Are there any themes or cuisines that you avoid?
Posted 16 December 2002 - 11:01 AM
It seems nowadays that restaurants at every level are trying to incorporate new flavors and techniques from the world-over into their menus. The results bring us surprising and exciting non-traditional ingredients, techniques and flavors. But at the same time, I find that often the dishes are results oriented, as the chefs try to force new and unknown (to the customer) flavors into places they don't particularly belong, or that some new vegetable or dipping sauce will suddenly appear everywhere.
Are there any styles of cuisine that you believe don't carry-over well into a restaurant like Le Bernardin? Are there types of fish or other ingredients that you would avoid because they are riding a wave of public popularity, but don't have the substance to back them up? (For example, many people on this board have criticised the now-ubiquitous Chilean Sea Bass as bland and tasteless.) How conscious are you of what your competitors are doing, and how do you decide what you want to borrow and what you want to avoid?
Posted 23 December 2002 - 01:52 PM
I do not serve Chilean Sea Bass because it is on the verge of being extinct ( I still think it tastes very good when well prepared). Except a few other items, I am open to experiment with anything. Usually, I do not follow trends and I do not keep a close eye on what our competition does.
I like all kinds of cuisine when prepared with intelligence and talent. I like when the Chef tries to create while still respecting the identity of the products and tries to find a certain harmony of flavors and texture.
I have recently seen some very wierd combinations and it is ridiculous most of the time because they lack talent. The good news is that those who torture our pallate for the heck of it, won't last.