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Everything posted by chefg

  1. No. The bacon will be replaced next week when the first of the Burgundy Black Truffles arrive. Signature dish...come on yt...you know us better than that. The shift from summer to fall has been challenging. Dishes that have been waiting for the weather to change ..i.e. the pheasant, we were able to add as soon as the weather shifted. But some of the others we are still waiting on ingredients to come available or specific service pieces to be finished. As I said before it is like a game of Jenga...there are so many pieces supporting each other that unless you change the menu entirely at once...which is impossible without a prolonged closure...there are the inevitable situations where the jive of the menu is disrupted. For instance, if we are waiting for Martin to finish a piece that is crucial to the dish, and that dish will replace the Onaga with floral vapor...you are in a holding pattern for a period. I don’t think it is dreadful to eat that dish in October, it still makes culinary sense to me…but I agree it would be better in May. You had the first honeycomb centerpiece...and it is actually the only one that is finished...the rest will be completed next week. The Hot potato-Cold potato is also awaiting the completion of the "Peg Bowl" before it can be introduced. In fact you received several “first timers”.
  2. We will....eventually have a website. In fact we had a completed website ready to launch at the begining of May... but decided it wasn't representive of Alinea. So we started over.
  3. Yes! Those are Ferran's blackberry ovaries! Good photo. What is the square underneath the ovaries made of? ← Actually no...that is a blackberry that has been cut in half. The square that it is set in is a tobacco infused cream. ← I was fooled by the little ovaries that seem to have fallen off, and by the revolting quality of awful photograph. Just kidding--about the latter but not the former. I guess that Grant took the easy way out--or, more likely, he wanted the resistance and then the crunch of a half-intact berry. Is the tobacco infusion made with smoke or some form of the plant itself? Jeffrey ← A Romeo&Julietta cigar is crumbled and steeped into cream to make the custard. It was created as a transitional course...not sweet ...not savory....but something to compliment that last swig of red wine before you head into the land of sugar and cocoa.
  4. Yes! Those are Ferran's blackberry ovaries! Good photo. What is the square underneath the ovaries made of? ← Actually no...that is a blackberry that has been cut in half. The square that it is set in is a tobacco infused cream.
  5. The frequency of the menu change is about right. In the past we have changed the menu about every 10-12 weeks. It is driven primarily by product availability, seasonality basically. There were several factors that contributed to this menu change. Again seasonality was one of them. We have certainly entered summer here in the midwest... But more importantly we knew we could do better. Contrary to what I once thought, I realized we need to be in the environment in order to be at our creative best. One would think that devoting 6 months to develop an opening menu would prove to be the ideal situation. And maybe it was,but I do know that this second menu is better and more representative of what we do and what we are trying to accomplish here at Alinea. The pillow of lavender air is just that. It is our first success with the vaporizer, the machine that captures air that has been infused with an aromatic. The pillow is inflated with air scented with lavender blooms. It arrives at the table just before a dish composed of peas, ham and freshly made tofu curds. When the plate is set atop the pillow it slowly releases the scented air around the guest until the pillow is completely deflated.
  6. The first step is admitting you have a problem. We'll be going back next Friday for visit number 2. Hopefully we'll be doing the Tour, but that will be up to others at the table. I'll be sure to report back anything new. ← Yes the menu is changing. At this point about ten new dishes have been introduced with the balance coming over next couple of weeks. We have decided to keep one dish from the original menu on for this next iteration, but the remaining 30 or so will change. Obviously this menu will focus on more summer seasonal ingredients, but I also think as a whole they will be more representitive to Alinea. As useful as the "food lab" situation was during the 8 month down time, it is difficult to really understand how the dishes will react in the actual space. The kitchen interaction is obvious, but what really makes the difference is the addition of people, both service team and guests. We also found it difficult to be reactionary with our creativity. Many times the best dishes come from a fleeting thought in spontaneous impulse to something we saw..or food we touched in the kitchen setting. Due to the logistical challenges of changing the menu from the standpoint of training both front and back of the house, and retaining a menu structure that makes sense, we will bring the dishes into the fold about 7 a week. This allows us to focus on a specific set of dishes and tweak them as we become more familiar.
