Posted 22 July 2002 - 12:29 PM
How reliant are you on seasonal produce and to what extent does this place a restricition on your cooking and to what extent does it serve to inspire you?
Presumably you have a good professional eye when you shop and you shop early to get the best goods, but do certain producers put away their best for chefs or do you compete with the rest of us in the market?
Do you have any opinions on farmer's markets and how the consumer can best benfit from them?
How important are your other sources, particularly the ones for meat, fish and seafood? Blue Hill is not the corner luncheontte (a generic term, lest there be a Coner Luncheonette that feels defamed) and diners arrive with an expectation of something special. How important are the ingredients in playing this role?
Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.
My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.
Posted 24 July 2002 - 09:38 PM
Cooking with the seasons, eating with the seasons, inspires more than it restricts--I think it might inspire because it restricts, how about that? How often do I restrict myself? Rarely, and it goes to the larger issue of the choices we make, you, me, the Wall Street broker and the average Joe, all of us, the choices we make when we order food, or buy food, are choices that effect the way the world is used.
Eating tomatoes from California in the late Fall hurts the local New York farmer who is trying to sell his parsnips. It's a small issue of course, but multiplied it becomes enormous. I'll repeat the point: The choices we make, as diners, and as chefs, effects the way the world is used.
So I'm inspired now to use string beans: I'd like to see them in one form or another on every dish. On every dish! They're perfect right now, and I want, by the time that Fall squash comes around, I want to be sick of eating beans. I mean that. I want to be happy to see them go, thrilled to be done with them, and I want to taste that first New York black dirt squash and exult in the pleasure. This sounds haughty, if not extremely compulsive, but it's the way I structure what I buy and what I serve.
As for the farmers market, the only advice is this: Get to know the farmer. Get to know a farmer. Every week shop with the same farmer in one way or another. There's no secret, no holding of good product. It's like anything else: If the farmer respects me for my dedication and commitment to what he's growing, he'll treat me with an equal respect, and the vegetables will taste better, no?
Posted 24 July 2002 - 09:48 PM
Dan -- If you are comfortable responding, how compulsive are you with respect to, say, (1) seeking consistency of execution in the dishes presented to diners, (2) arriving at a recipe satisfactory to you after coming up with a germ of an idea for a new dish, and (3) desiring feedback from diners?
if not extremely compulsive
(As you might suspect based on the frequency of follow-up questions in this Q&A, I have certain compulsive tendencies as well )