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Posts posted by AlexForbes

  1. I get the feeling they've been waiting for the relocation to the new and much improved restaurant at Can Sunyer, 46, to finally give the Roca brothers their third star... And the move was not made in time for inspectors to check out the new space.

    I think the third star will FINALLY come in the Michelin 2010. The new Celler, by the way, has an incredible wine cellar where you can literally feel certain wines (a crazy and fun sensorial experience). Josep Roca erected altars in the cellar in homage of his five favourite wines, where guests are encouraged to "experience" them by sight and touch. While images of vineyards play on a flatscreen monitor, they can dip hands in a tub of tiny steel balls that evoke the cool and popping bubbles of Champagne. Burgundies are represented by velvet pouches, while a rough piece of limestone evokes the parched terroir that yields Jerez (sherry).

  2. Hi,

    Le Peche, I would love to go to El Mejor de la Gastronomia, but... I am in Vienna right now and I was in Brazil for 3 weeks, so I guess I should spend some time at home, in Canada! :smile:

    Hopefully I will be at the Madrid Fusion, we'll see. But you are right, the Mesa Tendencias was a HUGE step forward for Brazilian gastronomy and I am sure the repercussions will be felt and heard years from now. Above all, I think the Spanish chefs will become more curious about Brazilian ingredients and maybe even start using more of them, going beyond the tired banana-passion-fruit-pineaple combo that seems to be on every high-end restaurant's dessert menu. (Oooooooh, aren't we exotic! - these desserts seem to procclaim).

    It was also quite touching to see the Spanish greats - Ferran, Arzak, Berasategui, etc - pay homage to Claude Troisgros, who was in the audience, and is Brazil's own representative of the great French clan (his brother Michel runs the family restaurant in France, while Claude has his own, more casual restaurant in Rio, called Olympe). Claude was called to the stage and, feeling quite emotional, he admitted that until a recent trip to Spain he had been very skeptical of this so-called cocina tecnoemocional, but that since eating at El Bulli and co. he'd finally understood what those guys are all about.

    Overall, Mesa Tendencias was an incredible event and as a Brazilian I was proud of how well it was organized and how interesting most of the seminars were. It was just as professional as the Madrid Fusion, but warmer, more intimate and more fun. Blame it on the Brazilians... :smile:

  3. vserna, don't you worry, as a journalist, I have ALWAYS been in favour of free speech. I just found the tone of your comment a bit aggressive.

    So I'd like to say in response to your first comment, "Ridiculous culinary newspeak has made it out of Spain", that it went global long before this "Madrid Fusion of Brazil". In fact, I've been using it in my articles for quite a while.

    Secondly, if you find it so ridiculous, what do you propose instead?

  4. Dear TAPrice,

    I think that the following points, written by the Spanish food critic Pau Arenós, sum up what this new cuisine is all about and will make it all make more sense to you. If you want to read more about why it has come to be called technoemotional, I recommend that you read this topic in this forum.

    So here are the 10 points that pretty much define what technoemotional cuisine is all about, by Pau Arenós, reproduced with his permission:

    1 The cuisine is a language which a chef expresses himself. The chef creates for himself, although his desire is to share his oeuvre and that the public appreciates it.

    2.The chef takes risks: he knows that his style may be misunderstood. The technoemotional risks are higher than those that were involved in earlier culinary movements.

    3. The chef doesn’t create dish by dish: he proposes to open new roads with the aid of techniques and concepts.

    4. The methods chosen to prepare the dishes are chosen in order to achieve a result that stimulates all senses. The sense of touch is especially relevant, hence the focus on textures and temperatures.

    5.The culinary act is greater than the physical, than the senses, and it is aimed at the emotional and the intellectual. There is an intellectual pleasure that is expressed through humour, provocation, thinking.

    6. The creator bridges the gap with other areas of knowledge to achieve the previous points. Hence, he is compelled to make use of new technologies that become available or known to him.

    7.The diner is not passive, but quite active. The act of eating requires of him a certain level of openness and attention.

    8. All ingredients have the same gastronomic worth.

    9. The frontiers between sweet and savoury disappear, as do those between the main element in the dish and its accompaniments. The ideal way to showcase dishes is as a multi-course tasting menu.