  7. There must have been some form of miscommunication. Flash photography is strictly prohibited, other forms are tolerated.
  8. We feel the creative process demands an awareness of technology,and are excited to share some of the more unusual equipment that has made its way into our kitchen. Upon looking for thermal circulators we established a relationship with a company in Niles, IL called Polyscience. They are a large producer of laboratory equipment. The owner, Philip Preston, an avid foodie and cook in his own right, was very excited about the opportunity to combine the two disciplines. As we toured the Polyscience plant I mentioned to Philip some of the ideas I had for techniques based on intense refrigeration. Up until this point I had no way of producing the concepts I had in my head. The equipment simply did not exist. Philip was intrigued by the ideas and mentioned that the systems to produce the desired results were not impossible; in fact in his world they were quite doable. There have been various threads on cooking at low temperatures and sous vide cooking on eGullet so I will not reiterate all of the fine points. This subject was even approached here when a member commented on the images of us cooking en sous vide with a gas-fired stove as the heat source. At the time I mentioned the use of highly controllable thermo circulators was not necessary. It is not, but it sure is nice. The units that we tested are shown below. They performed well beyond my expectations and will definately be a part of the Alinea kitchen. One of the concepts that I mentioned to Philip was an anti-griddle. This flat surface would maintain temperatures of – 40 C. This concept started with my recollection of the “blini board” that was used every night at the French Laundry. Basically a pancake griddle that can be purchased at any department store. Our concept would be the inverse, we would create dual textures by freezing instead heating. A puree of mango would be folded with Golden Trout Roe and puddled onto the freezing surface. The intense temperature would freeze the first 1/16 of an inch within 30 seconds allowing us to flip the “blinis” and freeze the other side. The center would remain creamy.The first prototype of the anti-griddle is in production. We hope to report on two more collaborations between Polyscience and Alinea in the near future -- and we should have a picture of the anti-griddle available by then. Another piece of equipment that we are very excited about is a vaporizer that a friend of Alinea brought back from Germany. He had the good fortune to meet the inventor of the vaporizer and sit in on a demo. Knowing our use of controlled aromas in cuisine he immediately thought of us. Ironically we had been brainstorming on methods to control the containment and dispensing of aromas. This machine was the perfect solution for two reasons. It allowed us to use real ingredients for the aroma base as opposed to synthetic mediums, which was always important to us in the execution of the desired aroma. But more critically the aroma is contained indefinitely. Further, the ability to dispense it in a very controlled manner was finally possible. The machine allows the user to heat the ingredients from 130 C - 230 C. Plant material (cellulose) begins to burn when temperatures of 235 C or higher are achieved. This control lets us determine the best temperature for extraction without marring the aroma with burnt smell. The mediums are endless, this machine will even vaporize liquids, such as wine and even oils with amazing intensity. As you can see the essence in captured in the clear bag. Sous chef John Peters samples vaporized licorice Now we can pump aroma into various things like overturned glasses, glass tubes, or pockets of food to enhance the experience. Before we were limited to producing aromas at the moment and we were never able to place aromas based off of real ingredients into different containers, allowing the guest to dispense the aroma at their will. We will go into the kitchen next week and develop various uses for the vaporizer for the opening Alinea menu.
