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A New Dish


cookperrync
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Dear Chef Ripert,

I am interested in the mental process you go through when creating a dish for the restaurant. I think there is a tendancy with many young chefs try and obtain a name for themselves by combining many odd ingredients and hoping that the results work - innovation for innovations sake, not necessarily for the good of the diner. (I recently read of a chef in Spain, not Adria, who made noodles out of squid combined with oat bran foam and bacon ice cream...). I was hoping you could share with us the process you go through when creating a dish for the restaurant.

A student very much inspired by your work,

Perry

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When I create, I always decide first which ingredient I am cooking for...who is the star of the plate.

Let's say cod; I define what are the characteristics of the fish itself (flaky, fatty, lean, etc...). From the characteristics, I decide what cooking method will work best. To prepare my cod (for example, sauteed cod is very crispy on the outside and very moist and tasty on the inside). Then I select which flavors will enhance the qualities of the fish. From there I decide the sauce and garnish (if any).

By purposely not focussing on the presentation at the beginning of the process, I am able to focus only on "pleasing" the fish with flavors. Presentation should come after, and should never be more important than taste (although I never neglect the presentation).

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