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PSmith

Your most disliked trend in the food industry.

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The whole anti-Elitism argument usually makes me smile

1) it pretty much confirms the fact that those it is used by or for do consider themselves elite.

2) Is there really anything wrong with being Anti-Elitist. ? I mean a world war was fought against the fascist ideal of elitism. An extreme example to be sure but it does admirably demonstrate that there is nothing inherently wrong with being Anti-Elitist.

GODWIN ALERT


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Reverse-elitism is not the same as anti-elitism.

But isn't this discussion getting well past the point of being stupid?

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Unlike JP, I couldn't give a monkey's what people do at home (dinner parties have always been about having one's culinary sensibilities offended), but I have a serious problem with the degree with which culinary accolades are accorded to professionals who practice 'modernism' for the simple reason that they practice modernism (cf San Pellegrino's top 50 ). An Adriá fanboy once tried to argue that this kind of food 'isn't supposed to taste nice'; to which there is little response except to stop paying attention.


Edited by Putty Man (log)

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Unlike JP, I couldn't give a monkey's what people do at home (dinner parties have always been about having one's culinary sensibilities offended), but I have a serious problem with the degree with which culinary accolades are accorded to professionals who practice 'modernism' for the simple reason that they practice modernism (cf San Pellegrino's top 50 ). An Adriá fanboy once tried to argue that this kind of food 'isn't supposed to taste nice'; to which there is little response except to stop paying attention.

Actually, I don't actually care what people choose to do at home for their own culinary enjoyment and done between consenting adults (that is, unless it involves fava beans and a nice chianti). I just think that the concept of Modernism in the home is as practical as building your own particle accelerator or plutonium centrifuge in your garage.

Note, I'm not giving Mr. Mhyrvold any ideas here.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Modernist technique like anything can be used in a superficial way, and I find that annoying, more than culinary modernism itself. Restaurants that are using modernist techniques to be trendy would have been serving small portions in a puddle of sauce on an enormous plate with a coulis and a powder in the 1990s. Glad that's over. There was never enough room on the table for those huge plates.

One thing to be gained by experimenting with new things at home is that you can recognize them out in the wild, and it demystifies industrial food. For instance, by experimenting with xanthan gum, I've learned that one of the main things I dislike about processed food is xanthan gum, and despite my best efforts to domesticate it, it's not an ingredient that I really want to use, but that doesn't rule out the possibility that I might find some other industrial thickener that does cool things in the home.

Knowing those things in the context of classical technique also helps to clarify, I think, what is really interesting about the traditional methods. There are also traditional methods that are better suited to the professional kitchen than home. I mean...I keep at least three kinds of stock, along with demi-glace, glace de viande, espagnole and various other sauces in the freezer, but I don't expect everyone to do that. If you were running a classical French restaurant kitchen and just trying to get the most out of all your ingredients, you would just have all those stockpots going all the time.

The most interesting modernist cuisine is often taking traditional flavor combinations and presenting them in a new way, and when it's clever and playful and smart, I like it, whether it happens in a restaurant or at someone's home. At the same time I can be surprised by the complexity of a velouté at a place like La Grenouille in Manhattan where they still do it old school.

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Reverse-elitism is not the same as anti-elitism.

But isn't this discussion getting well past the point of being stupid?

It pretty much became ridiculous the first time someone argued with a personal opinion in a thread titled " Your most disliked trend in the food industry" Since then it seems to have been those who realized it was ridiculous having a bit of fun with those that didn't. :)


"Why is the rum always gone?"

Captain Jack Sparrow

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Is gas stove Modernist? Not in 2013, but it sure was compared to the wood burning stove. Is Induction burner Modernist? May be. But there is no gas in my Condo building and Induction for me is preferable to electric. Others may disagree.

Is pressure cooker Modernist? I remember my grandmother using it in Soviet Russia. She surely was not cooking Modernist Cuisine carrot soup in it though.

The list can go on and on. We all use chemical ingredients to cook. NaCl (AKA table salt) is the most common example.

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We could give SV more of a '70s feel by calling it "boil-in-the-bag" like we did back then. Microwave ovens weren't common yet, and I remember you could get things like creamed corn that came frozen in a vacuum sealed bag in a box. I realize they didn't use PIDs and circulators then since water boils at a consistent temperature at sea level at least, and it didn't have to be so precise anyway, since it was usually just warming up something that was already cooked, but whenever I see something sous vide I'm thinking "boil-in-the-bag."

As Ruhlman says of pâté en croûte, "it's a meatloaf in a pie crust."

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No boiling, not even simmering. Cooking rather than reheating. The food is not pre-processed. But it is in a bag. I suppose as none of us are really that interested in food minor points like those shouldn't make a difference. And boil in a bag just sounds so tacky it's ideal for aggravating people who do it. An ideal choice of put down one would think.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Wow!

You people do take yourselves seriously!

I gave up following this thread 100 posts back. It was getting so silly. But I popped back today for old time's sake. A New Year foible. Hoping to see what we had left behind.

I don't care how my food was cooked. If it tastes good, that will do. I really don't need to know the precise brand and model water bath, grill, mixer or, heaven preserve us, microwave that produced it. Or what thermometer measured it or what spoon stirred it.

I really get tired of endless threads comparing the size and efficiency of your thermal probes and suggestions or how to make sous vide birthday cake.

It's just cooking. Get on with it, serve dinner and shut up.

There is a place on Eg for those kind of discussions; I'm not convinced this is it. The whole thread had been hijacked.

