Jimmy Reyes might be a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, and his professional training may be rooted in classical French cuisine, but those technically challenging dishes don't hold a candle to the one dish that defined him as a chef – hamachi crudo. "Although it's a simple dish to make," notes the executive chef at Todd English's Bluezoo, "perfecting it so that it becomes something special is an art." And the version Reyes fashions truly is. Just listening to him describe the dish feels like a lesson in chemistry, and makes a trip to Bluezoo (at Walt Disney World's Swan & Dolphin Resort) seem a whole lot shorter.
"My hamachi crudo is marinated overnight in fresh ginger and white soy. Marcona almonds are roasted and placed in a spice grinder to balance the acid in the dish. Meyer lemon is charred to bring out its natural sugar, then liquefied and blended with agar-agar into a fluid gel texture. I then finish the dish with a cream reduction which is infused with Key lime juice, then carbonated to be made into a foam." OK, enough said. Who's driving?