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Who would takeover our blog???

Posted on July 13, 2014 in the Catering, Cooking Classes, Desserts, inspiration, Local Happenings, Must Reads, Resources, Uncategorized category by Dennis Chan.

We have gone missing on our blog. For updates, look for us on Facebook and Instagram.

On Facebook. we have two pages.  https://www.facebook.com/bluebamboo

https://www.facebook.com/Blue-Bamboo-121087374599475/?ref=hl

and https://instagram.com/bluebamboojacksonville/

 

Follow us on Social Media!

Posted on June 8, 2014 in the inspiration, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

Instagram Pictures:


Instagram
Twitter:

TV Dinner event with the Specktator!

Posted on June 5, 2014 in the Local Happenings, Updates, Wine dinners category by Dennis Chan.

On March 24th, we will partner with the Specktator for a special event.  We’ll re-create classic TV dinners Here are the details:

As a kid, who didn’t love TV dinners? Dining on mushy and/or flavorless food on a TV tray while watching your favorite show was pretty much a rite of passage (unless, you were the neighborhood kids whose parents wouldn’t let them watch TV).

Chef Dennis Chan remembers those days fondly and wanted to re-create the TV dinner experience but for an adult palate. The TV Dinner Dinner is a three-course meal featuring two of the most popular entreés, along with grown-up-kid-approved appetizer and dessert. (Kerry “The Specktator” Speckman was a big fan too, but she can cook about as well as Cindy Brady could say, “She sells seashells down by the seashore.”)

Appetizer
Mille Feuille-enrobed mini-link sausage with mustard dipping sauce
Entreé (Choose One)
Salisbury steak with forest mushroom demi-glace
Buttermilk fried chicken with country gravy
Entreés served with snap peas and baby carrots in ginger butter sauce
and duchess mashed potatoes flavored with Parmesan
Dessert
Molten-center brownie bundt
Price includes soft drinks.
Beer, wine and retro-inspired cocktails are at an additional cost.

 

I look forward to seeing you!

Chinese New Year 2014!

Posted on January 7, 2014 in the Cooking Classes, Local Happenings, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

This year, the lunar new year begins on January 31.

It’s the Year of the Horse, and according to astrologers, it is a year of unexpected adventures and surprising romance.

We are celebrating with a Chinese New Year cooking class on January 25th,

Dim Sum on Sunday, January 26th,

Dinner Specials on January 31st and February 1,

and Dim Sum on February 2.

Join us as we ring in the year of the Horse!

A meal for 4 for only $9.07 in food!

Posted on November 11, 2013 in the Cooking Classes, Local Happenings, Techniques, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

This week, I spent an afternoon cooking with Heather Crawford from First Coast News.

She asked if  I would be able to cook a gourmet meal with food purchased from a dollar store, and spend less than $10.  Although I had my own doubts about what I could possibly buy at the dollar store to cook a decent meal,  I was ready for the challenge.

As we walked around the store, I didn’t want to select anything that wasn’t wholesome, because that is just not how we cook with at Blue Bamboo.  That meant all prepared foods, mixes, and canned foods were out.  As tempting as it was to pick up a bag of seasoned rice or pasta to cook, I passed on all of that stuff too.  Anyone can open a package and make those things.  There were canned veggies and fruit.  Some were packed in juices or water, and not heavy syrups, so I could have cooked with them, but I decided to pass on them too.  I couldn’t imagine that starting with those ingredients would have given us a meal that we would be proud of.

I struck gold when I came across their freezer and refrigerated sections.  I found frozen peas, frozen berries, milk, eggs, and sausage.  I found some flour, and some cocoa powder caught my eye.

All of those groceries ended up costing $9.07.  Under our budgeted $10.00, and now I had a bout an hour to prepare our gourmet meal.

Here’s the final menu:

Pork and English Pea “Love Letters”  with Green Pea Sauce

and Cool-Hot Cocoa Creme Brulee with Berries.

The ingredients actually could have fed 6 people, but we had to save a little for us to taste.

See the video clip of our shopping and preparing this meal at firstcoastnews.com.

National Chop Suey Day at Blue Bamboo

Posted on August 29, 2013 in the inspiration, National Holidays category by Dennis Chan.

Back in the 60′s, my grandfather had a restaurant right here in Jacksonville called Eng’s Chop Suey.  It was located in the La Villa part of town at the corner of Ashley and Davis Streets.

As the story goes, Chop Suey was created by Cantonese immigrants who really knew how to cook!  That was my grandfather.  A medic in the US Army, he settled in Jacksonville because of its similar climate to his hometown in Canton.

These days, Chop Suey is one of those classic dishes that hasn’t made it on our menu.  Occasionally, we do get the request for Cantonese Chop Suey, and we are happy to make it as long as we have the ingredients in-house.

So join us this week at Blue Bamboo for a celebration of my family history, We’ll be happy to make Chop Suey for you.

National Zucchini Day at Blue Bamboo

Posted on August 8, 2013 in the inspiration, Local Happenings category by Dennis Chan.

When we first opened, we wanted to give nod to our restaurant ancestors.  That restaurant in the space that we are in now was called the Dragon.  We decided to create an appetizer just to honor that ancestry.  We wanted this appetizer to be a fun one to share, and one that could be a signature item for Blue Bamboo.  So we julienned up some zucchini, coated them in some buttermilk and seasoned flour, and fried them up until golden.  Dragon Whiskers have been on our menu since our first day in business.

Today is National Zucchini Day and we are excited that we can celebrate with Dragon Whiskers!

Dragon Whiskers with Garlic Chive Ranch Dipping Sauce

National Watermelon Day at Blue Bamboo!

Posted on August 3, 2013 in the Local Happenings, Must Reads, National Holidays, Techniques, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

We’ll celebrate with our WAG salad, created especially for our 8th Anniversary tasting menu.  This salad has all the goodness of watermelon, asparagus, and grapes, dressed in our house-made soy-balsamic vinaigrette.  Stop by today and celebrate national watermelon day

National Waffle Day

Posted on July 5, 2013 in the Local Happenings, National Holidays, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

dissertationcheap.com

Trinitas Wine Dinner

Posted on May 16, 2013 in the Wine dinners category by Dennis Chan.

We’ve long been a fan of wine from Trinitas Cellars in Napa. This evening, we had the pleasure of having Garrett Busch, Proprietor, join us for a dinner featuring his wines.

 

 

Pajama Brunch Sunday- Easter edition

Posted on March 30, 2013 in the Local Happenings, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

This Easter Sunday, we’ll be open and serving our Blue Bamboo Favorites alongside our monthly Pajama Brunch specialties.

We know it’s Easter, and you might want to wear your Sunday best, but since we have to be here so early, we’re showing up to work in our pajamas.
Details
  • Served – 10am-2pm
  • Menu service, starting from $7.50
  • All are welcome
  • In order to provide proper service, we are not able to offer individual separate checks.
  • There may be a long wait during peak times. Please call for us to set a table for you!
And of course, May and Michele will bring their Coffee Cup Caffe’ expertise to this special event at Blue Bamboo.

Please call if we can be of service.  904.646.1478

Chef Dennis Chan included in Best Chefs America list

Posted on March 21, 2013 in the Top Chef, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

We are honored to be included on the inaugural ”Best Chefs America” list.

Here is a link to the Jacksonville Business Journal’s story about the 19 local area chefs who made it on the list:

Blue Bamboo wins city-wide best martini contest

Posted on February 25, 2013 in the Cooking Classes, inspiration, Local Happenings, Must Reads, Techniques category by Dennis Chan.

A few weeks ago, we were asked to participate in a martini contest.  The Junior League of Jacksonville sponspred this competition betweeen 6 local top restaurants and nightclubs.

In preparation for this competition, we tested many flavors and combinations to get what we thought might be the winning recipe.

In the end, we made a “Blood Orange Crush,” made with blood orange juice, tequila, blood orange liqueur, and topped with salt air.

The competition was stiff.  But when the votes were counted up,  we won!  Look in next month’s Jacksonville Magazine to see pictures and a story about our cocktail.

 

 

Valentines Day at Blue Bamboo

Posted on February 11, 2013 in the Desserts, Local Happenings, Updates, Wine dinners category by Dennis Chan.

Love is in the air at Blue Bamboo, so let us make your Valentine’s day romantic and easy this year.

Alongside our regular menu this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, we will also offer a Lover’s pairing menu where we’ll feature 4 romantic-themed courses paired with 4 glasses of wine for $80. Menu specials this weekend will include Thai Basil Whole Snapper, Sous Vide Curry-Rubbed Filet, Vahlrona Chocolate Terrine, and Southern Strawberry Tarts.

Book your table today at www.bluebamboojacksonville.com, or call us at 904.646.1478.

Thanks to all who selected us as “Most Romantic Restaurant in Jacksonville,” on researchpaperkingdom.com, and one of the top restaurants in Jacksonville on opentable.com.

We hope to see you soon!

Chinese New Year Dim Sum. Welcome the year of the Snake!

Posted on February 7, 2013 in the inspiration, Local Happenings, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

This Sunday,February 10th, we will serve up a very special Chinese New Year Edition of Dim Sum Sunday at Blue Bamboo from 11-2. It’s no secret that we love our dim sum, and after the feedback from our previous Dim Sum Sundays, we are more excited than ever that we are able to offer it on Chinese New Year.  During Dim Sum Sundays, we offer a la carte service of roast pork buns, turnip cakes, shrimp dumplings, pineapple buns, potstickers, and other dim sum favorites for that day only.

If you are new to Dim Sum, Dim Sum is the way Cantonese people socialize and conduct business.  In any Chinatown around the World, there are Dim Sum restaurants where all menu items are served in mini steamer baskets, and small plates.  Some people describe Dim Sum as Asian Tapas, where you can order as many items as you’d like, and keep ordering until you are full according TermPapersForSale24h.