    10. Cuisine is understood as a form of life. A restaurant isn’t merely a business.

  5. Vserna, this surely isn't the first time that you respond with clear hostility to others' posts, although I am not sure why... It just so happens that there is NOTHING ridiculous about the term technoemotional. It sure sounds better and makes more sense than molecular gastronomy or many of the other terms that have been thrown around here and there.

    I could go on an on defending this point, but someone I met recently, the Spanish food writer Pau Arenós, has done an excellent job defining this new movement, and so, with his permission, I will quote an excerpt from a text that will be included in a book that is currently in production:

    "The technoemotionals, the technoemotion, the techno emotion. The technoemotional cuisine - what is it, after all? by Pau Arenós

    Culinary technology has been around since the first bonfire - and even earlier, when knives first came around. But it was at the end of the 20th century that the technicist madness began. Rotaval, Gastrovac, Roner, encapsulator, liofilizator, viscosimeter, chromatographer, instruments to work with liquid nitrogen. The machines and their accompanying techniques. But none of that means anything without... emotion.

    There is a misunderstanding that must be cleared up: that which is authentically revolutionary isn't the machine, but the emotion. That which is truly new and representative of the 21st century is sensibility. Publicists, sociologists, storytellers and self-help book authors know it. The tools are only there to serve the emotion. What matters is to feel, laugh, cry, shudder while experimenting a dish.

    Who are the technoemotionals? All the chefs who dream up dishes with their emotions, and have no issue with using whatever technique or technology necessary to bring those dishes to life. They’re young chefs and veterans alike, innovators and disciples, discoverers and also those who make use of the discoveries. Knowledge is shared within this network. Why turn one’s back to investigation if with it we manage to aerate mind and body?

    Heading this movement is, of course, Ferran Adrià, pusher, godfather, mirror. And at the top of the pyramid, whose base is rapidly widening, Albert Adria, Joan and Jordi Roca, Carme Ruscalleda, Juan Mari and Elena Arzak, Pedro Subijana, Andoni Luis Aduriz, Quique Dacosta, Dani Garcia, Jose Andres, Heston Blumenthal, Alex Atala, Thierry Marx, Jacques Decoret, Grant Achatz, Wylie Dufresne, Carlo Cracco, Massimiliano Alajmo, Massimo Botura, Paolo Lopriore, Seiji Yamamoto... A worldwide clan.

    The idea is to translate emotion into food, and beyond that, to use, to achieve that, technique and technology. To feel a tickling climbing up one’s back, and then, like the touch of a hand, a gentle stroking of the hair. Sea foam. Nothing simpler. Nothing more complex. Nothing more beautiful. The recipe? Sea, siphon, sensibility.

    But.... what word do we use?

    If we add up what was said above, it’s possible to formulate an equation, that falls between math and linguistics:

    Technology/technique + emotion/emotional = technoemotion/technoemotional

    This neologism isn’t a mere whim, but rather, it describes exactly at which point of the 21st century we’re at."

  6. The Mesa Tendências event lasted three days, was a huge success and ended yesterday. All the greats were here in São Paulo: Ferran Adrià, Juan Mari Arzak, Martin Berasategui, Joan Roca, Dani García, Josean Alija, Andoni Aduriz, etc. The format was very similar to the that of Madrid Fusion's. Chef seminars in a large auditorium, food, drink and kitchen product stands in an exhibition outside, tasting dinners each night, featuring different chefs.

    Ferran, Arzak, Roca and all the others kept saying they were totally wowed by what they saw in Brazil. The richness of ingredients. The warmth and energy of the Brazilian people. Our passion for food.

    To find out all that happened, to see photos and videos and much more, just click here

    There is a full account of the Spanish chefs tasting several ingredients from the Amazon at D.O.M., Brazil's most important restaurant specialized in technoemotional cuisine, with a video, here

    And a summary of Ferran Adrià's seminar, which closed the Mesa Tendências event, here

    The reports have lots of photos of the events and the chefs, but the text is all written in Portuguese...

  7. Believe it or not, but right at this moment many of the world's greatest chefs are all in Sao Paulo, and are participating in MESA TENDENCIAS, a Brazilian version of what's considered the world's top food event, Madrid Fusion.

