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Chef/Writer Spencer

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Everything posted by Chef/Writer Spencer

  1. Economical knives that you can abuse and sharpen easily? FORSCHNER... Economical Cotton Chef Jackets? CHEF WORKS out of San Diego. I can hook you up with the rep via PM if you'd like.
  2. Goddamn right...Listen up this Hub-Uk2 speaks the truth. He's a seer. Bay leaf foam to hell. Don't back down to Lynes.
  3. Just in case anyone gets the wrong idea of the state of the world from this, Georgia and Ukraine are in fact separate independent countries... map Alright Rainman you got me. They're from Georgia...lived in the Ukraine too.
  4. Inappropriate! That's rich, coming from you. Then, in your opinion, what is appropriate? And just out of curiousity, since I'm the one who brought this dish up on this thread in the first place (if my memory serves me), what component of this dish do you find so objectionable? Is it the pine itself? Or the ingredients in combination? Nero...You bring up a good point...but if you've read my posts concerning this dead horse subject you'd realize where I'm coming from. I'm a chef, the parameters are different. I'm trying to come up with new dishes all the time too. So I can put myself in the mindset of someone trying to push the envelope...not that you can't. Having had this mindset for twelve years, constantly evaluating the boundaries of good flavor, presentation, and brilliant ingenuity I'm rather jaded to the bold moves of those who are determined to break a new style onto the scene. And if this style is based on the surreal and brilliant moves of the original edge cutter I find little intrinsic value. But that's me. I'm not speaking for anyone other than me. I know Grant is an awesome cook. I have no doubt. I'll be glad though, when this Kola Nut Ice, Shabbu-Shabbu thing runs its course. He'll be a force to reckon with then on a global level.
  5. Ryne, nothing against you dude, I'm sure you're a stand up guy, but I don't think you're being objective here. Anyone who skips school to eat at a fine dining restaurant, who has made it his life's mission to PR one restaurant and one chef, is not seeing the full picture. The only restaurant you care about is Trio. You should look into being this guy's agent. I'm under the impression that if he blew chunks on some Limoges, garnished it with a squirrel's tail, and finished the "dish" off with some shaved white Alba you'd be talking about "earthy, subtle, brilliant. G.'s interpretation of a train wreck was perfect, light, luxurious, a nice compliment to a bottle of 2001Beringer White Zin. I've explained my stance...I'm going there this summer, so I will shut the fuck up until then...S
  6. Rumble in the woods? Or rumble with wood. In the latter's case Achatz would have me beat hands down with The Pinecone Incident. I'm sure he'd wipe his tukus with my array of bad techniques and jury-rigged protein treatments. But the battle would be laser close if it came down to flavor.
  7. I lost the cover to my French Laundry cookbook back in 2001. I've referenced it many a time on the hot line, with greasy, flour caked fingers. There are conversions, notes and proudly the author's signature within the pages. The names, addresses and phone numbers of every chef I admire are plastered all over the first two pages. Back before I got this gig I spent an entire spring trying to get a stage gig with the likes of N. Van Aken, Trotter, Keller, Mark Millitello (did a SOS dinner as his prep bitch), and Boulud. TFL Cookbook was my note pad. Now a picture of my mother is tucked into the Guinea Hen en Crepinette de Byaldi page. Keller saw the pic when he was signing it and commented. When Laura C. saw my book she said..."Wow...look at that thing. Good thing we like em banged up." I was righteously relieved.
  8. I look at food like I look at the contents of a petri dish when I'm cooking it. I could be roasting a nice piece of meat but I think more about the science than the sustenance. Rarely does it occur to me to lop off a slice for myself. The one exception is foie gras...searing..that musty rich smell knocking all of the other smells in the kitchen to the side. I think this is normal. Foie gras is amazing stuff... And as for sitting down and being served my food...I can't do it, unless I've had a few glasses of wine. I find the flaws, get mad at my cooks for fucking up my brilliant ideas or worse; I realize that this dish that I've been proud of for three months actually tastes like shit. I belong behind the swinging doors anyhow. I've never had an ephinany eating my own food in the dining room. Never. But that doesn't bug me...