Mark your calendar for our next Dim Sum Sunday if you can make it, and come on by from 11-2 on Sunday, February 10th.  Better yet, call us if you can make it.  We will set a table for you.

Blue Bamboo Sunday Brunch

Posted on January 21, 2013 in the Local Happenings, Must Reads, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

Looking for a new brunch place to try?  This Sunday, we will serve our first ever Sunday Brunch, offering a la carte service of traditional brunch favorites, including cornmeal blueberry pancakes, maple chicken and waffles, fluffy omlettes, and crispy bacon and egg skillets during a monthly special event which we call Pajama Brunch Sundays.
Pajama wearing by our guests is encouraged, but not mandatory.  Our servers do wear their pajamas at work on Sunday.  We make them come in early to take care of our guests, so why shouldn’t they be allowed to just roll out of bed to come to work? Otherwise, they would show up late, and you know what happens when you can’t take care of people when they are hungry…  GRRRRRR!

Details
  • Served – 10am-2pm
  • Menu service, starting from $5.95
  • All are welcome
  • In order to provide proper service, we are not able to offer individual separate checks.
  • Often there is a long wait during peak times. Please call for us to set a table for you!
In August, 1998, May and Michele opened Coffee Cup Caffe’ on Southside Boulevard acoording MyDissertationWriting.  Over the years, “the cup” built a nice clientele who have relied on them for all of their weekend brunch cravings.

Although May and Michele have officially retired from the restaurant business, they have been begged out to partner with Chef Dennis to offer this once a month brunch event.

Please call if we can be of service.  904.646.1478

Today is National Peking duck day at Blue Bamboo

Posted on January 18, 2013 in the Cooking Classes, inspiration, Local Happenings category by Dennis Chan.

Today is national Peking, or Beijing duck day.  This generations-old Chinese dish is still one of our favorites.  It takes days to prepare properly, but the crispy skin, and succulent meat is worth waiting for.  The classic technique requires that you pump air into the duck before it is roasted.   These days, it is served with a steamed bun, but traditionally, it is served on a wheat flour pancake.

Although we don’t prepare this dish often, we’re celebrating the well-deserved day with an authentic peking duck special.  Come on in and join us for this special treat.

Happy Holidays!

Posted on January 1, 2013 in the Updates category by Dennis Chan.

We wish you a very Happy New Year.  To our guests and friends, we wish you good health and good cheer.

We often are told that we have good people working with us here at Blue Bamboo.  You, our guests, keep us loving what we do.  Our business is a big source of pride to us, and we find going to work each day a rewarding experience, thanks to our guests.

We raise our glasses to you. Thanks again for another wonderful year.
Happy Holidays,

Chef Dennis Chan

Trendy Asian Restaurant Cooking Class

Posted on October 20, 2012 in the Cooking Classes, Local Happenings category by Dennis Chan.

Today we took a virtual trip to the trendiest Asian restaurants in the country.  Along the way, we had West Lake Rice Porridge, Saucy Edamame Pods, Spiked Thai Iced Coffee with Tapioca Pearls, Chicken Katsu Don, and Kaya Toast.  What a trip!  Look for versions of these to appear on the Blue Bamboo menu as specials real soon!

Blue Bamboo at Caring Chefs 2012!

Posted on October 15, 2012 in the Uncategorized category by Dennis Chan.

What a fun evening we had at Caring Chefs 2012!

This annual event benefits the Children’s Home Society Buckner Division, and we are happy to be a part of it every year!

It’s rumored that the event broke all attendance records this year, and the attendees had such wonderful things to say about all of the restaurants that participated.  We already can’t wait until next year’s event!

Book now for your business or social holiday event at Blue Bamboo!

Posted on October 9, 2012 in the Catering, Desserts, Resources, Wine dinners category by Dennis Chan.

It’s already time to start booking for the holiday season.  This year, I can’t take credit for remembering.  A guest called yesterday and told me she wanted to book an event for her company’s holiday party in December.  I was completely caught off guard, but envious of her organization!

Every year at Blue Bamboo, we are excited to help bring our guests’ holiday event visions come to life.

Our holiday catering services at Blue Bamboo will delight even the most discerning guest.  Our dedication to serving only the finest, specially-sourced ingredients, combined with thoughtful service and attention to detail, provides for an infinite array of unforgettable events in-house, or any setting of your choosing.  We will have take-out catering available for those who want to bring something special to your host’s party.

Whether you are gathering friends for a festive holiday brunch, or gathering your colleagues for a relaxing holiday celebration over lunch, we are dedicated to providing good food, and welcoming hospitality.

Blue Bamboo’s private dining rooms are perfect for holiday parties and special events. From intimate holiday dinners with friends, to festive  luncheon celebrations and formal dinners, we will custom-create a menu and a setting that fits your event and style. Our culinary team uses fresh, seasonal foods and presents with a dramatic flair. Customized pre-fixe or tasting menus are available as well as wine pairings. Our private dining rooms seat up to 12, 45, and 100 guests, and can be decorated to your desires.  We will even assist you in party favor selections for your guests of all ages.

Please call if we can be of service.  We will be decorated for the holidays by the first week in December. 904.646.1478

 

Blue Bamboo Featured on WJCT’s Hometown

Posted on October 6, 2012 in the Uncategorized category by Dennis Chan.

WJCT produces a series called “Hometown,” featuring local happenings around Jacksonville.  Recently, they filmed one of our cooking classes.  Here’s the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0YpYIDv9u0&feature=plcp%29.

Today is National Taco Day! Come Celebrate at Blue Bamboo

Posted on October 4, 2012 in the inspiration, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

Today is National Taco day.  A classmate from culinary school had the pleasure of working with Roy Choi, who started the whole Asian Taco craze in LA.  Roy is also a fellow Culinary Institute of America Graduate.  My classmate shared the technique, and a similar recipe to what he made so popular in Los Angeles.  In our Blue Bamboo version, we use an Asian pear for sweetness and add a kiwi to help tenderize the shortribs in our recipe.

Come by and celebrate this addition to our menu!

It’s World Vegetarian Day!

Posted on October 1, 2012 in the inspiration category by Dennis Chan.

People often tell us we are a vegetarian freindly restaurant.  That’s because the flavors that we serve on our menu are also very good when made meatless, too.

Today,  is World Vegetarian day.  In celebration, we have sourced some locally made tempeh.  Tempeh is a fermented whole-soybean patty which originated from the southeast Asian country of Indonesia.  It has a heartier texture than tofu, and is a little fuller in flavor.  We like serving up our tempeh in noodle dishes or alongside some of our veggie stirfries.

A producer in Gainesville makes just about the best tempeh that we’ve tried.  We’ll probably keep ordering this stuff because it is made locally, and it is a high-quality product.   Come by and try it for yourself at Blue Bamboo.  Happy World Vegetarian day!

Food Truck Cooking Class

Posted on September 22, 2012 in the Cooking Classes, inspiration, Local Happenings category by Dennis Chan.

At Blue Bamboo, we admire the creative part of what food trucks do.  The food served from these trucks is usually pretty good, they don’t charge a lot of money for what you get, and they are very casual. A big part of our own success at Blue Bamboo is catering, and I imagine that operating a food truck is much like catering.  It is a big event every time that you go out!

I can see the glamour in why someone would want to go into the food truck business.  There is freedom of not having a lease, and the idea of having lines down the street to eat your food is ego feeding.  Cooks who don’t have a restaurant, who may want to have a restaurant could work towards that by having a food truck. In Florida, though, there are countless regulations to follow for anyone who would want to start a food truck business.

People often ask if there will ever be a Blue Bamboo food truck.  Probably not.  We’ve made an investment in our community by building a restaurant, and we are thankful that the neighboood likes us. That does not stop us from exploring the creative part of what makes a food truck successful, though! Today, we took a virtual tour around the United States, and visited Portland, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco to check out the best Asian food trucks we could find. Here are a few pictures of the items that we made, and ate!

We have cooking classes at Blue Bamboo every month, and each month, our classes feature a different theme.  Join us if you can!  Learn more about Blue Bamboo cooking classes and see what classes we have in store for you on the Blue Bamboo website.  We would love to have you join us! 

 

Join Blue Bamboo at Caring Chefs on October 14th!

Posted on September 21, 2012 in the Uncategorized category by Dennis Chan.

This Morning, I stopped by to tell all of Jacksonville that Caring Chefs is just around the corner.  Here’s a link to my 3 minutes with Bruce Hamilton this morning:

http://www.news4jax.com/news/Caring-Chefs/-/475880/16688570/-/k4ci2jz/-/index.html

Caring Chefs is on Sunday, October 14th, 2012.  Tickets are $60 per person.  There will be more than 60 restaurants participating.  We love this event, and are excited that it will take place in less than a month!

September is National Food Safety Month!

Posted on September 7, 2012 in the Cooking Classes category by Dennis Chan.

September is National Food Safety Month.  This morning, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association asked me to visit the WJXT studios and share a few tips with Morning Show viewers.

Here’s a link to the clip:

http://www.news4jax.com/news/Blue-Bamboo-Restaurant-demo/-/475880/16518570/-/tr92fez/-/index.html

The crew on the show was incredibly welcoming, and I can’t wait to go back and see them again!

 

New for Dim Sum Sundays: Sriracha Splash

Posted on August 25, 2012 in the Local Happenings, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

Tomorrow is our next Dim Sum Sunday special event, and we’re debuting a brand new cocktail:  The Sriracha Splash.  Think lightly flavored beer with a spicy and savory kick.  Join us and try this new specialty drink!  Dim Sum Sunday is from 11AM – 2PM.  Call us if we can set a table for you.