  9. I have not decided what to do with the dried crème brulee. My first impulse was to abandon the dish. This undoubtedly stems from past accusations that my cuisine is imported directly from el Bulli. Of course the dish is like nothing I have ever seen produced by Adria, and after some research I discovered it is also very different than Jose’s. After realizing the originality of the dish was still intact, I was still reluctant to pursue the dish to completion. This was frustrating and it ultimately lead to more thought on the subject of “being first” and how important that was. The priority to bring ideas to the table before the peers will undoubtably produce a cuisine that is very shallow. I prefer to let the process happen organically, this way the dishes that come out of contemporary kitchens will have certain maturity. If the point is merely to be first, the result will be a style of cuisine that is haphazardly conceived, executed and short lived. Each dish and technique destined to the garbage can at the expense of the next and so on. This will leave no grounding elements, no identifiers, and eventually the characteristics that make this style of cuisine so exciting will kill it off. Creativity, originality and evolution are still the driving forces behind what we do.
  10. No special equipment required. However, I have neither used nor seen a special “lab water bath” as you stated, it may provide the ultimate control in regards to temperature. We have been highly successful with a conventional range and an electronic thermometer. We even used a food saver at Trio until we could afford a commercial machine to vacuum the bags. We feel that induction heat sources are the most accurate and economical type for the sous vide cooking we do. They provide very consistent, low maintenance temperature control. Depending on what you are cooking, and the desired effect, determines the temperature range you must keep the ingredients in. For proteins we are within 2 degrees of the determined temperature. It is amazing the difference between 136-138-140 degree lamb when cooking in this manner. The fact that the entire piece of protein is the target temperature leaves little room for error. In other words if you are sautéing and finishing a piece of meat in the oven and you mis-time it a few minutes early the middle will be rare…but graduating out from the center you will find medium-rare, medium, medium well and well. So the rare in the middle becomes less obvious. If you mis-temp during sous-vide by a few degrees you will be left with the entire piece either chewy rare or protein coagulated medium-well.
  11. The sponge is the result of a ratio containing 1 sheet of gelatin to 75 ML of shellfish liquid. Yes, very acturate digital scales are required for the measuring of most ingredients in the kitchen. All of our recipes are in metric and all of them are documented to the gram, some to the half gram if necessary. Your percentages seemed to be reversed. We basically use a 1% solution of alginate and a 2% calcium solution, but that can vary depending on what base liquid you are dealing with.
  12. Yes, there have been several further developments in the serviceware concepts. At this point Martin is in the midsts of developing around 20 concepts for the restaurant. Some of those have already been shown here, but most are still in the concept phase. We will do our best to prevue them when they become available.
  13. To some degree we have been dealing with this suspicion for a few years now. Our cuisine is too personal, too expressive to please everyone. Some will love it, some will dislike it, and some will love to hate it. And that is OK. Because of the reasons I listed above I think the best thing to do is let the food speak. The experience is not only personal to the creator but even more so for the guest. There is no way I could tell you how you would feel after a certain course or a particular meal. I can verbally articulate the “style” in which we create, but is that really an effective way to communicate this medium if it is judged on the interaction with an individual? Honestly, I don’t view what we do as that different. I don’t see why it requires special explanation. Our goals are the same as any team trying to provide the best experience at the highest level. If we choose an unconventional method to help us make that personalized experience why should it matter? The foundation is there and nobody can take that away from us. The fact that some of the more whimsical dishes highlight Americana is, of course because I am American and we are in America. We also play in the same manner with other cultures cuisines, having based dishes on Thai ice tea, “Hassenpheffer” of rabbit and Sri Lankan Eggplant pickle to name a few. I would imagine that most of the diners did not fully understand or have memory reference to some of those dishes, but I think unfamiliarity can be just as powerful as comfort. And we still have the characteristics that make the dish desirable on a technical level, even if certain cultural references are lost.