  9. The essence of power is what? The memory of stomach churning Cognac, or pleasant memories? My point is getting ignored. I'd love to travel back to a pleasant memory but sitting in a high-end restaurant smelling trees is inappropriate and doesn't correlate to what a chef should be trying to evoke from his audience. It's not about the chef, and what he likes. Ultimately it's about the customer and what he/she likes. Again, I think it's presumptuous to decide what smell you will use to manipulate people into liking your food. Or are you trying to get them to enjoy your memories. The "cause" doesn't seem pure here. It's seems like you'll do whatever it takes to cause a sensory spine chill. Disney does the same thing.
  10. The evocative use of smell to entice someone into having a pleasant memory is a noble cause. However, it seems rather presumptuous and pretentious to consider your idea of memory enticement (as a chef, cook) the same as someone who is sitting in your dining room. I understand the link between food, smell and memory. No one need explain that something quite surreal and magical happens when you taste something that you haven't tasted since childhood. But for a cook to create what he/she thinks may evoke a memory is a pretentious stab in the fucking dark. Yeah, pine will almost always conjure positive images...maybe your father was a logger and the smell of pine reminds you of riding in his pickup truck through the endless woods as a child. Or maybe your mom made Christmas wreaths with pine cones and the smell reminds you of sitting at Christmas dinner laughing uncontrollably at Cousin Deb because she forgot the words to the Lord's prayer and it was her time to recite. But to put a rabbit dish with ramps and blah blah in front of somebody who's probably never had either and then stick some goddamned pine branches around the perimeter of the dish to remind them of these scenarios has nothing to do with the magic of food. No matter how much you think of this guy, this method of memory manipulation is only valid if the food evokes a food memory. At least in my book...Otherwise it's chef masturbation and empty.
  11. If you're willing to come off a couple of names and addresses I'd be glad to write a persuasive and jarring letter on behalf of all of the food lovers out there. Don't worry I won't mention anyone but myself...no eGullet references, no names...Something's got to be done to turn the Stepford Wife mentality around. I'd be more than willing to take that on...PM me if you're willing to give the names up. Thanks.
  12. Awesome...We captured a disgruntled ex-food network guru...Hey, Matt ever see TEN TO MIDNIGHT with Charlie Bronson? I like you in the role, you're integrity will play the kidnapped daughter role. Words can be your 45. Can we get you to write about this? I'm sure Eric Hahn at Restaurant Edge would practically laydown in traffic for a shot at a column. Maybe we could form a posse, a cyber-petition movement to get that network to reevaluate its suicidal tendencies. Cause you know, it's only a matter of time before these brilliant lug nuts start a Warren Commission investigation of A Cook's Tour. You've come to the right place friend.
  13. Matthew, You are everything, at least from what I gleen from your resume, that I defend when I talk about the food network. Welcome to this thing. We're glad you're here.
  14. Great. Now, Spencer is going avant-garde on us. What's next? FG going vegan? Don't tell Achatz that you're calling the addition of Sysco double heavy duty mayo avant garde....My whole argument will be shot to shit.
  15. I know what this is going to do to the purist contingent but bear with me...it's not my recipe anyways. Tsilya's Hummus...(She's from Georgia in The Ukraine) Garbanzos...soaked overnight Tahini...a little less than called for Plenty-o-garlic Cumin Seed Ground Parsley Fresh Lemon Juice Fresh and.... Uh..... Heavy Duty Mayonnaise...It smoothes it out....I can feel the rotten tomatoes flying by my head. And sometimes I add just a touch of sesame oil. Try it before you commit to murder.
  16. Having a wine dinner tommorrow.... Dessert is a dueling melon soup with Ducasse's Mascarpone Sorbet, and Green Apple-Wild Mint Emulsion. That's the best sorbet I've had in a while. It's a full-on sensory assault, a slight lemon zip and then it bleeds into a round mouthfull of sweet mascapone. Wonderful stuff....