    Ferran, Arzak, Berasategui, Joan Roca, Andoni Aduriz, Dani Garcia...

    THEY'RE ALL HERE! Pretty incredible. I had lunch with a bunch of them

    yesterday at a very simple restaurant specialized in food from the

    Northeast of Brazil called Mocotó, and you can see photos and even

    a video of Joan Roca, Salvador Brugues and Oriol Castro (Ferran's right

    hand man) at a samba show by clicking here

    To see a full lineup of all the participating chefs, you can click here

  8. Well, oakapple, I think he WILL walk back from the oct 24 opening date!

    I just spoke to someone at his office who said it will not open tomorrow,

    and that Mr. bouley is still waiting to receive something that seems

    to be missing from the decor. No official opening date yet, according

    to her.


  9. Well, Nickloman, I read the nasty review, and as it ended with

    "Somewhere buried here, I suspect, is a very good

    restaurant indeed, but it wants a bit of digging up with the garden hoe of humility." I could help to think that

    the same could be said of Mathew Norman, somewhere buried here is a good

    restaurant critic - if only he didn't have such a big ego as to spend so long

    - 2 full paragraphs! - recounting a silly drunken tale of his youth that is of

    no interest to all but himself, and making prejudiced comments like

    "female voices lowered in pitch by three decades of Silk Cut

    and male ones raised by three hours of overly tight mustard

    cords melded into one monotonous bray of merriment."

    In the end, I gather he liked the food, for the most part, but felt

    the place was snobby and the service careless.

    Well, I believe that he may have a point, although I still say that when

    I went service was just fine, and the food, much better than fine.

    And judging by how busy the place seems to be, I guess many people

    tend to agree with me.

  10. This is such a silly and xenophobic remark: “Japanese food was created here, and only Japanese know it,” Mr. Kadowaki said in an interview. “How can a bunch of foreigners show up and tell us what is good or bad?"

    Or else no American or Brazilian can review a French restaurant in Paris anymore.

    Exactly, mbernestein, xenophobic indeed. I, like you, am Brazilian, and I like to think that despite being Brazilian many people trust my opinion of French restaurants, American restaurants and hell, even New York Japanese restaurants!

    When choosing where to eat, I'd rather hear the opinion of someone who knows food and goes to lots of great restaurants - REGARDLESS of where they're from - than, say, trust the sushi restaurant recommendations of any Japanese person just because they're Japanese and therefore must "get it" better than any foreigner.

    That explains why I tend to trust the Michelin. The inspectors are professional eaters and know a thing or too about restaurants. I may disagree with them here or there, but still, I do believe that a team of professional inspectors, because they dine at the restaurants more often than regular folk, and with a specific task in mind at all times, will probably have a more solid grasp of, say, NY Japanese restaurants, than most people. Like I said before, I am tired of hearing that only the Japanese "get" Japanese food.

  11. I'm with oakapple and Nathan: yes, the inspectors visited all restaurants included in the guide at least once in the last year. That's how a serious guide works.

    In case it helps to clarify the process, I can tell you I interviewed mr Naret, director of Michelin guides, yesterday. He told me that they've got 10 full time American inspectors working on the 4 US guides they do each year (Las Vegas, LA, San Francisco and area, NY). And that extra inspectors came from Europe and Japan to help with the NY guide. Japanese inspectors went to many of the Japanese restaurants.

    Even if they hadn't asked their Japanese inspectors to dine at Ny's Japanese restaurants, I am sure they would have done just fine. I must admit I am a bit sick of hearing that the French don't "get" Japanese food. That Americans don't "get" Japanese food. That nobody "gets" it. Isn't that a bit prejudiced? I guess I don't "get" it myself, since I had a much better dinner at Robuchon than at Masa.

    Now... 10 Americans plus the "helpers" from abroad... that's quite a team, and they had a year to do their work. Seeing as they have a huge reputation to uphold, why the hell wouldn't they inspect all the places they should inspect? Why would they cut corners? I haven't heard any news of Michelin needing to cut budgets or fire inspectors, on the contrary, they seem to be expanding more and more (the first Hong Kong guide comes out in Dec.).