National Waffle Day! Come celebrate with Chicken and Waffles

Posted on August 24, 2012 in the inspiration, Local Happenings, Must Reads category by Dennis Chan.

Today, August 24, is National Waffle Day.

The day picked to celebrate this culinary favorite is on the anniversary date of the U.S. patent for the waffle iron, which was awarded in 1869.  The history of waffle making in the United States dates back to Thomas Jefferson bringing home a waffle iron from a trip to Europe in the 1700′s.

Here is how people are celebrating all around the USA:

http://bites.today.com/_news/2011/11/16/8839726-waffles-gone-wild-theyre-not-just-for-breakfast-anymore

At Blue Bamboo, we will mark the day by featuring our Peachy Southern Chicken and Waffles.  In this dish, we serve up a Belgian waffle, served with a boneless breast of panko-breaded chicken, topped with peach compound butter, peach compote, and cinnamon crisps.  With a Southern favorite like this, we just may want to celebrate waffle day every weekend!

Wine Dinner Today. 4 courses!!!

Posted on August 21, 2012 in the Local Happenings, Updates, Wine dinners category by Dennis Chan.

We did it again…  4 Courses, paired with 4 wines!!!

This Tuesday, we served up:

Grilled Sand Pear and Shrimp Salad with Omaka Springs Pinot Gris

Black-Pepper BBQ Ribeye and Sweet Potato Croqueta with Bodega Norton Malbec

Lamb T-Bone, Canton Sticky Rice, Creamed Spinach, and Caramel Glaze with Santa Ema Reserve Merlot

For Dessert, Basil pound cake, Bruleed Peach, and Almond Whipped Sweet Cream with Bodega Norton Cosecha Tardia

 

Please Join our mailing list if you’d like us to keep you informed about events such as this one.

Memories of Julia Child

Posted on August 15, 2012 in the inspiration, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

Today would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday.  We all know what this lady has done for those of us in the food world, and she has become such a big part of American History.

When I worked at Blue Ginger in Boston, we’d see Julia come in about once a month.  She lived in nearby Cambridge.  The open Kitchen in that restaurant allowed me to work less than 5 feet away from the living legend everytime she came in.  When someone who has paved the way for what I wanted to do was so close, I couldn’t help but get goosebumps every time she was near.

Her book, Mastering the Art of French cooking, opened up the gates for people like me, and countless other chefs to be able to share our craft here in America.

Many of her recipes and techniques are the benchmark of how chefs, both professional and professional in their own minds, cook today.

Cheers to the life of Julia Child, and her 100 years of contributions to our American food culture!

 

National Zucchini Day. Time for Dragon Whiskers!

Posted on August 8, 2012 in the Local Happenings, Techniques, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

Today, August 8th,  is National Zucchini Day!  As you know, we use this green squash to make our signature appetizer, Dragon Whiskers!  Abundant in late spring and summer, zucchini is both versatile and delicious.  Since our favorite flavor is “fried,” that’s the way we like to serve it.

We named this appetizer to honor our restaurant ancestors, which occupied the space where Blue Bamboo is currently.

Today, we got a batch that were just HUGE!  Each squash was even bigger than our knives.

Since this is the Chinese year of the dragon,  and it is national zucchini day, I can not think of a better way to celebrate than with an order of Blue Bamboo Dragon Whiskers.  Come and join us!

Go! Magazine says Blue Bamboo is a top 10 must-do in Jacksonville this August

Posted on August 2, 2012 in the Local Happenings, Must Reads, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

What an Honor!  Go Magazine has listed us as one of the top 10 things to do in Jacksonville, Florida this month!  Here’s the link if you want to see the rest of Jacksonville must-do’s…

http://www.airtranmagazine.com/features/2012/08/the-list-aug-2012

We are in good company, too.  A few of the others listed along with us are Jaguar games, The Soul Food Bistro, Butterfly hollow at the Jacksonville Zoo, and the Riverside Arts Market.

Cooking for some special guests

Posted on August 1, 2012 in the inspiration, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

Occasionally, we get asked to create special dinners for guests.  Tonight was one of those nights.

Here’s the photos from the evening:

We made Airliner Chicken with Chicken Skin Crisps

 

Grilled Lamb T-Bone

 

Seared Filet with Chile Dusted Onion Rings

 

and Poached Jacksonville Sand Pear with Almond Whipped Cream

 

Although we love the food that we serve daily at Blue Bamboo, it is always a treat for us to have the opportunity to prepare items not on our menu from time to time also!

Cooking class with Tom Gray and Dennis Chan benefitting Special Olympics

Posted on July 29, 2012 in the inspiration, Local Happenings category by Dennis Chan.

Tom Gray and I have been friends for a long time.  I credit him with turning around the restaurant scene here in Jacksonville.  His restaurant, Bistro Aix, has changed the way that Jacksonville thinks about upscale-casual dining.  So when Kerry Speckman asked me to do a cooking class with him, there was no hesitation in saying YES!!!

Join us on August 10th, where Tom and I will cook up 2 courses each at the Publix Aprons cooking studio in Mandarin.  Tickets to the event can be purchased ahead of time by clicking the following link:

http://cookingspecktacular.eventbrite.com/

National French Fry Day at Blue Bamboo

Posted on July 13, 2012 in the inspiration, Local Happenings, Updates category by Dennis Chan.
It’s National French Fry Day!

Many of you know that my favorite flavor is…  FRIED!

Here’s a fact for you…  French Fries were actually invented in Belgium, not France.  They’re called Pommes frites, or fried potatoes, in both conutries, since they speak the same language.  We can probably blame Thomas Jefferson for the mix-up here in America, since he called them ”potatoes in the French way” when he brought the recipe home with him after a trip to Paris.  We also have him to thank for waffles, the yummy stuff we at Blue Bamboo serve with fried chicken, but that is another holiday we will have to talk about later.

I can’t imagine a single American sandwich that would not taste better with fries.  Chefs all over the country serve up recipes with all kinds of French fry creations.  Here at Blue Bambo, we simply serve our fries with salt, cracked black pepper, and some rosemary fresh out of our garden upon request.  We serve them alongside our Chinese BBQ Spareribs, Peppercorn Crusted Beef Filets, Chicken Sandwiches, and Vietnamese Bahn Mi Sandwiches.

So come on in and celebrate National French Fry Day with us!

 

7th Anniversary celebration

Posted on July 11, 2012 in the Updates, Wine dinners category by Dennis Chan.

This week, we celebrated our 7th anniversary with a multi-course wine and food pairing.  In case you missed it, Here are some snapshots of the dishes that we served.

One of our first courses was a Porcelain egg with liquid yolk.  We followed that course with a Southern-inspired dish.  Creamy potato-dusted grits with Chinese XO sauce.

This dish was called, “Watermelon bulgogi.”  In order to get the texture just right, we dehydrated watermelon slices, and seasoned them as if they were beef.   We grilled up the slices, then served them in a lettuce cup.   Next, we served a Curry potato dosa, or Indian crepe, with spicy mango chutney.

 

For dessert, we baked Lucky 7 caramel cupcakes and served them with house-spun apple pie ice cream.

Blue Bamboo online reviews

Posted on July 10, 2012 in the inspiration, Local Happenings, Must Reads, Resources, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

Often, guests who visit us at Blue Bamboo write online reviews to share their experiences with others. I appreciate each and every visit our guests make to our restaurant, and every review that is out there. It is our pleasure that our guests include Blue Bamboo in the online community. Most of all, we appreciate the support during our first 7 years in business. There is a plethora of review sites out there, and the fact that our guests take the time to share the word about Blue Bamboo is heartwarming.

Those who are new to Blue Bamboo ask us about the kind of food that we serve. We call it hip Asian comfort food. When I worked up in New England with my mentor, Ming Tsai, at Blue Ginger, he taught me to learn how to cook food with cultural accuracy before making it my own.  I always keep that in mind with every dish that I create.  That’s what you will experience when you visit Blue Bamboo.  We’ve taken what we like about Asian dishes, and present you with our interpretations, which I hope you’ll agree are pretty darned good.  Some people call what we do “fusion.”  Call it what you want, but I just hope you’ll like our food.

There is local history in what my family and I do. My grandfather’s very own restaurant was right here in our neighborhood 40 years ago.  Even though the type of food that we serve is different from what grandpa served, some of his customers and their families are now our customers.  It’s a great feeling to have that history.  With all of our busy lives, often we settle for what’s convenient, and not what has meaning.  Only decades of service can build some of these relationships that I value so much today.

These days, I am thankful to be a part of the Jacksonville community again, taking part in local charity events and teaching food classes at the local culinary college.  The restaurant gives me the opportunity to do these things.

As we approach our anniversary, i am thankful for all out there who have included us in the online community during Blue Bamboo’s first 7 years, and every one of us at Blue Bamboo takes your reviews to heart. We constantly evaluate our internal operations and change when we need to.  That agility is one of the benefits of being a single unit, local, and family restaurant operation.

As much as I’d like to, I simply don’t get to personally say hello to everyone that comes through our doors.  I do try to speak with our guests and actively seek feedback when they are in the restaurant.  If you would like to contact me, I can always be reached at the restaurant- 904.646.1478.

Going forward into our next 7 years, I promise we’ll continue delivering fun, one-of-a-kind, casual experiences inspired by our travels and experiences worldwide to you at Blue Bamboo.  I look forward to meeting all of our new guests and strengthening relationships with our current guests.

Dennis Chan
Chef and proprietor

National Fried Chicken Day at Blue Bamboo

Posted on July 6, 2012 in the Local Happenings, Must Reads, Resources, Techniques, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

July 6 is National Fried Chicken Day.
 
