A few weeks ago, I was invited to dine at Eculent, the Kemah restaurant we highlighted in a feature in our February issue. That story drew diners toward the Gulf to sample the Skinner experience: A multi-sensory dinner of about 40 courses that costs more than $200 per chair.
When I visited, both couples seated with me and my dining partner were there because of Houstonia's story. Also, there: the Washington Post's Mary Beth Albright, shooting a video for the publication's Secret Table series.
The dinner was excellent. A few dishes stood out: Out of the Forest, showcasing freeze-dried greens, mushrooms, escargot, and truffles, with a fork that smelled like a mossy forest floor; What A Potato Dreams Of, a simple purple potato cooked in duck fat, topped with caviar and 24k gold flakes, and placed inside a Fabergé egg; the outstanding corn soup that accompanied a substantial but single shrimp. Moreover, I loved learning about Skinner's process by visiting his laboratory and discussing his dishes.
The next night, unbeknownst to Skinner, the Washington Post's food critic Tom Sietsema visited Eculent. He dined and reviewed the restaurant; you can read the review here.
It's been an eventful year for Eculent and Skinner, and it's not slowing down for the chef anytime soon: Skinner will host Around the World in 10,000 Bites at the Houston Museum of Natural Science on Aug. 17, in an incredible event co-sponsored by Houstonia. Chefs from across the world will join Skinner in producing a 100-plus-course meal for 100-plus guests.