  17. All right...the consensus wants me to defend my position...So I will. I'm all for innovation, pushing the envelope, testing the limits. I'm all for applying intellectual principles to food. I'm all for getting famous for standing out in a sea of copycats. What I'm not down with really has little to do with Grant's cooking and more to do with a mentality that I found myself absorbed in and that I see taking over a larger section of the fine dining world than it should. I was 27 once and wanted to change the world with weird gimmicks, skyscraper constructs and interesting china, improbable taste combinations and odd menu wording. When I finally realized that food is not some muse to be courted with disco lights and herbaceous incense trickery my cooking became more than me and my worthwhile ideasI was looking for my voice. I had all of these individualistic ideas of where the future of fine dining was headed. People want a dog and pony show, I thought. They want something more than a nice steak with a nice sauce, and some Robuchon mashed potatoes. That stuff was so passe, I told myself. How could I ever make my mark by copying classical dishes and giving them an ever-so-subtle Spencer gloss over? How boring? No one's ever gonna think I'm a brilliant chef if I'm pumping out entrecotes du boeuf avec sauce Bordelaise--that's brasserie food. I wanted to change the world, make the big names take notice. I wanted to combine tarragon with cumin, fennel pollen with poached quail egg confit....I wanted to do things that were so improbable and funky sounding that customers just had to try it. I had the confidence, as I do now, in my ability to do the proper alchemy so I was unstoppable. The world was my oyster. And the media were biting like pirrahnas. My ego was out of control. I struted like a peacock, squashing any attempt at getting me to realize why I got into food into the first place. I was a star chef in training. No one was going to tell me what to cook and what people liked. They were packing me in, patting me on the back...Fuck the naysayers....I was livin' the dream. Well I had an ephinany one day at the bookstore. I was thumbing through Portale's new 12 Seasons book and, like a divine kick to the groin I thought, "Is all of this gravity-defying Eiffel Tower stuff really where we're headed?" I loved the guys' combinations, rustic Meditteranean flavors, big nods to the French, classical ideology but I thought he was hampered by a presentation crutch. I'm not naming names--though I've alluded to him here--but I worked with a chef who trained with Bocuse, got real famous in town and tried to forge out his own cuisine. He was one of the pioneers of French-Southern fusion. He too made elaborate presentation a very integral cornerstone to his food. Eventually, after 12 years of trying to combine hushpuppies, okra, and lemongrass barbeque sauce he totally bottomed out creatively. Instead of dishes with substance he ended up worrying more about height and frills. He had nothing else to say with his muse, and it was sad. His food was a joke. And he's a Maitres Cuisinier of France for god's sake. He should be rocking the house with classics or at least good enough to keep up with Vongrichten (his close buddy). But he lost track of why he got into the biz in the first place. It wasn't to bowl the world over but to cook professionally for a living. I think Achatz is probably a brilliant cook, probably close to genius level but I see a lot of the same, "This is THE future of fine dining" arrogance that was the undoing of many a great cook. It's hard to argue with the guy right now, Beard Awards, local awards, all of the press, the accolades, the sycophantic eGullet adoration. Anything I say is going to be taken as a slight of the guy. I've said many places that he's got to be brilliant...I just think he's going to run into a brick wall as soon as Ferran Adria hits the same. Just one guys opinion....But I'm stickin' to it.
  18. you might have stumbled upon some mafioso shit. if that's the case, change your name and move.
  19. Mea culpa...shutting down all communications concerning subject...going back to writing my book...thanks...spencer.
  20. Let's put it this way...How many 3-d movies have you seen recently? Seeing action in 3-D is a lot more interesting than uni-dimensionally, right? Well, I'm not one for gimmicks...these are gimmicks...and are interesting and viable but in the long race they'll be left long behind...Why even bother with the whole thing? This cooking is peripherally satisfying but when taken head on, dissected for what it is, it isn't soul satisfying, or built to last...at least to me.
  21. American domestic lamb, specifically Colorado lamb. You'll never go back.....
  22. My keys are crusted with Cheeto shit...very nasty...
  23. I can't even sit near the mint jelly at my uncle's house. It gives me a migraine. Platinum Amex Card Holder=Mint Jelly Abuser=8.65% tipper...Go ahead, test my hypothesis.
  24. cheese nips white cheddar flavor and Watermelon-Kiwi kool-aid.... oh yeah...and a nice slab of duck and foie terrine...
  25. I think you guys should have an UN-happy hour...drinks are double the price and are served by the farm team Hooter's girls...
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