  14. This is exactly what I am talking about. No disrespect taken.
  15. Actually that is a typo on Nick's part. We used gelatin to make the shellfish sponge. We use the alginates as thickening agents and as a method for encapsulation. This seems slightly off topic but I feel your segue is the perfect opportunity to comment on something that has bothered me for some time now. Mad scientist is not an image that I would proudly carry, and I think there is a real problem with the misconception and labeling of chefs that are executing forward thinking cuisine as being such. Science is important in cooking, and some might be able to argue that the techniques that are becoming widely known as of late seem very scientific on the surface. But I can’t say how different any of them are compared to the leavening qualities of baking powder. We are somewhat to blame for this public perception. Simply calling our test kitchen a lab certainly doesn’t help matters, nor does the use of freeze dryers, syringes and memberships to IFT. The important thing is to understand is these things are tools and knowledge…… NOT the origin. The syringe is merely a tool, the understanding of the molecular structure of gellan gum is knowledge. For some reason we all seem to enjoy the vision of a chef in the kitchen filled with test tubes and beakers mixing ingredients together in random fashion and impatiently awaiting the results. It happens quite the opposite. Each of these concepts are developed based on their intent. If one of us brings an idea to the table that requires the development of a new technique, the processes and ingredients must be sought out and worked on. Each step is guided by the cooks’ instinct far more than his knowledge of food on a molecular level. Food originating from science lacks a tangible comfort, it lacks sensuality, it lacks soul. My commentary is not meant to be defensive. However, as this style of cooking becomes more popular I think the people involved in it need to take control of its image so the public perception is not false. At the core of any great meal is a great cook, regardless of the style of cuisine, not a great scientist. I want my food to be enjoyed just as Chef Keller,Trotter, and Adria want theirs to be, on every level.
  16. At this point we have been is the test kitchen for about 7 weeks. It took some time to get acclimated to the mechanics of a kitchen after a four-week absence, but now it seems the team has hit a groove. We are adjusting to our surroundings and getting used to the schedule that we have held over the last two months…now things seem to be developing as we envisioned. One aspect of this process that I have found most interesting is the relationship between the actual foodstuffs and creation of concepts. In the past, while working 16 hours a day, I always wished for more quiet time to “brainstorm”. I felt that if I slightly removed myself from the maintenance of daily production it would enable me to conceptualize dishes more efficiently, freeing up more time to ponder technique, and craft the overall experience that would become Alinea. Recently, I have had the time, and that is not true. Hours spent in front of a computer, in cookbooks, and with my eyes closed result in fewer ideas than when I touch the food. I will have a preconceived idea of a dish’s direction, or of the aesthetic, and it will change before my eyes when I touch the ingredients. At this point I will walk you through some of the dishes we have been working on. Ron captured the early struggles of the caramel bubble. As I mentioned this concept has been in the back of my mind for a long time, only recently have we devoted a great deal of time to the development. Most of the time when a new idea takes its position on the docket we think backwards first. In other words reaching back to previous technique or concept often helps us solve issues at the moment. For some reason, in this case, we neglected this approach and stubbornly pushed forward with reckless abandoned. The blinders we placed on ourselves cost us a couple of weeks time and much frustration. As shown here An early attempt to blow the bubble with a sugar pump We were determined to “blow” a bubble of caramel, in the literal sense. This thought obviously stemmed from the basic concept of a bubble, as we knew it, the introduction of forced air into an elastic medium. Our determination became a limiting factor, when in fact we knew the technique that would solve the problem all along. It took Nick's wife, Dagmara, who was quietly watching us struggle, to bring the solution to life. Inflated balloons waiting to be dipped in sugar We had used balloons to help us mold food into spherical shapes before. In the past we used them in the inverse, filling the balloons with the liquid foodstuff and popping the balloon to achieve the shape we desired. In this case the balloon had to become an exterior mold, the balloon dipped into the hot sugar and then deflated to produce the brittle shell. After several popped balloons and some burned fingers we finalize the technique and the result is shown here. The finshed caramel bubble As I stated we were determined to produce a dried crème brulee. After the burnt sugar sphere was created the rest seemed easy. A mixture of spray dried cream, egg yolk, and powdered sugar scented with