For us at Blue Bamboo, there is nothing more comforting than a piece of juicy and crispy fried chicken.  This Southern specialty is found on the plates of both humble food trucks, shacks, and fine dining places alike, all over Jacksonville.  The oldest fried chicken place around here is Beach Road Chicken Dinners, which opened right here in our neighborhood in 1939. Here’s their website:http://beachroadchickendinners.com
 
The trick to our crispy fried chicken at Blue Bamboo is our Japanese panko breading. We dip our chicken (breasts only) in Buttermilk before coating to keep the meat moist. An alternating dip between  wet and dry ingredients ensures that the breading doesn’t separate from the meat,  and seasoning each step in the process keeps it flavorful.  When frying, we won’t ever overcrowd the fryer, and we make sure that the oil is at just the right temperature.
 
We serve our fried chicken many ways.  Currently on our menu, we are offering general’s style fried chicken, sweet and sour fried chicken, fried chicken pot pie, and best of all, we make a peachy southern fried chicken and waffles.
 
So, happy Fried Chicken Day!  Come on by if you are in the neighborhood.  We’ll be happy to whip up some of our fried chicken specialties for you.

Lucky 7 Anniversary Celebration

Posted on July 5, 2012 in the Local Happenings, Must Reads, Updates, Wine dinners category by Dennis Chan.

It is our 7th anniversary, and we are celebrating with an evening of lucky 7′s.

This Wednesday, July 11th, will be our 7th Anniversary Grand Food and Wine Tasting.  We will serve 7 food courses, and as an added gift, we will pour 7 tastes of wines from our exquisite cellar, paired with those courses.  The experience will feature a few Blue Bamboo favorites from our 7-year past, along with some new favorites created especially for this evening.
We are planning to use our newest molecular techniques, alongside classical preparations.

Here’s an preview of what we are practicing to bring you the newest of techniques.  We are cooking a few eggs sous vide, then soaking them in some beet juice to get a beautiful marbling on the outside.

The eggs are cooked until they still have a liquid center, allowing them to ooze a little onto the plate.  We consider this a “rough draft” of one of the 7 courses we will be serving.

We have already filled our seats for this event, but watch for some of these techniques to appear in future menu items. We will be sure to post pictures soon.

 

Thank you for your support over the last 7 years.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

Chinese Heirloom Cooking Class

Posted on June 28, 2012 in the Cooking Classes, Local Happenings, Techniques category by Dennis Chan.

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World Pasta Day at Blue Bamboo

Posted on June 25, 2012 in the Uncategorized category by Dennis Chan.

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Happy Earth Day! Come celebrate with us at Blue Bamboo!

Posted on June 22, 2012 in the Uncategorized category by Dennis Chan.

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National Fried Shrimp day at Blue Bamboo

Posted on June 20, 2012 in the Local Happenings category by Dennis Chan.

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Inspiration to cook Southern at Blue Bamboo

Posted on June 10, 2012 in the Local Happenings, Resources category by Dennis Chan.

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Chile Peppers week at Blue Bamboo

Posted on June 5, 2012 in the Uncategorized category by Dennis Chan.

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Blue Bamboo at the McGala

Posted on May 5, 2012 in the Catering, Local Happenings, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

One of the local charities that we support whole-heartedly is the Ronald McDonald House.

Tonight, our local chapter held its annual McGala, a fun evening out that provides the organization with 25% of their annual funding.

This year’s theme was Magic, which is surely something that they know a lot about, since our local Ronald McDonald House brings Magic to so many lives every day every day.

We were happy to be on-hand to serve our Chile Noodle Salad to atendees as they bid on some pretty cool donated merchandise and vacation packages.

The evening allowed us to visit with a few of our favorite guests in the community and support a great cause. Every year, we look forward to this wonderful event!

Great Chefs of Jacksonville Event, benefitting Second Harvest Food Bank.

Posted on April 5, 2012 in the Catering, inspiration, Local Happenings, Techniques, Updates, Wine dinners category by Dennis Chan.

This is the second year that we participated in the Great Chefs of Jacksonville event.  I, along with Mathew Medure, Tom Gray, and Scott Ostrander made up the City team.  We went up against a team of chefs from the beaches to create 4 courses, matched up against one other.

Here’s the link to the event information about the annual event:

http://events.firstcoastnews.com/Great_Chefs_of_Jacksonville_II/242562037.html

Some behind-the scenes photos of how the event is executed.  We all lined up in the classic Brigade system and plated each dish.

There were 200 guests, so we had to perform as efficiently as possible.

Here’s Blue Bamboo’s finished offering :  Tomato Panna Cotta, with Southern Fried Green Tomato, Herbed Burrata salad, and Balsamic Pearls.

 

 

Spring is Here! Time for Spring Rolls at Blue Bamboo!

Posted on March 20, 2012 in the Cooking Classes, Local Happenings, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

Happy first day of Spring!

I stopped by the WJXT studios to share our technique for fresh spring rolls.  These fresh rolls are easy to make, and the arrival of Spring is the perfect excuse to eat them!   They are flavorful, fresh, and healthy.

Here’s the link to the little segment that aired this week:

http://www.news4jax.com/news/Blue-Bamboo-prepares-a-feast/-/475880/9278650/-/7perxtz/-/index.html

See you soon at Blue Bamboo for some spring eats!

Asian Hot Pots Cooking Class at Blue Bamboo

Posted on March 10, 2012 in the Cooking Classes, Local Happenings, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

This week, our monthly cooking class was called, “Hot Pot Cooking across Asia.”

To start the day, we made a Japanese Berry Cobbler.

Our first dish was Shabu-Shabu, Sukiyaki style.

 

 

Next, we made a curry Mongolian Hot Pot, with chicken tenderloins and raisins, seasoned with turmeric and tomatoes.

Korean Bibimbap had fern heads, spinach, and bean sprouts.

Sauteed shitake mushrooms gave the bibimbap a little extra umami flavor.

For dessert, we made a black sesame-Korean Pear Tea Cake.  Before serving, we whipped a little almond cream, which made the cake even more irresistable.

Our next class is on April 14th, 2012. The theme is Spring Market Cooking.  In that class, we will visit our local produce market, make a few selections, and come back to cook what we find.

Dim Sum February 26th 11-2PM

Posted on February 20, 2012 in the Local Happenings, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

This Sunday,February 26th, we will serve up our next Dim Sum Sunday at Blue Bamboo from 11-2. It’s no secret that we love our dim sum, and after the feedback from our previous Dim Sum Sundays, we just couldn’t wait to do it again.  During Dim Sum Sundays, we offer a la carte service of roast pork buns, turnip cakes, shrimp dumplings, pineapple buns, potstickers, and other dim sum favorites for that day only. This year, we have comitted to offering Dim Sum Sundays once every month, for as long as it is still fun for us.

If you are new to Dim Sum, Dim Sum is the way Cantonese people socialize and conduct business.  In any Chinatown around the World, there are Dim Sum restaurants where all menu items are served in mini steamer baskets, and small plates.  Some people describe Dim Sum as Asian Tapas, where you can order as many items as you’d like, and keep ordering until you are full.

Mark your calendar for our next Dim Sum Sunday if you can make it, and come on by from 11-2 on Sunday, February 26th.  Better yet, call us if you can make it.  We will set a table for you.

Spicy in the Kitchen Cooking Class at Blue Bamboo

Posted on February 18, 2012 in the Cooking Classes, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

Here’s a sampling of what we made in today’s ”spicy in the kitchen” cooking class:

Sichuan Green Beans

 

Kimchee Mandu-Fried Dumplings

 

 

 

Pad Kee Mao “Drunken Noodles.

 

Chocolate Terrine with Jalepeno Jam

 

 

In every one of our dishes, we made sure that the heat in each dish added flavor, and lots of it!  Some of the peppers that we used to add that flavor were grown on site, right here at Blue Bamboo.  Each dish in today’s class showed a different technique of developing heat in cooking.  Visit the “Cooking Class,”  section to the right to see what classes we have coming up next!  We’d love to have you with us in class.

 

Love is in the air. It’s Valentines week.

Posted on February 8, 2012 in the Cooking Classes, Local Happenings, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

Love is in the air at Blue Bamboo, so let us make your Valentine’s day romantic and easy this year.

Alongside our regular menu this Friday, Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday, we will also offer a Lover’s pairing menu where we’ll feature 4 romantic-themed courses paired with 4 glasses of wine for $80. Menu specials this weekend will include Whole Snapper Cantonese, Spicy Curry-Rubbed Filet, Vahlrona Chocolate Terrine, and Passionfruit Creme Brulee.

Book your table today at www.bluebamboojacksonville.com, or call us at 904.646.1478.

For something fun this Valentine’s week, join us for our next cooking class, Hot and Spicy in the kitchen on February 18th. We’ll start class at 10AM, and be done by 12 noon. It’s the perfect way to start your weekend. Tuition is $42, which includes lunch and a handcrafted cocktail. Call to reserve your space today!

Happy February, and thanks to all who selected us as “Most Romantic Restaurant in Jacksonville,” on urbanspoon.com in 2011, and one of the top restaurants in Jacksonville on opentable.com.

We hope to see you soon!

Cooking the recipes of the hottest Asian restaurants in the country.

Posted on February 5, 2012 in the Cooking Classes, Local Happenings, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

People often compare us to the hottest Asian restaurnt in their favortie cities.  In those cities, modern Asian takes on a whole new meaning, with tacos added to menu mixes, and pork belly and steamed buns taking over entire bar scenes.

This weekend, some of our Blue Bamboo friends challenged us to cook the recipes from the hottest Asian restaurants in the country who happen to have cookbooks.

Never one to turn down a challenge, especially when food is involved, We did just that.  There was only one condition, though.  My friends had to cook along with me.  I wasn’t about to do all of the work myself. We took four days to source ingredients, prepare recipes, and cook our ultimate Hot Asian spot tasting.