    So, in short, I think people are trying to criticize a guide that does a better job than anyone else at providing useful and reliable - not perfect, but at least, carefully and independently put together - information to foodies who visit NY. They criticize because it's not a New York guide, or because they love Babbo or EMP, or because it's French, or because... just 'cause!

  12. Let's remember that the Michelin NY includes many many many more restaurants, that just don't get any stars and therefore nobody really talks about in forums like this one.

    As a non-New Yorker I can tell you that the Michelin is very respected by Brazilian travellers/foodies such as myself, and that yes, many of us do rely on it.

    Especially when you are in New York and need a guide that fits in a purse for quick reference, which has all the info you need and is INDEPENDENT - the Time Out weighs a ton, I refuse to use the Zagat, and so the Michelin is by far the best choice. As for Bruni's reviews... well, I read them all, but they're not exactly portable unless you print them before travelling (a pain) or pull them up on your iPhone. In short: well-informed travellers will probably use the Michelin more than anything else when visitting NY.

  13. I agree that giving Momofuku Ko 2 stars is an effort to show that inspectors "get" NY,

    as Adrian3891 pointed out. David Chang is a media darling and new yorkers seem

    to have gone totally gaga for Ko, regardless of how annoying it is to

    try getting a table (I tried, and tried, and tried, and then gave up, and for

    that reason I can't say whether the two stars are deserved or not).

    As for the question "Does this make Ko the most informal restaurant

    ever to bag a two star rating?", I would guess it is, yes, but to be

    fair, in a way that

    is noted in the guide, when they give it a rating of

    one little black fork and knife (Daniel, for instance, gets 3 red ones,

    meaning the place is posh and formal,

    although surely the inspectors never even saw the

    new decor and based rating on the old decor).

  14. I was glad to see that inspectors noticed the great job Neil Fergusson (ex Ramsay at the London NYC) is doing in the LES - Allen&Delancey is still new, and already got a star. Good!

    A little more info about the 09 guide, from a press release:

    "The MICHELIN guide New York City 2009 also includes 74 restaurants serving a meal (two dishes and a glass of wine or dessert) for $25 or less. (...)

    Also new for 2009, consumers will have the option to access the North American MICHELIN guide selections on their mobile phones through a licensing agreement with mobile application provider UBI UBI. "

    The complete press release and list of starred restaurants is already here, on the Michelin site

  15. I had dinner there recently. It was delicious, but I have to say, not as amazing as my previous visit. I was with a couple of non-foodies, so tasting menu was out of the question this time, which was too bad.

    The definite winner of the night, by far, was the eel with smoked foie gras, a match made in heaven, specially carefully layered and caramelized as it was,


    Other dishes that were almost as good were the beautiful carpaccio of langoustine, impossibly creamy mouth-feel, with toasted poppy seeds


    and the marinated anchovies and red peppers with preserved eggplant, another stunner.


    did not like as much: the eggs with eggplant and too much cumin, the strange amuse, and the shisso sorbet that totally overpowered my dessert of strawberry brunoise with green tea cream. And I was sorry the sucre dessert was gone from the menu - it was so gorgeous and delicate and different, unlike my strawberry-shisso flop...


    Still, it was a memorable evening... and I'll go back.

    For those of you who can read Portuguese, I posted more photos and a more detailed review HERE.

    ps. Ricardo Freire is the photographer who took photos 2 and 3 of this post.

  16. I've been searching and searching the Paris dining topics, so far with no luck.

    I wanted to know if any of you recommend lunch at any of the many

    restaurants at the fancy food shop

    La Grande Épicerie, which is part of Le Bon Marché, the upscale dept.

    store on the Rive Gauche.

    There is a Café on the 2nd floor (the Design section of the store)

    that serves many dishes - raw tuna and smoked

    fish "lasagna", for instance, in a minimalist setting.

    There's also a sushi spot (Matsuri) which apparently sells Japanese

    books, music and ikebana.

    A third restaurant, called Delicabar, is shutting down and will be replaced by an Italian restaurant soon.

    Has anyone been to any of these recently and can tell me if they're a good lunch bet?


  17. Thanks for the info, Kerriar. But since I couldn't understand a word of the description of the Silberterrasse on the kadewe site, could you pls tell me what kind of restaurant it is? French? German?

