orange juice? I want your honest opinion here, okay? Little bit unorthodox to coat raw slabs of fish in oil and then give it a wash in a ponzu, once there’s oil on that fish, it’s gonna be even less likely to soak in any of those flavors, in my defense! – So you clearly have a lot of opinions on the actual dish.
I have to just judge on the ingredients that you included and what you didn’t. – Oh, come on Andy, bring Brad back! Oh my God! – You missed the finishing salt which I thought you would pick up just from the texture.
You gave yourself. – Finishing salt! Oh my God! – Every little bit I can. So if you gave yourself a 90. – For ingredients he gave himself an 83. – Oh you gave yourself an 83, wow! – Ha, humility! Which is worth extra points.
– So, if that’s the case then, there’s no way I can match your 83. So I’m gonna give you an 80. – Okay. – That’s fine. – Okay. – Now is for the tough time to talk about technique though. ‘Cause I think the first bit is that you didn’t make your own mayonnaise.
– You know. This is where I do feel a deep sense of shame. I can’t remember that 50% olive oil, 50% neutral. What was it? – It’s all olive oil. – Olive oil . Okay, I mean I can believe that.
– I guess, you did fry your own tortillas, you did fry the leeks, I think the temperatures were slightly off. – My thing though, is that if you’re gonna fry the leek, fry the leek! But like fry, color! – Oh yeah thin, and like super lacey, frizzly.
I also love Gabriela so much so I am never gonna say. – Yeah, you’re like gonna take a bullet for her! – 100% she’s perfect to me. I split some stuff with her. – She is pretty awesome. – The funny thing is I went to her restaurant before I had met her and then once I met her, it kind of made so much sense.
It’s like there’s so much thought and there’s a reason for each step and ingredient that’s added and it’s never too much, it’s never not enough. The other item for marinating the fish with oil first instead you just kind of added your ponzu-like sauce directly on to the fish, you gave your technique a 90 and I think like, that’s insane.
I’m gonna be rough. We’re gonna have to just go there and give you a 68. But look at it this way, the taste you gave yourself a 90, I’m gonna stick with 90 ’cause I have no doubt and I trust you, appearance again you gave yourself a 95, looks good, I’ll stick with 95.
So your overall score that you gave yourself is a 90 and I’m giving you an 83. So it’s really being an A minus student versus being you know being a B minus, B student, so it’s fine. I understand, this is rare for you .
– I had some big wins but I don’t know, you always kind of end up kind of getting distracted by something that you probably shouldn’t. – You should feel good and this gives you a reason when we get to the point where we are able to kind of travel, you’ll go to Mexico City and you’ll go to Contramar and you’ll have the famous Tuna Tostados.
– When I think of Contramar, I think of like the fish, you know with the bread and the green sauce. – Her agua chile is incredible I mean the restaurant is, every time I’ve gone there, I always go there.
It’s always so refined and beautiful, just like her! – And maybe you can check with her about why she dips the fish in the oil before putting it in the ponzu, you know? Just saying, if you guys are so close, maybe you can just like text her or something.