Tour de Force Menu - To Go ?
Posted 07 March 2003 - 02:42 PM
When creating a dish - do you concentrate more on creating a new and unique flavor ? And when do you decide if the intregity of the ingredient is becoming lost in the process ?
Posted 08 March 2003 - 12:12 AM
The focus depends on the focus. We make a conscious decision if we are persuing a unique combination... focusing on the blending of flavors, or if we are going to drive one or two flavors into your tongue. Each application is different and approached uniquely. For instance:
When you think of pizza what flavors do you think of? Of course people get many different things on their pizzas. But when you think of the quintessential American pizza what are you thinking? Me..mozzarella, tomato, garlic, pepperoni. So when we stumbled across this "vegetable paper" that melted in your mouth we knew it would be a great canvas for an interesting way to present a familar flavor. Pizza seemed to have enough intense, easily recognizable flavors to work, so we broke it down. What is pizza? And how do we get the flavors on a tiny square? When we were done ...it tastes like pizza. Integral? You be the judge.
Osetra caviar - kola nut ice, frothed milk
A very unusual caviar dish, yes. But it shows very well. The sweetness of the kola nut infusion that is turned in to an ice balances nicely with the saltiness of the roe. Texture is incredible, the firm crunch of the ice melting away to leave you with the texure of the extremely cold eggs. The absolute earthiness of the kola nuts (those of you that have had them, or remember old cola sodas that used the real nuts will back me on this one) blending perfectly with the rich nuttiness of the caviar. The caviar is the focus, and stays front the whole way through. The other ingredients are present but playing a support role. It is a caviar dish.
I think that is one of the things we do really well, is keep the integrity of ingredients. People comment on how intensely flavorful the food is, how distinguishable the flavors are. If we set out with a flavor goal, we will attain it or scrap it.