    Also, for those who might want to know what they serve at the Paul Bocuse mini-restaurant, here

    is a sampling of the menu:

    "Soup of yellow tomatoes with basil jelly and Camerones

    Portion 8,90 Euro

    Scampi in currysauce and mustard fruits, with basmati rice

    Portion 23,90 Euro

    Fillet of the monkfish on cucumber Wasabi - vegetables with marinated cherry tomatoes and dill potatoes

    Portion 24,90 Euro

    Salt lamb on rucula grains of pearl barley with fennel ratatouille and balsamico juice

    Portion 26,90 Euro

    Scallops on truffled carrot-celery vagetables, Beurre blanc

    Portion 27,90 Euro

    Back fillet of Flemish vension with mushrooms of the season and potato celery purée

    Portion 29,90 Euro

    Heaven and earth with two of the wild duck and duck liver sauce

    portion 29,90 Euro

    French cheese board

    portion 13,95 Euro"

  18. Hi,

    Kadewe is a high-end department store in Berlin that has an amazing food hall on the 6th floor and, on the 7th floor, several casual restaurants or food shops such as an oyster bar, a Paul Bocuse outpost and a Lenôtre café.

    I searched all topics in this forum and found useful info on Kadewe.


    In '05 Anzu said that "If you're coming from America, then checking out the cheese section with the wide variety of raw milk cheeses will probably be fun. The meat section is also interesting for comparison purposes, as the various preserved hams, sausages, etc. of each region of Germany are each displayed region by region."

    In '06 ExpatC said "I have been to Berlin twice in the last month and recently had an oyster orgy at KaDeWe. One little cafe on the 6th had oysters from 6 different European areas."

    In '07 SideBurns said "On the second day I went to the absolutely amazing KaDeWe for lunch and ate at the Lenotre pattiserie on the 6th floor, having a Quiche Lorraine and the Chocolate Etoile -both very good. Unfortunately I only ventured up to the 7th floor restaurant after I'd eaten, but it looked like a nice place with good food."

    And in '08 Ducky said "KaDeWe has lost some of its market atmosphere - this is true - and is now more like a Fouchon in Paris, but it is still unique. Absolutely extraordinary selection of sausages and meats, cheeses, tinned goods etc. But even more fun in my view are the countless little stands where you can order up a small tapas-like plate of some speciality or other with a glass of champagne. A fine place to have a boozy and very eclectic meal in other words.

    Also at Ka De We they pack just about anything for travel as many of their customers are from the east in particular."

    I would like to know what restaurants, exactly, apart from Bocuse and the oyster bar, are on the 7th floor - does anyone know? And do they have actual tables and servers, or is it more of a self-serve deal?

  19. Yes, the man was in Quebec city this weekend, cooking alongside François Blais, executive-chef at Panache, the restaurant at the Relais & Chateaux Auberge Saint Antoine. Great evening. I've posted photos (with comments in Portuguese, sorry...) of all the nine dishes served, plus a little video, here.

    I also wrote a story for the Toronto Star about the dinner, click here to read.

  20. Just got a newsletter from Via Michelin, a website put together by the same guys that publish the prestigious Michelin guides. There's a long story on the Plateau, poorly written and stating facts that were unknown to me. Apparently, 30% of the Plateau population is from France. (??) Really?

    Also, the writer recommends 4 places I've never heard of. Misto,

    "set in a hip, well-designed decor". There's also L’Avenue du Plateau.

    And he let us know that "although the American-style

    bar genre can now be found all over the planet, here,

    naturally, it feels more authentic."

    Yes, naturally!

    He loves the cupcakes at Petits Gâteaux and the beers at

    Chez Baptiste, where "Hippie-types and students abound."

    Uhhhh.... ok! Can't wait to try it out!

    Interested? The full story is here

  21. I was wondering... is l'Orignal hidden somewhere, without a sign? I've been trying to think of hidden restaurants for a piece I am working on for a magazine... Does anyone remember what the entrance looks like?


  22. Hello,

    what's the latest on Le Comptoir? Is it still being renovated? And I've noticed the adjacent hotel does not mention the restaurant, although the owners are the same and share the same receptionists. Strange... also, does anyone know if the restaurant has a website? Tried finding it through Google, to no avail...



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