In the end, my friends and I prepared Pork belly tacos, Sous vide glazed chicken wings, Ham hock rillette, Ground chuck-short rib-brisket burgers, and Passionfruit-coffee chocolate chip cake.

Every bit of work that we did to make buns from scratch, roll out taco shells, hand grind beef cuts, and hand-pick ham hocks to puree was worth it.  The meal was delicious, and I even learned some new techniques that will probably make its way on to our menu in the near future.

 

 

 

 

Recently, I added some fun new equipment to our collection to better the way that we cook at Blue Bamboo.  This equipment is made for laboratories, and since cooking is science, I thought they’d be perfect toys for our kitchen.  These toys really did come in handy for our menu.  We were able to cook our chicken wings to the exact temperature that we wanted them to be.

We hand rolled and then braided buns for our burgers.

In-between the layers of chocolate chip cake, there was passionfruit curd, passionfruit puree, chocolate chips, cocoa crumbles, and coffee frosting.

That made for an intersting pairing of flavors, that really worked.  All in all, the recipes that we made were delicious!  Look for some of these borrowed flavor combinations to appear on our Blue Bamboo menu soon!

Wine Pairing Dinner at Blue Bamboo

Posted on January 25, 2012 in the Catering, Cooking Classes, Local Happenings, Updates, Wine dinners category by Dennis Chan.

Recently, we were asked by some of our favorite guests to do a special wine pairing dinner.

We created some unique dishes, all in our Blue Bamboo signature style.

We started with an earthy mushroom-veggie wonton stack.

The next course was a  leek risotto cake, with a sherry sauce .

The third course was lamb rack rubbed with coffee and cocoa, served with red potato hash.

To finish off the meal, we created a chocolate-bruleed-banana mousse torte, drizzled with a cherry glaze.

 

It’s not often enough that we get asked to do custom dinners like this, but we look forward to the chance to practice our craft, and create new items for our menu.

A Special Wine Blending Evening at Blue Bamboo

Posted on January 1, 2012 in the Cooking Classes, Local Happenings, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

Happy New Year!

To ring in 2012 at Blue Bamboo, we are bringing you more unique events than ever this January! We are going to kick it all off with our regular First Thursdays Wine Tastings from 6-8. We pour at least 4 wines on the first Thursday of each month, and we offer special pricing on everything that we pour.

On January 18th, we will have a very special wine blending event featuring Franciscan Magnificat. This event is very limited, and each guest will blend their own bottle of wine. A representative will be on hand to guide you through, and explain to you why each varietal belongs in the wine. This very limited event is $42 per person, and will include wine tastings and appetizers that will be especially created for the evening.

Our cooking class, Asian Street Eats, will be on January 21st. Imagine traveling to any Asian country and experiencing a street market. The smells, the fresh produce, and the best part of it all, we will get to taste the food! Without having to leave the city!

The very next day, we will have our now monthly Dim Sum Sunday. Dim Sum is the way that Cantonese people conduct business over brunch. Baskets of dumplings and pastas are created to order until you are full.

Join us for all or any of these events.

Welcome 2012! New Year’s Eve Celebration

Posted on December 28, 2011 in the Local Happenings, Updates, Wine dinners category by Dennis Chan.

This year, we served up New Year’s specials, our regular menu, and for those who wanted something a little extra-special, an exquisite 4-course tasting menu.

On our a la carte menu, we offered Lobster Cantonese and Whole Snapper with Black Bean Sauce in limited quantities alongside Blue Bamboo menu favorites.

We also shared our new molecular gastronomy skills this weekend! Our tasting menu featured a “Good Luck Hoppin’ John Cake,” Crispy Oysters, Sous Vide Chimmichurri Ribeye, and Pistachio Air Cake. Each course was paired with a wine selection from our extensive cellar.

Look for more exciting specials every time you visit Blue Bamboo for Hip Asian Comfort Food in 2012!

Happy Holidays from Blue Bambooo!

Posted on December 20, 2011 in the Updates category by Dennis Chan.

On behalf of our entire family at Blue Bamboo, I’d like to wish all of our Blue Bamboo guests a happy and healthy holiday season.

We are grateful for your support of our restaurant community, and we look forward to making more Blue Bamboo fans in 2012!

Blue Bamboo named #2 in Diner’s Choice Awards

Posted on December 18, 2011 in the Uncategorized category by Dennis Chan.

Gary Mills wrote this about us:  (well, sort of.  The article was really about Ruth’s Chris.)  but they liked us too!

http://m.jacksonville.com/entertainment/food-and-dining/2011-12-16/story/dining-notes-jacksonville-restaurant-named-one-100

According to opentable.com, which allows dining patrons to review the restaurants that they dine at, Ruth’s Chris here in Jacksonville is one of the top 100 highest-rated restaurants in America, based on diner-feedback.

Since Ruth’s Chris is in the top 100 restaurants for the whole country, we’ll just have to assume the the #2 restaurant in Jacksonville, Blue Bamboo, is number 101!  The whole staff at Blue Bamboo is so proud!

Blue Bamboo gift cards are here!

Posted on December 1, 2011 in the Local Happenings, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

My father, who many of you know from dining here at blue bamboo, told me we needed an update to our gift certificate presentation. He said, “No-one uses certificates anymore!” It took very little convincing on my part, and now our gift card system is up and running!

We’ll even wrap them and make them gift-giving ready for you.

Gift cards are available in any denomination for $5 to $500.

Gift certificates are valid for cooking classes, merchandise, and of course, food and beverages.  Come on by and pick up some today!

Happy Thanksgiving! Dim sum Sunday this week!

Posted on November 27, 2011 in the Local Happenings, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our guests!

This Sunday, November 27th, we served up our third Dim Sum Sunday at Blue Bamboo from 11-2. It’s no secret that we love our dim sum, and after the feedback from our previous Dim Sum Sundays, we just couldn’t wait to do it again. We offered a la carte service of roast pork buns, turnip cakes, shrimp dumplings, pineapple buns, potstickers, and other dim sum favorites for that day only. Previously, we had done Dim Sum Sunday only once every quarter. Going forward, in 2012, we hope to offer it monthly.

If you have never heard of it, Dim Sum is the way Cantonese people socialize and conduct business. In any Chinatown around the World, there are Dim Sum restaurants where all menu items are served in mini steamer baskets, and small plates. Some people describe Dim Sum as Asian Tapas, where you can order as many items as you’d like, and keep ordering until you are full.

Mark your calendar for our next Dim Sum Sunday if you can make it, and come on by from 11-2 on Sunday,January 22, 2012. Better yet, call us if you can make it.

Blue Bamboo Catering on the River!

Posted on November 12, 2011 in the Catering, Resources, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

Tonight we catered a birthday party at one of the best places in our city to have a party… on the Southbank of the Riverwalk in downtown Jacksonville.  I’m sure that this place sees many parties, but tonight, wishing our special guest a happy birthday in such a perfect setting made our food seem that much more amazing.  This private residential building has views of Jacksonville from 38 stories up.  You could probably even see Blue Bamboo from that location, but I was busy looking at all of the other scenes around the city.

The space is caterer’s dream, with a modern working kitchen.  With such a wonderful kitchen, we were happy to prepare our Chile Noodle Salad, Veggie Fried Rice, Ginger-Garlic Marinated Chicken Wings, Spring Rolls, Lump Crab Rangoons, Sweet Chile Meatballs, Hoisin Lettuce Wraps, and Fresh-Steamed Shrimp Dumplings.

The evening was everything that I envision to be a perfect party.  DJ, Bar, and lots of tasty food.

Our good friend Doon took some pictures for us, and I am happy to share…

 

 

Blue Bamboo’s Homecoming to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Posted on November 6, 2011 in the Local Happenings, Resources, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

Some of you already know that my former career was a VIP tour guide for the Walt Disney World Resort. Along with that title came the responsibility of making sure that VIP guests had everything that they needed to enjoy their Walt Disney World experience. I met a lot of neat people through working the many special events that happen year-round for the Disney Company. Back in 1996 and 1997, I was one of the few lucky tour guides chosen to exclusively work the first few annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festivals.

Fast forward 15 years, and today, I took a day trip to this year’s International Food and Wine Festival. I had the pleasure of attending a forum with Huma Siddiqui, a self-taught cooking instructor who was born in Pakistan, moved to London for a few years, and now lives in Madison, Wisconsin. The one thing that resonates in my mind from her discussion was her explanation of why she cooks. It’s not a chore, or something she dreads. She simply does so to remind her family of her home, their family traditions, and her travels. I imagine that if she had her own restaurant, it would be just like Blue Bamboo. We call the kind of food that we make, “Hip Asian Comfort Food,” because through our food, we share our traditions and flavors so that our guests may experience our restaurant’s roots, great local fare, and inspirations from our travels.

After Huma’s session, I attended a Champagne seminar given by an exclusive Champagne house, and a demonstration by a pastry chef from Barbados named Noah French. In the latter, the chef shared his technique for a Caribbean Shortcake with a Coconut Haupia and a Passion fruit curd that was intriguing.

This “homecoming” was a fun day, and it was refreshing to see the festival’s evolution after all of these years. Look for some of the things I learned today to show up at Blue Bamboo soon.

Korean Cooking Class

Posted on October 29, 2011 in the Cooking Classes, Local Happenings, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

My only experience with travel to Korea has been nothing more than a layover in Seoul on my way to Hong Kong.  Although I could never call myself an expert on Korean cooking, I have had some incredible dining experiences that allow me confidently talk about this country’s wonderful food.  In preparation for today’s cooking class, the Blue Bamboo staff and I went  to several Korean restaurants in our area, just to make sure we had our authentic flavors down pat.  Over a lifetime of visiting Korean restaurants and tasting Korean foods, I never felt a connection as strongly as I did when I was cooking the food that we made today.

