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  1. Who is cooking with liquid nitrogen? What are you doing with it? This is a topic that is at the cutting edge of culinary technique, but there is very little information out there about it. Liquid nitrogen is a clear liquid (looks just like water) but it is extremely cold - 320F / -196 C. It has been used scientifically for over 100 years, and has many industrial uses. Most people abbreviate it LN2, because N2 (with 2 as a subscript) is nitrogen molecule in the air. A number of chefs are using LN2 in various ways. LN2 ice cream has been around for many years as a science demonsration,
  2. From Thomas Keller: culinary perfection personified in the Seattle Times Early that day, over breakfast at Le Pichet, Keller likened a meal at the French Laundry to a ticket at the World Series, which fans gladly pay hundreds for. "Do you question the quality of that experience?" When you go to a Thomas Keller restaurant, you pay to taste the culinary art at its highest level. Keller spun out ideas for furthering that experience even more. "My goal is not to have a menu at the French Laundry. You go with complete confidence in the food, the service, and the wine. What the hell do you need 850
  3. Hi I've failed to get a reservation at el bulli for the last 3 years - with such obvious high demand are you thinking of opening a second restaurant? If so can I suggest London? Thanks Tony PS any tips of getting in year after next?
  4. It’s the first day of cooking in Alinea's Food Lab and the mood is relaxed. We’re in a residential kitchen but there’s nothing ordinary about it. Chef Grant, along with sous chefs John Peters and Curtis Duffy are setting up. The sight of the 3 steady pros, each in their chef’s whites, working away, does not match this domestic space. Nor does the intimidating display of industrial tools lined up on the counters. While the traditional elements are here in this suburban kitchen: oven, cooktop, sink, so too are the tools of modern restaurant cookery: pacojet, cryovac machine, paint stripping heat
  5. Admin: An archive of previous discussion on wd-50 may be found here. Has anyone visited WD-50 recently? Wylie had a table at the Time Out New York tasting two weeks ago and it was delicious! He was also very friendly. Has anyone had a recent experience they'd like to share? I'm thinking of making a reservation for next month.
  6. Fax or email NOW. NO phone calls. The fax number is 972150717. The country code for Spain is 34. The email address is bulli@elbulli.com. Luis Garcia - the maitre d'hotel - and the one man solely responsible for The Book - officially starts the reservations tomorrow - October 15th. But I know for a fact that he's already started looking at the requests - we road tripped together down to an El Bulli chef's wedding Sunday morning. He had over 300 thousand requests last year for eight thousand places. Good luck.
  7. On 'Richard and Judy' Wednesday evening Heston showed off two new ideas. The first was for the diner to wear earphones with microphone attached so as to experience the crunch of the food all the better. His idea was that it would be only used on one course. The second was fruit placed in a container with dry ice and then sealed for some time (up to 2 hours). The fruit, grapes, bananas, apples absorbed carbon dioxide and became efervescent when eaten. Richard and Judy found the fruit a fantastic experience but the earphones were just interesting.
  8. Someone the other day was telling me about a 'culinary scientist' called Herve Thys. Apparently Pierre Herme used to consult him for a while (but not anymore) plus other patissiers and chefs. He sounds really fascinating. I tried googling him but didn't come up with much. Any of you France based chef types know more of him? He's in the Heston Blumenthal mode (but pre HB I gather) of researching the scientific basis of why some things work and others don't, as well as coming up with brilliant new ideas e.g. recommends to patissiers ways of preparing mille feuilles so they don't go soggy e
  9. Gourmandbooks, publisher of the English and Spanish editions of Oscar Caballero's Text and pretext in Textures. elBulli, Soler & Adrià in context has kindly consented to post an excerpt of its first chapter, a breath taking chronology, here on eGullet.org. Stay tuned for the review of Text and pretext in Textures. elBulli, Soler & Adrià in context here on eGullet.org later in the week. "Our dream is to make something magical using the original taste of the product. You can criticise us for many things, but it is clear that our only obsession is to ensure that our dishes have a tru
  10. eGullet Q&A with Ferran Adria, December 15-17, 2004 This eG Forums Q&A officially opens on December 15th, but you may begin posting your questions now. Please click here to go directly to the eG Forums Q&A with Ferran Adria for more information before posting. Ferran Adria in the El Bulli Kitchen Photo: Francesc Guillamet © Most of the members of the eGullet Society will be familiar with the works of Ferran Adria. Considered by many the most influential chef in the world, the traces of his work at El Bulli can be found in menus and restaurants located thousands of miles away from
  11. Hey folks! I have a party for 200 coming up, and I want to use agar agar instead of liquid pectin. The recipe calls for 9 oz. of pectin, so do I add powdered agar agar to a certain amount of liquid to get the same effect? Thanks
  12. 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 restau
  13. ''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
  14. 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 bu
  15. 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-gar
  16. 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?
  17. 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?
  18. 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
  19. 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 evoluti
  20. I felt there should be a proper home for methode rotuts sparkling wine, perhaps sparkling cider. (Maybe not sparkling gin just yet, though that is a thought.) Which wines work best? Which mixtures of gasses? Has anyone tried nitrogen? How about red wine or rose? So far all my experiments have been with soave though I have some chardonnay to try. One advantage of methode rotuts is that stainless steel pressure vessels are much less likely to break falling out of the refrigerator than typical glass bottles. They may, of course, explode. This is yet to be tested.
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