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Found 1,333 results

  1. Chef, Thank you so much for the time and effort you are giving these Q and A. We are lucky enough to be long term customers of the French Laundry and have been the recipient of many 5 hour plus meals. I would imagine we have crossed paths many times and look forward to a trip to Chicago and the Tour de Force. Being such an integral part of the French Laundry family for almost 5 years, Thomas must have been a major influence in your development as a chef. What elements of Thomas' approach to cooking do you continue to embrace? What do you feel has been his greatest contribution to your evolution as a chef? In what ways have you evolved in a different direction and would you credit Adria et al for this divergence? One difference that I note is derived from Keller's statement that he finds passion in the everyday routine of cooking and derives "deep gratification from the mundane." From your answers, your approach seems more cerebral and more dependent upon seeking new and different ways of manipulating ingredients. Is this a misreading of your approach?
  2. I have eaten at the Fat Duck but have yet to try the Riverside Brasserie. I understand that the menu at the latter is more traditional. Could you tell us to what extent you are using your innovative methods (low temperature cooking, flavour encapsulation, distilled flavours, etc.) at the Riverside Brasserie? What "niches" or "spaces" do you see the two restaurants as occupying? When would you want to eat at one as opposed to the other?
  3. I recently had dinner at Midsummer House in Cambridge. Whilst the menu was more traditional than those I've enjoyed at the Fat Duck, Daniel Clifford added a number of touches that were reminiscent of yours, most notably the green tea "palate cleanser" to start. Could you tell us what you think of other chefs imitating or adapting your innovative dishes? Similarly, it would be interesting to understand how free you feel to adopt dishes or techniques developed by other chefs?
  4. I keep reading El Bulli this or El Bulli that...I have tried to figure out this place...Is it real, is it an elaborate e gullet running gag, whats the deal!...Ya I know I am a burrito and burger guy so I may not be "sophisticated" enough to know about it ie "El Bulli, yes Thurston and I dined there last week before the theater, fabulous darling"...so whats the scoop all you New Yorkers, fill in a regular west coast schlub on this El Bulli place....if it even exists.. If it does exist, will I need to look for a good interest rate on my second mortgage to purchase a meal there....Do they have burrito's?
  5. ''I have created something five times lighter than the foams. The new texture that I create is air. In the bathroom there is the bath foam. This is the same texture.'' A few more questions and his discretion dissipated. ''You will be the first journalist to see it,'' he said. He asked Castro to make preparations in the kitchen. ''It is only done with the product, nothing else,'' he explained. ''For example, the carrot is only carrot juice, nothing else.'' thats a quote of the last thread on ferran adrias carrot "air" there were lots of ideas like lecithin, agar, gelatin, eggyolx, etc. but that doesnt come close to whats happening... when i saw a documentary on el bulli ( google 4 : Alchimisten des Geschmacks ) on spiegel-tv they were whipping some stuff with a "esge zauberstab" (immersion blender) the stuff that came out was huge and wobbly, it was pretty high and had LARGE pores... then on guy came on and sucked the whole plate into his mouth as if it was nothing.... so is there ANYONE who has a fucking idea of how to achieve something like it... with lecithin & co. you can only do minor foams that are not that stable BY FAR !!! rite now iam trying to get a copy of the documentary.. if i get it i will post a series of images... to get the ball rolling my first suggestion is (always keep this in minds----) "is only carrot juice, nothing else.'') that he maybe uses somekind of "physical" device which changes the electric charges of some kind which then effects the electrostatic charge somehow.... (iam just guessing here... i have no idea.... maybe there is someone who does... ok iam looking forward to get many theories & stuff cheers torsten from cologne