In today’s class, we made a sweet-potato noodle stir-fry called Jap Chae,

sweet and savory marinated and grilled Shortribs called Kalbi

sesame-seaweed sushi called Kim Bap

pork and beef pan-fried dumplings called Mandu

A cocktail made with Soju and Seju, Korea’s answer to vodka

and we completed the morning with red bean pancakes called Pulbbang.

These foods are addictive, and we will be weaving some of them onto our menu in coming months.  I’m sure that Korean flavors will be next big culinary thing! Well, at least for Blue Bamboo it will be.

 

 

Caring Chefs, our 7th year of participation!

Posted on October 24, 2011 in the Local Happenings, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

Every year, we look forward to Caring Chefs, benefiting the local division of Children’s Home Society. It is our favorite food event, and we believe in the good that the organization does wholeheartedly. This year’s event was held on October 23rd, and we offered samplings of our Blue Bamboo Peanut-Lime Slaw, Veggie Spring Rolls, and Chile Noodle Salad, which is a recipe straight out of our cookbook- Hip Asian Comfort Food . It is our chance every year to re-connect with guests that we have not seen in a while, and to meet new guests. It also gives us the opportunity to connect with other restaurateurs in the community. The festive evening is the Children’s Home Society’s main fundraiser every year, and just as we expected, the attendance was amazing this year. Thanks to all who stopped by our booth to say hello!

New York Inspiration

Posted on October 19, 2011 in the Resources, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

This week, I was asked to give a cooking demonstration at my alma mater, The Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, New York.  While up there, I worked in a couple of days of eating in New York City before and after my demonstration.  I thought I would just share with you some of my food inspiration while up in New York.

Blue Bamboo is headed to New York!

Posted on October 14, 2011 in the Cooking Classes, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

My alma mater, The Culinary Institute of America has asked that I return to do a cooking demonstration on campus. It is a big honor, and I am excited to be up in the Hudson Valley again, even if it is for just a short time. I thought the best dish to demonstrate and represent our part of the country will be Blue Bamboo’s definitive signature dish, Red Curry Shrimp and Grits.

Since it is going to be such a faraway trip, I thought I would try to squeeze in some serious eating while up there. For the next few days, I will be in New York city trying new places and getting new ideas. My last trip up to New York a few years ago involved two days of eating in at least 15 places per day. Let’s see if I can match that this time. I will report back with some of the best things I see and eat as soon as I get back to Blue Bamboo.

October 15th, 2011-

About 80 people came for my presentation of Red Curry Shrimp and Grits at the CIA:

Here are a couple of pictures from the event and a video link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpI-PfP2Si4&feature=youtu.be

For the record, Rocco Dispirito’s demonstration was before mine, so I guess that mades him my opening act???

Impromptu dinner with French wines

Posted on September 29, 2011 in the Updates, Wine dinners category by Dennis Chan.

This past week, one of our wine distributors put us to a big test.  He said, “How about we put together a wine dinner for next Monday?”  Being one not to turn down a challenge, I jumped at the chance.  He invited both the French representative of the wineries and the US representative of those same wineries to be present at our festivities, and they accepted!

That day, we had the chance to entertain 18 new guests who had never been to Blue Bamboo.  Many of them had heard of us, and never made it in to check us out before.  It was a perfect opportunity for us to show off a little, and create some food that we normally don’t get to do.

We started the evening with an artichoke salad topped with some pink sea salt, served with a French muscadet.

Then we moved on to a tempura mushroom and chicken dish with a mango and papaya salad, washed down with a vouvray.

The third course was a lean veal loin chop with shanghai choy and cucumber salad on a piece of chicken “toast” all paired with a glass of cabernet franc rose.

To complete the evening, we served a tropical fruit and berry soup with a quenelle of coconut custard and a classic Chinese almond cookie. A grand cru Champagne seemed to be the right pairing for this course.

All in all, it was a fun evening for us and our guests.  We had the pleasure of meeting some new guests, and because they were such a fun group, we can’t wait to see them again. We also had the pleasure of sampling some incredible French wines and making some food that we simply forgot we had the skills to make.

We do these special dinners every so often.  If you’d like to hear about them in advance, please sign up for our mailing list.

Dinner with Rudi Schultz, South African Winemaker

Posted on September 23, 2011 in the Wine dinners category by Dennis Chan.

Recently, we had the honor of hosting thirty-eight guests in house to share an evening with Rudy Shultz, winemaker for Thelema, Sutherland, and his own label, Rudi Shultz.  His wines are great examples of South African winemaking, and we set out to pair them perfectly with some pre-selected dishes.

We first experimented with katsu shrimp and baby greens salad with a South African sauvignon blanc.

Next, we tried Peking roast duck, chile noodle salad fork, almond cous cous with a South African merlot.

Then we put together a cherry and coffee glazed pork shank with baby bok choy and lentil cake with a South African syrah

As our finale, we made Parmesan gougeres with poached “Englewood” Asian pears and peppered orange jus with a South African riesling.

Whenever we are given the task of pairing wines, we first look at the body of the wines that we are given.  Once we acomplish a proper food mate for  that, we look for characteristics in the wine itself to pull out of in the dish.  We then place those elements in a sauce, or somehow weave it onto the plate. What we then end up with is a dish in which the elements of 1 + 1 no longer equals 2, but 3, because of the heightened flavors and textures in the dish.

The feedback on our pairings was positive, which made for a fun evening for the guests and our kitchen staff’s egoes.

The coolest part of the evening is that Rudi got to meet everyone personally, and talk about all kinds of stuff, not just wine.  Afterall, it’s not every day that we get to ‘hang with a winemaker from the other side of the globe.

To stay informed of upcoming special events such as this one, please join our mailing list.  We’ll let you know when something else cool like this in on the radar.

Dim Sum Sunday, September 18th at Blue Bamboo in Jacksonville!

Posted on September 12, 2011 in the Local Happenings, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

This Sunday, September 18th, we served up our second quarterly Dim Sum Sunday at Blue Bamboo from 11-2.  It’s no secret that we love our dim sum, and after the feedback from our last Dim Sum Sunday, we just couldn’t wait to do it again. We’ve had multiple dim sum cooking classes at Blue Bamboo, but we only serve it to our guests once a quarter.  We offered a la carte service of roast pork buns, turnip cakes, shrimp dumplings, pineapple buns, potstickers, and other dim sum favorites for that day only.

As I have mentioned before, Dim Sum is the way Cantonese people socialize and conduct business.  In any Chinatown around the World, there are Dim Sum restaurants where all menu items are served in mini steamer baskets, and small plates.  Some people describe Dim Sum as Asian Tapas, where you can order as many items as you’d like, and keep ordering until you are full.  Customarily, the table will order a stir fry plate of noodles to finish off their brunch experience.

Mark your calendar for our next Dim Sum Sunday if you can make it, and come on by from 11-2 on Sunday, November 27th. Better yet, call us if you can make it.

Just received our Sichuan buttons

Posted on August 28, 2011 in the Resources category by Dennis Chan.

A few weeks ago, a chef friend told me about these little exclusive buds called Sichuan buttons.  He said that they “electrify” your mouth.

After looking up the item, I found a ton of videos online that show people experiencing one of these things.  The best way to describe the effect of eating one of these Sichuan buttons is to say that you have put a 9-volt battery to your tongue.

So I ordered some.

I shared the expereience of eating then with a few industry professionals, some of our public cooking class students, some culinary students, and luckily, I got a chance to share these things with some of our guests.  The reception has ranged from excited to frightened.

Who knew that a little plant-based item would bring such conversation to the table. Literally. Going forward, we will continue to seek out these fun experiences to broaden our own culinary knowledge.  Who knows, maybe the next time we experiment, we may just ask you to join in.

New lunch item… L.A. Shortrib Tacos!

Posted on August 17, 2011 in the Updates category by Dennis Chan.

A few months back, I went to Los Angeles on an 18-hour eating trip. One of the experiences that was on the top of my list was checking out the original Korean-Mexican taco truck that has changed the face of food finds all over the country.

The mastermind behind the Kogi Taco Truck is Roy Choi, a fellow Culinary Institute of America graduate and twitter idol. His 5 food trucks roam LA, find places to set up shop, and then they tweet about where they will be, and for how long. Their food is so good that the lines of people who wait for these Korean-Mexican goodies just goes on and on, no matter where in town they happen to be.

On a recent visit to a friend’s house for dinner, my friend and culinary school classmate made shortrib tacos… just like the ones that Mr. Choi started the great American food truck phenomenon with.   This friend worked with Mr. Choi at an event where he shared his recipe for his famous shortrib tacos.  Lucky guy.

I couldn’t believe what I was eating!!! These tacos were so good, and I couldn’t wait to do a version for our menu at Blue Bamboo.  We’re calling them our LA Shortrib Tacos.

Here’s how we put them together… We start with a little slaw made with some napa cabbage (the stuff they make Korean kimchi out of), add some marinated and grilled shortribs, a little spicy aoli, place it all on our grilled corn tortillas, and serve them with some dressed greens or fries.

Although we’d love to have you follow us on twitter or facebook also, you won’t have to do so just to try our tacos. Just come on in for lunch!  We’re open from 11AM-2PM Monday-Friday.

 

This little piggy went to BLUE BAMBOO!

Posted on August 9, 2011 in the Local Happenings, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

In many kitchens, you’ll often hear the phrase, “save for stock,” when someone just doesn’t know what to do with extra scraps of still good trimmings.  That simply means they are going to place the scraps into the kitchen’s stock pot to enhance their base stock’s flavor.

