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Lord Michael Lewis

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Everything posted by Lord Michael Lewis

  1. Yes, but seeing as his involvement doesn't seem to extend to his stagnated menu, one has to conclude that he exploits food technology as a tool for self-publicity. You may have enjoyed this dish -- Gaspacho à la moutarde d'Orléans, crème glacée -- even more at Arpege (note the Fat Duck's endearingly slavish adoption of Passard's misspelling of gazpacho).
  2. Hardly 'constant innovation and experimentation', though. Most of what you mention has been on the Fat Duck menu for years.
  3. Sorry, but I don't understand what connection you're making between el Bulli and the Fat Duck? Aren't tradition and convention always present in dining?
  4. Seeing as how we're turning this into 'Memories of Brighton', is the Zap club still there? I have fond memories of being rolled out from there onto the shingle and down to the sea by my good friend and fellow peer, Jago Eliot.
  5. A decade ago the Gosforth Park Hotel had a fairly decent restaurant. Thankfully, I've had no reason to go t'up north recently so I can't tell you what they're currently dishing up -- probably authentic Northumbrian Cajun Dim Sum.
  6. Horrible, trendy, and thoroughly indigestible; not fit for human consumption.
  7. You don't know how glad I am to hear that. I will be holding you to your promise. Not worth my time. Indeed, time much better spent harping on endlessly in your invented language about your Bourdainesque existence.
  8. Chef/Writer, you may believe your life to be fascinating, and no doubt it is... to you. Nevertheless, it doesn't necessarily follow that your highly stylized raconteuring is of primary interest to anyone else. Indeed, on the rare occasions that I can understand what you're saying, I find your contiributions to be frequently irrelevant, and alarmingly dull.
  9. Puerto Banus is the gilded rectum of Spain.
  10. Most, if not all primary source material is to be found in some or other archive somewhere. Given that your interest lies in Italy this would seem to be the place to start. You might wish to start by contacting the University of Bologna (the original university). They may have such things 'commonplace' books, a kind of middle class houskeeping/scrapbook kept by many families from the middle ages onwards, and which might contain something of which you seek. If you do decide to contact them, try writing to Professor Massimo Montanari, a medieval food specialist and co-author of 'Food, a Culinary History'. Alternatively use the bibiliographies in the secondary sources to guide you to primary sources of interest. I do warn you though, dealing with primary sources of this kind is a thankless and tortuous undertaking.
  11. No you don't. The conditionality of this utterance denies that it can be Art on its own terms. This is not a problem by the way, there is nothing controversial about your attitude. Chef/Writer, I'd like you to demonstrate that you are able to recognize creativity. If you don't feel up to it, then please desist with your demagogy.
  12. Very well put LastSupper. I would just add that anyone is entitled to enjoy any meal on whatever level(s) they wish. Nevertheless, I find Chef/Writer and Matthew's refusal to accept that the meal could be enjoyed on other levels, or seen from perspectives other than their own, both unhelpful and frustratingly narrow-minded. Matthew ridicules the 'false chip'. That is his right. Had I eaten it, I may or may not have been wowed by its formal elements, but I would certainly been curious about, and enjoyed discovering, its provenence. How can anyone deny me that pleasure? Let's not forget that for several months of R&D are involved in putting El Bulli's menu together, so one imagines that a certain amount of thought and testing went into the dish. This is thus a part of the dish. If this fails to impress or interest you, then clearly El Bulli is not your type of restaurant. I think Matthew's testimony and attitude bears this out.
  13. Talk about over-simplification. Food? This is Art for God's sake, NOT BURGERS, NOT 'HIGH END'. IT'S GOT TO MEAN SOMETHING.
  14. Eating is pretty egalitarian, and consequently so are food prejudices. Those who haven't in a three star establishment will be just as prejudiced as those who have, the only difference will be the substance of their prejudice.
  15. No, that's what you're saying. I'm saying that Adria is importantly different and it may be enriching to make the effort to judge him on his terms. To do this would involve trying to understand why he does things, and not just basing an evaluation on individual experience. Having dined there several times, I think Adria deserves to have his food seen in context. Even if I didn't 'like' what he was doing I would still say this, because I am intrigued by his vision. In many respects this vision has become obfuscated by debates like these, but first eating there in '96 was a revelation for me and as it's so rare to see someone trying to do something genuine in this business, I have every intention of putting down the weaker arguments against his work.
