A Feast for Both the Eye and Palate – First City Art Center’s Joe Hobbs and Hilton Pensacola Beach’s Chef Omar Torres Demonstrate Cooking Over Hot Glass
Chef Omar Torres and glass artist Joe Hobbs are teaming up to bring an exclusive culinary experience to Pensacola: cooking over hot glass. The H2O Grill and Bonsai Sushi Bar located inside the Hilton® Pensacola Beach will host a unique ten-course meal complete with craft cocktails and top shelf wines. A feast for both the eye and palate, sous vide prepared Wagyu beef will be seared to culinary perfection in a bowl of freshly blown molten glass created just moments before by Hobbs.
As a graduate of the California College of Art, Hobbs returned to the Gulf Coast enamored with all things glass. He watched larger cities prepare meals over molten glass and knew this would be an event highly coveted by the local community. As the owner of First City Arts Center in Pensacola, Hobbs considered demonstrating the idea for quite some time but needed the perfect strategic partnership to breathe life into the concept.
Chef Torres built his culinary career in Orlando. Upon relocating to the Gulf Coast, he shares his culinary talents with guests of The H2O Grill and Bonsai Sushi Bar at the Hilton® Pensacola Beach. In addition to his extensive culinary experience, Chef Torres brings a cultural flair and passion for fresh food to Pensacola’s ever-growing culinary scene. Chef Torres locally sources his ingredients, knowing the quality is top-notch.
A Feast for Both the Eye and Palate
The highly-anticipated collaboration between Hobbs and Chef Torres is the perfect marriage between glass artistry and culinary precision “We’re going to show off!” Chef Torres excitedly explains. While the glass blowing process alone creates an eye-pleasing ambiance, attendees can expect the Wagyu beef, known for it its higher level of marbling and a finer texture, to be tender, juicy, and loaded with flavor.
Sous vide is the process in which food is vacuum-sealed and cooked to a precise temperature in a water bath. The results are impossible to achieve using any other cooking method. Beef prepared using this method cooks in its own juices, ensuring that the cut is moist, juicy, and tender. Once the molten glass made by Hobbs is ready, Chef Torres will sear the beef, thus further locking in its juices and flavor.
The process of using molten glass in the kitchen is one that requires skill and practice. When glass first comes out of the fire, it’s temperature reaches approximately 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The glass quickly reduces in heat, leaving the chef a small window of time to sear the meat. Once the glass cools to 1,500 degrees or lower, there is an increased risk of the glass shattering.
Working quickly yet effectively, Chef Torres and Hobbs will work side by side to provide an experience that encompasses all senses. Cocktails embodying the flavor of Pensacola, including a hibiscus martini, will be served as dinner guests blithely observe the production of the glass cooking surface. This experience speaks to Pensacola on a higher level – gracing it with a big city feel in a small town location.