A few weeks ago, I got an email from R. Davis, asking us if we’d be willing to save scraps for some pigs that he is raising.

He currently has 4 Piney Wood and Pot-Bellied hogs, and he said he was hoping to grow his small hog farm.

Personally, I couldn’t ask for a better partnership than one like this, and I love the fact that we are helping a farmer out.

Over a series of emails, I found out what kind of diet he wanted for his hogs, and before we knew it, we were saving our vegetable and meat scraps for this local farmer.

 

Here’s what Mr. and Mrs. Davis have to say about our new partnership:

“I can’t say enough about the ethics and environmentally friendly attitude of Blue Bamboo.  Dennis Chan, the chef and owner, has found an alternate way of disposing the restaurant’s food waste.  Rather than filling up landfills, he saves scrap food and donates it to our local farm for our animals.  Not only is this good for the environment, but it is also helping our community. Thanks to Blue Bamboo for providing a great example for other restaurants to follow.”

 

Over the past few weeks, our kitchen staff has stopped saying, “save for stock,” and instead, we are saying, “save for the piggies.”

It takes a lot to be Blue Bamboo, but you’re worth it!

Posted on July 18, 2011 in the Updates category by Dennis Chan.

Every few months, the Blue Bamboo Crew chooses a deep cleaning day when we are not open to the public to detail and renew our facilities.

This weekend, we deep cleaned our bar, painted our dining room, scrubbed our kitchen floors, high-dusted our vents, and painted our patio accents.

 

 

 

We cleaned windows, ceiling tiles, scrubbed under machines, shampooed carpets and chair cushions, and steam cleaned candle holders.

 

 

We always want an atmosphere that is clean, and inviting.  The staff worked extra hard this weekend, and just gave Blue Bamboo some extra lovin’.

 

 

 

 

We just do these little “extras”  so that we can always feel good about welcoming our guests into Blue Bamboo.

 

 

 

The Blue Bamboo crew feels a renewed sense of camaraderie after each of our  cleaning sessions.

 

 

Although it takes a lot of hard work to maintain an atmosphere like ours at Blue Bamboo, we’re excited to be able to present a clean restaurant when our guests visit.

 

All shelves, inside and outside of cabinets, coolers, and freezers were fair game.

 

And all of that hard work is why I say, it takes A LOT to be Blue Bamboo, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!  We can’t wait to have our guests return and check us out!

Blue Bamboo turns 6 years young!

Posted on July 12, 2011 in the Updates category by Dennis Chan.

Six years ago, Blue Bamboo opened its doors for business right here on Southside Boulevard.  In those short six years that we have been open, we’ve developed some really great relationships in this community that we love.

Although the food that we prepare at Blue Bamboo is very casual, we stepped it up a bit to celebrate and to give thanks to our community.  Here’s the play by play for our 6 course dinner paired with exquisite sakes from our collection:

Tuna Ceviche with Wakame Sushi, Ginger-Soy Foam, Pickled Ginger, and Wasabi Aoli.

Two Tacos and a Bun-  Two Short Rib Tacos with Kimchi Slaw, and a Pork Belly Bun with Hoisin.

Sake Miso Risotto, Fried Leeks and Leek Green Emulsion with Cornflake Katsu Chicken.

 

 

Shitake Potato Hash with Chile-Rubbed Ribeye, Roasted Red Pepper Puree and Foie Gras Jus.

 

 

 

Duo of Osso Buco Spring Roll and Duck Spring Roll, Mustard Vinaigrette, and Canton Red Pepper Duck Sauce.

And to finish, we made a Filipino Banana-Peanut Cake with Caramelized Bananas, Rum Whipped Cream, and Nut Tuile.

Independence day… one week until we turn 6!

Posted on July 4, 2011 in the Updates category by Dennis Chan.

It’s Independence day, and every year, we look forward to this day because it means the one-week countdown until our next anniversary begins.  Let’s just say that the fireworks on July 4th get us excited about our upcoming anniversary on July 11th every year!

This year, to celebrate being open 6 years, we are serving up a 6 course tasting menu for a very special price on Monday, July 11th.  (That’s our actual anniversary date.)  As an additional benefit for celebrating with us, we are pouring our guests 6 tastes of exquisite sakes to pair with each course, on us!  Call it an American Omakase if you like, but this event is going to be pretty neat.  We’ll take reservations for the time of your choice anytime between 5 and 9PM.

Our anniversary tasting is our one-time chance every year to “show off,” and create courses that we simply cannot do during regular business hours.  We push our own boundaries every tasting to create flavorful dishes that delight and renew our guests’ faith in our ability to WOW them.

Space is limited for this event, and we are taking phone reservations only, so call us soon at 904.646.1478 if we can save your seat!  You won’t want to miss us on the evening of July 11th.

 

 

Authentic Asian Wedding Banquets. In Jacksonville!

Posted on June 20, 2011 in the Catering, Local Happenings, Resources, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

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If you are visiting Jacksonville, you must eat here.

Posted on June 16, 2011 in the Local Happenings, Resources category by Dennis Chan.

Every city has at least one place you have to go eat at when visiting.  Jacksonville has a few places that are unique to our city, including Beach Road Chicken Dinners, Blue Boy Sandwich Shop, and Cap’s.  We are honored that travelers from all over the world consider Blue Bamboo one of those places too.

During our first 6 years in business, we’ve built some pretty great relationships with our local guests. When their families or friends come into town, often we’ll be chosen to help impress their visitors. Upon return visits to our city, we get to see these new “friends” again.

What makes Blue Bamboo a destination restaurant? Unique recipes and experiences make people tell others about us and want to return.  We do things a little differently, and because of that, travelers to Jacksonville often send their friends back to check us out.

On a recent trip to San Juan, multiple people told me I had to experience a restaurant called Kasalta.  I hopped in the cab, and told the senor that I wanted to go to Kasalta.  He smirked a little, and started driving.  He knew immediately where I wanted to go.
Pan Con Bistec at Kasalta

While I was enjoying my sandwich called Pan Con Bistec, I saw multiple taxis stop and drop off passengers, then wait for them to return with big boxes of food, obviously going to the airport to begin their journeys back homes all over the world.

Knowing that I had to experience more of the great food mecca that I was in, I also pigged out on some Flan, Guava Pastry, and Cafe con Leche.  I justified my intake by vowing to do a lot of walking that day.Flan and Guava Pastry

I left Kasalta feeling just how I want people to feel after they’ve dined at Blue Bamboo.  I want them to think, “I can’t wait to come back to this place.”

Earlier this week, a dear friend emailed me pictures of someone else who had lunch at Kasalta on Monday… El Presidente of the United States of America.  I am sure that his staffers and the local patrons chose Kasalta as the place that he had to visit when he was in Puerto Rico because of their unique recipes and unforgettable experiences.

This is just the kind of place that I love being.  My family has worked decades to offer the recipes and experiences that we offer.  We have built a good loyal local following, and we’ll do our part to keep being that place that people bring their out of town friends to show them just how good we have it here in Jacksonville.

 

You’ll hear The Shanghai Restoration Project exclusively at Blue Bamboo

Posted on June 12, 2011 in the Resources, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

For a few years now, I’ve loved listening to the music of The Shanghai Restoration Project in my car, at home, and on my personal headphones.  The music is best described as retro-jazzy but contemporary, and super chill with a touch of Chinese tradition.  What you hear in these tracks is classic Chinese instruments with modern hip-hop and electronic beats.

I recently made contact with Dave Liang, the incredibly creative producer and founder of The Shanghai Restoration Project, and I asked him if he’d be OK with us playing his music at Blue Bamboo.  He replied positively, and so we began playing his music exclusively in our dining room.  Personally, I can’t wait.  If you listen carefully, you’ll notice a great comparison between the music and the food that we serve at Blue Bamboo. Both are contemporary interpretations with elements of comfort classics.

If you want a preview, check out  the offical website at www.shanghairestorationproject.com.  Or better yet, come on in to Blue Bamboo, and take a listen!

To add the music to your personal playlist, look up The Shanghai Restoration Project on Itunes, and Amazon.com, where the works are available for downloading.

Cooking from Hip Asian Comfort Food

Posted on June 9, 2011 in the Local Happenings, Updates category by Dennis Chan.
A few days ago, we were asked to cook a five course meal, inspired by our cookbook, Hip Asian Comfort Food.  Our guests wanted a knockout evening for some people who had never been to Blue Bamboo.  Here’s the menu that they chose:
Roasted Kabocha Squash Wonton and with Parmesan-Beef Wonton,
Pulled Duck and Shimeji Mushroom Risotto,Beef Wonton and Kabocha Squash Wonton
Brazilian Fried Chicken with no-meat Feijoada,
Vietnamese Wok Shaken Beef with Watercress,
Tres Litchis Cakeand Red Tres Litchis Cake.
The guests had chosen the items from flipping through Hip Asian Comfort Food.  Although all of these recipes are a part of our repertoire, honestly, I had forgotten how to make some of them.  I had to refer to the cookbook a few times just to make sure that the proportions of seasonings were just right.  When I wrote Hip Asian Comfort Food, I had hoped that if nothing else, readers would find the recipes inspiring and easy to follow.  That’s why we made sure there was an illustrated picture for every recipe.  It was refreshing to experience our cookbook from a reader’s standpoint.  I’m including pictures of the food that we cooked for the evening.  I enjoyed the evening so much that I am sure that we’ll cook from Hip Asian Comfort Food again real soon.   I’ll keep you posted.
Shimeji and Duck Risotto

Dim Sum Sundays. Now a quarterly event.

Posted on June 6, 2011 in the Updates category by Dennis Chan.