vanilla was mixed and added to the orb. A bottom layer of sugar was added and the result was a globe of caramel with a powdered “custard” interior. A Dried Creme Brulee Cracked Open In true ironic innovative fashion we looked at the November issue of Food and Wine today and read about Jose Andres producing a “caramel lightbulb”…after some disbelief and a few four letter words we came to the conclusion that we ran out of time for this concept. In todays fast paced world you need to get your ideas to the table very quickly, every pun imaginable intended. I love coconut. We only deal with it fresh of course, and it becomes one of the “bottom of totem pole” tasks in the kitchen, that is, to shuck, peel and juice the flesh. The end result is far superior than any processed product you can buy, not to mention the sense of accomplishment that comes with fabricating a dozen or more, with the knowledge that the will be consumed that night. For this dish: Stone Crab young coconut, cashew, parsnip we decided to utilize modern technology to help us achieve the desired effect. Parsnips have an amazing aromatic quality when raw, but seem to be very toothsome at that stage. After we settled on the flavors of cashews and coconut to solidify this crab dish we were determined to produce a veletely eretheral puree made from those ingredients. The first couple of attempts fell short, the puree coming out very grainy. But after marinating the raw cashews, young coconut, and parsnips overnight in a solution of coconut water and salt we discovered the mixture cold be manipulated into a smooth puree in the vita-prep blender with ease. At that point we froze the puree and processed it in the paco jet, the result was a mousse like consistency of ultra-smooth texture. This base became the sockel for the resulting crab dish. Plating of the crab dish In an attempt to build on the aromatic quality of the dish we looked to volatile spices to accent the crisp raw flavors of the puree. Mace and saffron seemed a natural match. The result was vinaigrette made from the two spices; it would be tossed over the crab and applied to the plate. The last element was the herbacious kilimanjari basil which you see in leaf and bloom form. Stone Crab young coconut, cahsews, parsnips (front view) Stone Crab young cocnut, cahsews, parsnips (side view) Procuitto-Passionfruit-Catmint This dish was initialized from the dehydration of cured meats. Their intensely salty and crispy characteristics were appealing to us, especially since the use of a dehydrator produced a result that did not taste “cooked”. discs of procuitto in dehydrator It seems to be the closest version of a crispy “raw” flavor that we can accomplish. I considered using pancetta in this manner, mainly for its rolled properties, but found the flavors of procuitto to be more appealing. Trying to mimic the spiral asthetic of pancetta we rolled the thinly sliced procuitto and froze it into a log. It was then sliced into thin rounds and dehydrated into crispy, half dollar sized chips of cured meat. A chip of crispy procuitto held up after being removed from dehydrator Of course everyone would think of melon at this point. But the reason melon works so well with procuitto is what interested me. Knowing we could replace it with anything that fit the profile, we chose passionfruit for a few reasons. Sous Chef Curtis Duffy with passionfruit bavarios laid out in a sheet pan before punching Obviously the fruitiness, but also the intense aroma and acidity. The pulp and shell were made into a broth that was then turned into a bavarios. This was punched into a disc slightly smaller than the ham and sandwiched between. Mint seemed to be another natural element to this dish. We chose catmint that was growing in Nick’s garden. It is very powerful and tends to push into nose more them most mints. I think it is nice contrast to the lingering meaty notes of the ham. Finished dish:Procuitto-Passionfruit-Catmint We view responsible manipulation as a good thing. If we can maintain integral qualities of an ingredient but present it in a different form, be it an alteration of texture or physical state, that is appealing to us. This is an example of that philosophy. Here we have flavored a “cracker base” with a duxelle of wild mushrooms and various mushroom powders. The apperiel is mixed, steamed, dehydrated, and then fried to achieve its final form. The result is a very crunchy, intensely flavored mushroom cheetos if you will. We simply micro-plane fresh matsutakes mushrooms over the cracker and arrange various herbs throughout. Puffed Wild Mushroom The dishes as you see them here will undoubtedly evolve of the next couple of weeks. I am sure by tomorrow morning we will all have fresh ideas regarding them, and as more days in the kitchen unfold the dishes will mature. After all, that is one of the main reasons we decided to devote the energies to this process, to open Alinea with dishes that have gone through the same evolutionary process as a restaurant that as been open for a period of time. I am finding it difficult to articulate the physical process behind a lot of these concepts. I can comment on the inspiration, and the technical aspects, but the fact that they are so close to me prevents me from describing them objectively. Maybe Nick can give us an "outsiders" opinion.