  16. We're still talking about 911 and it's been almost two years. I find that theory flawed, but the rest of your arguement useful and focused in the right direction. I still think, as a chef, to expect your audience to come into the dining room with some kind of intellectual zen is pretentious. What, he only wants thinkers eating there? This is the restaurant biz after all. I bet he wants all kinds of people to experience his ingenuity and metier. I know what you're saying but I can't agree. I'm a chef, one who's been cooking high end stuff for 12 years, and I'd much rather turn a sixteen year old kid on to my food than get butt smootched by one of you thinkers out there. Because in reality, it sounds like you wouldn't find my intrinsic value in my metier anyhow. And with that I'm gone. There are good reasons why some effort needs to be made on behalf of the diner: To return to the Rothko; there are those who say, "My two year old could have painted that". And no doubt they're right. But the reason the Rothko is in the Tate Gallery, is not exclusively due to the superficial form and visual elements of the work. There is a wealth of background to it. Rothko moved from social realism, through surrealism to abstract impressionism. At the same time there were many other artists doing other things and all of them had their place in the continuum known as Art History. Rothko was trying to solve a problem. The glib father of the two year old doesn't see the context, and thus doesn't perceive the artistic problem that the painting addresses. Therfore his comments are extremely arrogant or extremely stupid. I think a similar treatment of Adria is also necessary in order to understand what he's doing. An evaluation of the food is only the first step in what should be a rewarding investigation. If you think that's pretentious, there's not a great deal to say because you're clearly mired in your own prejudice. It's not only the what but the why that is interesting.
  17. Neither do I. I was suggesting that Matthew perceived cynicism in El Bulli, and if that were the case I would have no reason to doubt him. However, Matthew's review is based on the 'formal' elements of the meal and as such his treatment of El Bulli is highly decontextualized. At the risk of sounding extremely pretentious, I feel there's more to Adria's cuisine than the food. For example, its place in the culinary continuum. A neophyte faced with one of Mark Rothko's 'Black on Maroon' series is limited in the scope of the evaluation he can make to what he can see. But, provided with context the evaluation is likely to be very different. So, the point I'm trying to make (again) is that although Matthew didn't like the meal, it doesn't follow that the meal was crap. Rather, Matthew's evaluation is limited to only one, albeit fundamental, aspect of the meal. Adria has approached his cooking as an artist and an intellectual. I believe him to be very truthful in what he does, which is a rare thing these days. For this reason I feel the his work deserves to be approached with a little more intellect than when assessing the local brasserie.
  18. There is an element of trust involved in an experience like El Bulli. If you believe that Adria isn't a fake then you're able to eat with an open mind. Matthew Grant perceived something akin to cynicism, and I suppose it was this that coloured his experience. Nevertheless, it is rather ironic that Matthew Grant should cite the Fat Duck as being a superior realization of this 'type' of cuisine, being as it is, a neutered imitation of the former.
  19. Chef/Writer, On viewing Mark Rothko and Piet Mondrian's polychromatic abstract expressionism, would you draw the conclusion that: I don't like it. Neither do I like shit. Therefore abstract impressionism is shit? Part of the reason that Matthew Grant wasn't able to appreciate El Bulli, is Matthew Grant.
  20. Statements like this concern me. Hey you went all the way to Disneyland and all rides were fucked up but you actually made it from Seattle by foot--you should be thankful to pay for the priveledge of being on such hallowed ground. Come on Lord. With all the respect due to one published in Restaurant Edge, I think you have misunderstood me. What you Matthew Grant has experienced is unique. It doesn't bear comparison with anything else extant. Matthew has had the opportunity to gambol in the fields of Adria's imagination. He didn't like it. This may or may not be germane. My point is that Adria has earned some effort on the part of the diner, and Matthew should at least show some equanimity if he wants his views to be taken seriously.
  21. It's a curious thing this. You've just eaten at at perhaps the only restaurant in the world where the chef is in the enviable position of entirely controlling his diners' experience, and yet you felt he had let you down. I think it's the opposite, I think he bared his culinary soul to you and you didn't like it. Fair enough, but you have experienced the mysterious outer limits of dining, and that alone makes it worth the trip.
  22. Crisp, Breaded Belly Pork, with Fennel, Lemon and Capers. Frutti di Mare: lobster, crab, prawns, oyster, mussels, cockles, and squid Home made Gelati and Sorbetti Cheese: Miss Muffet, Skirrid.
  23. Agree. He's not copied because: a). It's easier to hide shortcomings amongst a plethora of improbable garnishes. And, b). Because improbable garnishes get extensive media coverage.
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