This past weekend, we had our first Dim Sum Sunday.  Until that event, I thought I might be the only person who had been starving for dim sum here in Jacksonville.  Many of Jacksonville’s well traveled and dumpling-starved came in to feast on our “Asian Tapas” selections.

Some of our offerings for the day included curry pastries, roast pork bunsSteamed Roast Pork Buns, egg custard tarts, pineapple bunsPineapple Buns, fresh out of the oven., and shrimp dumplings.

Thanks to our regular guests, a few head swelling compliments, and a landlord who wants us to do this more often, we’ve decided to make Dim Sum Sundays a quarterly event.  Look for the next Dim Sum Sunday to be on September 18th, 2011.

 

72 hours of Chino-Latino Bliss

Posted on June 2, 2011 in the Local Happenings, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

I love Latin food.  The flavors and ingredients are similar to the Asian food that I grew up on, but with different preparation methods.  Naturally, the two pair well because of those similarities.  Over the years, we’ve dabbled with Chino-Latino flavors.  Both on our menu and in our cooking classes.

During the last three days, I took a quick trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico.  While there, I experienced Chino-Latino cooking at its finest.  My grandfather was the master of Chinese proverbs, and he once shared this one with me: reading about something for 20 years could never measure up to experiencing a culture for one day.  This trip proved his proverb to be true.

Here’s what I learned, from masters of Chino-Latin cooking…  Soft plantains, or amarillos, make a perfect slightly sweet stuffing for dumplings when paired with pork.  A short-cut way of making Mofongo, or mashed root veggies, can be had by using a food processor.  Mojitos, can be enhanced with Asian or tropical fruits, such as pineapples, guavas, and lychees.  Tembleque, a coconut pudding, is made just like a Chinese mango pudding, but topped with cinnamon.  Pegaito is a Puerto Rican dish made the same way that my grandmother used to make a crispy rice snack.

Look for this new knowledge to work its way into our offerings at Blue Bamboo soon!

 

The first ever Dim Sum Sunday at Blue Bamboo on June 5th.

Posted on May 29, 2011 in the Local Happenings, Updates category by Dennis Chan.

On Sunday, June 5th, we are going to serve our first Dim Sum Sunday ever from 11-2.   It’s no secret that we love our dim sum.  We’ve had multiple dim sum cooking classes at Blue Bamboo, but we’ve never served it to our guests.  So here it is.  We’ll offer a la carte service of roast pork buns, turnip cakes, shrimp dumplings, pineapple buns, potstickers, and other dim sum favorites for one day only.  We’ve had many guests ask us where they can go to enjoy Dim Sum, and for a one-time special event, that place will be Blue Bamboo.

Dim Sum is the way Cantonese people socialize and conduct business over brunch. In any Chinatown around the World, there are Dim Sum restaurants where all menu items are served in mini steamer baskets.  It’s traditional to consume your dim sum dumplings with a good pot of tea. Â Some people describe Dim Sum as Asian Tapas, where you can order as many items as you’d like, and keep ordering until you are full.  Customarily, the table will order noodles to finish off their brunch experience.

So mark your calendar, or stop by from 11-2 on Sunday, June 5th.  Better yet, call us if you can make it.  We’ll save a table for you.

It feels like Summer outside. Time for popsicles!

Posted on May 24, 2011 in the Desserts, Local Happenings category by Dennis Chan.

Those who are close to me know that I like things that are well made. That applies to living goods, clothing, kitchenware, and of course, FOOD! I recently made one of the better discoveries that I have made in a very long time. Walking along the brick-paved streets of St. Augustine, I came across a sign that said, “Fresh, Local, and Natural.” I was so intrigued that I just had to stop in to this little shop that specialized in popsicles. Yes, popsicles. I walked in, and I saw tempting flavor combinations such as Datil Strawberry, Key Lime, Riesling Pear, and Champagne Mango. I asked the attendant what his favorite was, and without hesitation, he said “Strawberry-Basil.” So that’s what I tried. What I experienced was the most delicious flavor I have ever tasted in a popsicle, and by far, the absolute best texture too. As I got ready to pay, I looked down and saw that the shop takes payment with square. Way cool. This place won mega kudos for not only being cool, but also delivering a quality product. Check them out if you are in St. Augustine. Here’s their website: www.thehyppo.com.

Election Day…Blue Bamboo is a Mayoral Candidate’s Favorite Restaurant!

Posted on May 17, 2011 in the Local Happenings category by Dennis Chan.

It’s election day 2011! When researching the favorite restaurants of our two mayoral candidates here in Jacksonville, the Florida Times Union reported that one candidate’s favorite restaurant is Jenkins Quality Barbecue and the other candidate’s is Blue Bamboo. Hmmm. We at Blue Bamboo do love us some Jenkins Barbecue, and we are honored to be in their company. They are a successful local business, and their family, like mine, has fed Jacksonville for decades. If you’ve been around Jacksonville for any length of time, you have come in contact with the Jenkins’ family in one way or another, at one of their three restaurant locations in town, or out in the community. Just like you probably have come in contact with my family too. Like us, the family who runs Jenkins has built strong ties with those who have been dining with them weekly, daily, or even multiple times daily for many years. Guests become extended family. It’s a good feeling to have these connections with the community. What’s really cool is that these legacies that the founder of Jenkins Quality Barbecue, Melton Jenkins, and my grandfather, Bill Eng started generations ago still live on today. I am proud to be a part of that legacy. Better yet, I am honored that Blue Bamboo is one of the two Jacksonville mayoral candidates’ favorite restaurants. So politics aside, we’re excited to be in good company with Jenkins Quality Barbecue, one of Jacksonville’s other multi-generational local establishments. Check them out if you are craving ‘Q at JenkinsQualityBarbecue.com.

All about Asia weekend at A Chefs Cooking Studio

Posted on May 16, 2011 in the Local Happenings, Resources category by Dennis Chan.

Yesterday,  I was the guest chef at one of this area’s coolest venues…A Chefs cooking studio in Ponte Vedra.  A Chefs is a hands-on cooking studio which holds regular classes on some really creative subjects.  A group of 9 students, who were mostly new to Asian flavors, did an incredible job making Spring rolls, Summer rolls, Chile noodle salad,  Pad Thai, Panko-crusted tomatoes, Dragon whiskers, and Cucumber-lime refreshers, which are all recipes from Hip Asian Comfort Food, the Blue Bamboo Cookbook.  The real test was when we all sat down to eat all of the class’ hard work.  Let me tell you, their flavors could not have been more spot-on.  A Chefs is owned by Andrea (pronounced AnDREa), who is a big food resource here in North Florida.  During the “social time” of our class, the topics of discussion ranged from our favorite sources for Asian groceries to brands of vodka, and favorite wine stores, to fresh mint varieties.

A Chefs has a similar philosophy to Blue Bamboo… to buy locally when we can, and support those in our own communities.  They are also a recipient of the Slow Food Snail of Approval.  Check them out if you are down in South Ponte Vedra.  Their website is www.achefscookingstudio.com.

Top Chef Just Desserts: Erika Davis’ Cookies

Posted on May 5, 2011 in the Desserts, Top Chef category by Dennis Chan.

One year ago, I met Erika Davis from Season 1 of Top Chef, “Just Desserts”. We were co-judges at a recipe contest at the San Marco Theater in Jacksonville, Florida. She is one of the most talented and nicest people that I know in the culinary industry. We chatted about the whole Top Chef experience. Since then, we’ve become great friends. A couple of months ago, Erika started a company called The Ultimate Cookie Dough Company. All of her proceeds benefit Culinary Wonders, which provides scholarships and cultural experiences for culinary school students. The cookie dough company consists of three people: Erika, her sister Cydney, and her Mother.

Her cookies won major praise on the show. So much that they called them the Ultimate Cookie. I wanted to help, so we brainstormed about how Blue Bamboo could partner up with The Ultimate Cookie Dough Company. During the month of May, Blue Bamboo will buy cookie dough from the Ultimate Cookie Dough Company, and offer each one of our guests an “Ultimate Cookie” at the end of their meal. Hopefully, people will love the cookies enough to buy some dough from Erika, and help out some deserving culinary students.

Blue Bamboo goings on!

Posted on May 5, 2011 in the Updates category by Dennis Chan.

Often people ask how long we’ve been in business. Our menu is delightfully delicious as we serve Hip Asian Comfort food where we married bold Asian flavors with traditional Southern dishes. Well, we’re coming up on our 6th anniversary in 2 months, and there have been many memories and we are very grateful for all our wonderful customers. During this time, we’ve written a cookbook, held countless cooking classes, hosted business dinners, celebrated bar/bat mitzvahs, christenings, births, weddings, and even deaths. We have established some really close relationships, and we have gained fabulous loyal supporters.

My own boredom keeps us changing things here at the restaurant. We keep our guests favorites on the menu such as Red Curry Shrimp and Grits, and add some new menu items every month such as Joe’s Filet with Shitake Bacon in a Burbon Cream Sauce.

We constantly refresh the dining room so that our restaurant always looks warm and inviting. As I start this blog adventure, My hope is that our guests will get to know us as well as our best friends do.

Blue Bamboo’s new website. We’re so excited!

Posted on May 3, 2011 in the Uncategorized category by Dennis Chan.

Greetings!  Our whole Blue Bamboo team is very excited to unveil our new Blue Bamboo website.  I  hope you will enjoy getting a behind-the-scenes look at what we do to create an incredible dining experience for our guests through our new blog, in which I will keep you updated on the goings on at Blue Bamboo through videos, photos, and commentary.

Our new website is designed to share the latest news, menus and information about Blue Bamboo, whether you are at your desk at work (I won’t tell), at home, or on the go.

On behalf of our Blue Bamboo team, enjoy the rest of your summer, and we look forward to seeing you soon at the ‘boo!

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