  17. This past Thursday Alinea served the public for the first time. We participated in the Harvest Moon Fundraiser event held at the Crate and Barrel headquarters in Northbrook, IL. Proceeds benefited Children’s Memorial Hospital. In most cases chefs view the situations where they must leave the comfort of their kitchens and feed large amounts of people at a rapid pace to be somewhat less than desirable. I used to be one of those chefs. Losing control over the cooking of the products and presenting food on lesser-quality plateware are not things we are used to. People walking around with a wine glass in one hand, and your dish in the other--while trying to figure out a way to eat it--seemed very removed from the setting that we try to create. Now, we see this setting as an opportunity to develop a new style of service, one that is everything we strive for at the restaurant but presented on a larger scale. The things I viewed as drawbacks suddenly became acceptable challenges. Martin and I first began to talk about the possibilities about one year ago. He liked the idea of a piece engaging a large number of people at one time. We did a few events while at Trio where we tried to break from the norm of passing out plates. A couple of years ago we balanced forks containing grapefruit cells and grated black truffle on a beam so the guests could just pluck the fork and consume the dish. For the Jean Banchet awards last year, we did the Virtual Shrimp Cocktail in atomizers; 500 of them pushed into crushed ice. The intent here was to develop a piece that would engage a very large group. Due to the fact the people are walking around at these events, the situation lacks the containing focus and security of the tabletop. The interaction of people becomes a very exciting part of the experience. For this reason our first priority was to create a piece that could serve several people at one time. Twenty people eating within 8 feet of each other was not a typical environment, and that was the point. We could capture the energy that made these events special instead of fighting it. This is a variation of the antenna concept that Martin developed while I was at Trio. As you can see the food composition is about 66 inches from the floor. We wanted the food to be as close to eye level as possible. In this case Nantucket Bay Scallops with roasted pear, olive oil and licorice. Basically, the wire holding the food pivots downward to adjust to the guest’s mouth level. At that point it is consumed directly off the wire. The wire is then removed, discarded and reloaded with a fresh foodstuff for the next guest. As with all of Martin’s work the piece became very sculptural in appearance. It is hard to imagine the piece without the food and the food without the piece. The overall response was very positive. On November 16th we will use this piece at the Food and Wine Magazine - MCA event. The food composition will change to Crunchy Strawberry – Foie Gras- Licorice.
  18. Ron: We have in fact finalized the technique that we will use to create the bubble of caramel. After tomarrow's session I hope to be able to post some images.
  19. As I said up-post that amuse slot is an important one. The guests first bite should, in my opinion, do more than just taste good. For us it becomes a way to disarm the diner. Yes the food is highly manipulated, yes it is aesthetically different that most that you have had, yes it tastes good, but it is also familiar and it is ok if it makes fun of itself. If we can successfully place a dish in front of the guest that is visually unfamiliar yet tastes of one of the most comforting flavors known….. we have successfully set the tone for the rest of the evening. The dish itself it very simple. The technique of slicing bread very thinly and wrapping it around things comes from el Bulli. The inspiration for this particular dish started with the squid. That is what we call the holder developed by Crucial Detail. I wanted a bite sized course that would be consumed by hand and be positioned upright. I started to review fruits and vegetables that would provide a natural “handle” for the guests to use to consume the course. Once I settled on grapes on the vine the rest was a given. Of course we make the peanut butter ourselves and peel the grapes while they are still on the vine, that takes some dexterity.