  6. I am often struck, when following this board, not by the fixation with El Bulli, Arzak or Mugaritz - these are great restaurants, and they logically center everyone's interest - but by the exclusion of everything outside these fabled, starred restaurants when planning trips to Spain. The itineraries I've seen include those, plus Can Fabes, Martin Berasategui, Akelarre, etc. - and no room or thought at all is given to traditional or regional places. It's understandable that the cutting-edge places concentrate so much attention, but I think all those who only want to eat at these types of restaurants will miss culinary experiences that are as interesting and often more original, more 'different'. I can tell you this: if anyone is familiar with Pierre Gagnaire, he will be less surprised with El Bulli than with Rafa's modest bar-and-restaurant in Roses. Outstanding raw materials are a Spanish specialty, and sometimes they can only be found in Spain, or are different in Spain (lamb, suckling pig) from what one would find under such names elsewhere. These products are best highlighted in simpler, 'terroir'-oriented restaurants than in the havens of refinement. The blinkered foodie will thus miss, if he/she only goes from three stars to two stars to three stars again, all these treats that really mark the soul of Spanish gastronomy: - the Roses bay shrimp or the L'Escala anchovies at Rafa's, or perhaps the tiny springtime Maresme green peas (next March!) and delicate langoustines ('escamarlans', in Catalan) at Hispania, a few miles down the coast - the classic menu at a down-home 'sidrería' in Guipúzcoa (these raucous, fun cider-making and cider-serving establishments' offer typically is a fresh-tuna omelet, a porterhouse steak with piquillo peppers and a 'pantxineta' cake) - the unique texture and taste of a Castilian milk-fed lamb of the 'churra' breed, slowly roasted in a low-temperature baker's oven - the opulence of a 'cazuela' (small earthenware pan) of sautéed baby eels followed by a grilled 'a la espalda' sea bream at Kaia, Elkano or Kaipe, the fine fish 'asadores' in Getaria near San Sebastián - the real paella, a very wide, very shallow pan with the thinnest (less than a half-inch) layer of Calasparra short-grain rice, first fried and then cooked with a classic accompaniments of wild rabbit and small snails, at Paco Gandía's paella shrine in Pinoso (Alicante) - the explosion of fresh Ribera del Ebro vegetables, perhaps under the guise of a palatable mixed 'menestra' with bits of serrano ham, at such Navarra restaurants as Maher in Cintruénigo: cardoons, artichokes, piquillo and cristal peppers, tiny 'cogollo' lettuces, asparagus, broad beans... - the fastuous three courses (soup, vegetables, meats) drawn from a pot of 'cocido madrileño', the chickpea-dominated Madrid 'pot-au-feu' in one of the three nostalgic dining rooms of the capital's 165-year-old Lhardy restaurant... ...and many more such moments. Take my word for it: a serious foodie trip to such countries as Spain or Italy should always include one 'moment' like those for each three-star meal enjoyed. Only the knowledge of both ends of the culinary spectrum will enable the 'gastronomad' (as Curnonsky used to call them... er, us) to understand the breadth of the food experience in these countries. But of course you're free to go to Italy and spend a whole week not eating spaghetti even once...
  7. A central premise of the TDG essay "Eight at El Bulli" (click here) is that the restaurant represents a tradition of its own, a break with existing culinary traditions: neither French, nor Spanish, but in some sense encompassing and going beyond both. Following cues from chefs and writers, we have called this phenomenon "avant garde cooking". Do you agree with our assertion that El Bulli is in the vanguard of a genuinely new culinary tradition? How do Adrià's innovations compare with other recent "revolutions" such as the advent of nouvelle cuisine? How should one define the culinary avant-garde? Notions such as "deconstruction", "displacement", "transformation"and "reconstitution" come to mind. What other practitioners (chefs, restaurants, critics, etc.) would you place in the forefront of this movement? Many observers have noticed perversions or imitations of Adrià's cooking, such as meals with foams in every dish, or counterintuitive pairings of ingredients that, unlike those at El Bulli, have no gastronomic integrity and merely shock rather than creating a refreshing surprise to the eye and palate. Some argue that we are worse off for Adrià and El Bulli, since it has spawned so many vapid or gimmicky imitations. What is your view?
  8. The Ouest website mentions that Philip Howard's degree in microbiology encouraged a unique approach to cooking. I'd appreciate learning some details on Chef Howard's beliefs, and the ways in which there are similarities with, and differences from, the "Molecular Gastronomy" approach pursued by Heston Blumenthal of The Fat Duck, Bray, and Pierre Gagnaire, Paris, among others. Below is a thread on Molecular Gastronomy: Clickety Are there other chefs in London that utilize the type of approach Chef Howard advocates, and how do you incorporate his insight into your dishes at Ouest (to the extent you do)? On Chef Howard, how did your role as sous chef at The Square differ from your role as souf chef to Raymond Blanc at Manoir? Also, I haver heard mention that The Square's dining room team can be a bit cold at times. What are your views on the kitchen team's perception of the dining room team at The Square?
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