  20. As the project matures we have made the final decision to utilize several logos instead of one. The philosophy behind that decision seems to align with all other thoughts that are present in this project. As Martin mentioned up thread, we have several different types of applications for the Alinea logo: 1. Chef Coats 2. Menus 3. Stationary 4. Video 5. Signage 6. Printed Promotional Material 7. Business Cards We will choose which concepts are best suited for each situation, not only from an application standpoint, but also from the emotion we are trying to express in each medium. Going even further, I have decided to utilize different logos within a category…in other words four chefs will have embroideries coats in the kitchen, we will all have different logos. Just as everyone will have different business cards, and ideally each guest at a table will see a different Alinea symbol on their menus and so on. Everyone on the creative team feels this approach exemplifies exactly what we are trying to achieve with Alinea, not to mention it is fun for everyone to choose his or her own logo out of the 154 concepts developed thus far. Here are examples of my current favorites:
  21. LBH-- The cooktek unit will stack on themselves but we have designed all undercounter storage to be very specific in storing various equipment. More on this when the scanned blueprints are available. No. That is one of the limitations that we have willing placed upon ourselves...all service pieces created with Crucial Detail must be machine washable...all of the pieces posted thus far have been as well.
  22. I am trying to find a pic online....either way I am sure you will see am image of it when the food lab topic is posted.
  23. We will utilize mostly Sitram cookware which is quite induction friendly. Cooktek has supplied us with the results of their research on the efficiency of various brands.
  24. Holly: Times are changing …but very slowly. I think if you surveyed most chefs cooking today the majority would dismiss induction as a preferred heat source. Four years ago I would have been one of those chefs…and maybe with good reason….induction technology is still in its infancy, as the benefits become more known, and popularity increases the perceived short comings of this heat source will evolve and it will become the primary source for most kitchens. They are equally as strong, in some cases more (BTU’s) and have much faster recovery times. They are also highly controllable, easily moved throughout the kitchen, and give off little heat into the environment of the kitchen. All of those factors and the ones I mention up-thread make these units the most suitable for our style of cooking. Yes, we will use the black walk-off mats in our kitchen…or an equivalent. I think the health department would favor these types of mats vs. the common rubber mats with holes, they seem to be a collector of food and what not and very difficult to clean. Keep in mind the kitchen at the FL and Alinea is impeccably clean. At Trio, where we used the carpets as well, they were vacuumed several times a day. It was very rare for a large spill to soil the mats, but if it did happen they were removed and replaced with clean back ups, the soiled set aside to be professionally cleaned. As I mentioned up-post a scanned blueprint of the kitchen is in the works for everyone to reference.
  25. The kitchen will consume roughly 20% of the budget. I think it is particularly important to look at these percentages with an open mind in reference to the final product. To try and access the stature of any build-out based on the rumored costs can be very misleading. The kitchen is the vision of the Alinea team, and made reality by the architects at Rugo/Raff. We decided to bypass a “restaurant” or “kitchen designer”. The project seemed so personal to my vision that I felt it would be most efficiently conveyed by me to the architects. I am sure I will make a few mistakes along the way that would have been caught by someone like Tim Harrison. But I am also confident that given the cuisine that we produce the Alinea kitchen certainly does not fit into any template known. I feel we are getting a 30% kitchen build out for the price of a 20% build-out due to disciplined budgeting, a lot of homework, and a dedicated design team. As far as the Molteni stove…..that decision was based mainly on references by peers and colleagues. I have cooked on several types on stoves in my career and had the opportunity to demo a Molteni at the Food Show in Chicago this past year. After looking at several brands…Bonnet, Montague, Diva de Provence……the reputation of Molteni, in combination with the available styles and price, ultimately seemed like a perfect match.
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