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Since then it seems to have been those who realized it was ridiculous having a bit of fun with those that didn't. :)

LOL. Well spotted. ;)


http://www.thecriticalcouple.co.uk

Latest blog post - Oh my - someone needs a spell checker

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It's just cooking. Get on with it, serve dinner and shut up.

If I wanted to cook dinner and shut up I would not be on egullet. Noooooo! I want to talk about it with like minded people who may or (gasp!) may not share my opinion.

;)

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Please clarify what you mean when you say 'Modernism' and 'Modernist'.

I thought I knew the meaning of 'down to earth', and have a very clear idea of what I mean by 'Modernism' (respectively, 'grounded in reality and practical' and 'the pursuit of an understanding of how food works, the exploration of the available means for achieving desired results in the kitchen, and the application of both to get the best possible results when cooking').

I suspect we're having a discussion about two entirely different things; you've exclusively expressed your distaste for certain equipment and ingredients, when those are merely the means to certain (by no means all) ends, and many of today's Modernist ingredients and equipment will be obsolete or mainstream in 100 years, just as those newfangled blenders and prepared pectin were, decades ago.

We're not going to agree on this Michaela, but that's perfectly ok. Not every argument has to come to an agreement. Or even accommodation.


Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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We're not going to agree on this Michaela, but that's perfectly ok. Not every argument has to come to an agreement. Or even accommodation.

Heck, I'm just trying to figure out if we were even discussing the same thing!

But that aside, 'bacon explosion'? I'm intrigued. State/county fair sort of thing?

I wish it was just a county or state thing. No, It's a obsession with bacon thing that started in the BBQ community probably five years ago. Now everyone is doing it.

https://www.google.com/search?q=bacon+explosion&aq=f&oq=bacon+explosion&aqs=chrome.0.57j5j0l2j62.3288&sugexp=chrome,mod=14&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

I love bacon. Really really love bacon. But I don't like bacon explosions, it's the ultimate lily gilding over the top "lets see if we can weaponize bacon and be disgusting americans" thing.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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So now you are anti-American?

Knew it all along.

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But this is strictly in the realm of very fine dining and a very particular type of fine dining...

That being said this doesn't belong in every fine dining restaurant and most certainly not in the home

Tell that to Mr. Birds Eye :wink: .


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Tasty Travails - My Blog

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Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Well, I've been a research chemist for several decades. I've even had occasion to do battle with the Patent Offices on several continents (via the corporate lawyers and agents) numerous times. Yet I have little, if any, interest in Modernist Cuisine and especially find those who use it excessively (both chefs and amateurs) to be...excessive. I guess that puts me in the "Jason Perlow camp". :-)

There *are* some who use it sparingly and well. I would include the Voltaggio brothers amongst them. Grant Achatz, I find excessive and off-putting.

I think there is a place for folks like Achatz and other chefs such as Ferran Adria or Jose Andres which pioneer in molecular gastronomy as well as modernism and avant garde cuisine and make mistakes and do the sort of science experiments others do not have the time or resources to undertake. But this is strictly in the realm of very fine dining and a very particular type of fine dining customer that are willing to be guinea pigs for these chefs and are willing to take expensive risks on degustation menus that will not necessarily be home runs with every dish.

That being said this doesn't belong in every fine dining restaurant and most certainly not in the home, and it is ridiculous to think that this is how normal culinarians should practice their art or their passion.

I dont know if I want to exemplify a "camp" per se but I think us traditionalists have been hiding in the closet while the modernists and molecularists have been running amok.

I am also in the "it's ridiculous" camp, but not particularly ardent about it. I'm old enough to have seen a lot of fads and trends come and go, and I've learned that whether one loves whatever the new one is, or despises it, in the end, getting all worked up either way most often turns out to be a waste of time and energy because this, too, shall pass. The best thing is that all of the new acolytes to whatever-it-is usually wind up selecting and retaining the most positive and helpful of the many small bits that make up a new trend. Not much of "modernist cuisine" is of any interest to me (and actually, I'll admit it's really none), but several years from now, parts of it undoubtedly will still be around, and will have proven to be worthwhile enough to have become commonplace. That's when I'll probably embrace them. After the "hobbyists" (because that's what I think they are, and I don't mean that in a derogatory way) have moved on to something else. And I'll be grateful to them for the winnowing process.

You know, it's really just like R&D always is. Some fabulous new something comes out and the trend-setters are all abuzz. Much of it is much ado about nothing. But some of it is deserved ado about something. This current discussion reminds me a lot of the initial flap about microwaves. Some people eschewed the newfangled thing entirely. Some were even fearful about putting food into that mad scientist box and then zapping it with something and then putting into your body. Most were at least skeptical. But, just like today's "Modernists," there were some "modern" and wildly-enthusiastic aficionados that insisted that you could cook absolutely everything in a microwave and that this portended the complete demise of the traditional and old-fashioned stove as we knew it.

And we all know how that turned out.

:cool:

.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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You have a selection criterion for friends that involves doing a stocktake of their kitchen?

Oh absolutely. There's a complex application process involved, as well as a six week waiting period while I review all of the appliances and the required stem to stern inventory of their pantry, freezer and wine closet, as well as a four year background check on what restaurants they've eaten at.

Thank you, Jason--first belly laugh of the New Year!


Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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Well, I've been a research chemist for several decades. I've even had occasion to do battle with the Patent Offices on several continents (via the corporate lawyers and agents) numerous times. Yet I have little, if any, interest in Modernist Cuisine and especially find those who use it excessively (both chefs and amateurs) to be...excessive. I guess that puts me in the "Jason Perlow camp". :-)

That being said this doesn't belong in every fine dining restaurant and most certainly not in the home, and it is ridiculous to think that this is how normal culinarians should practice their art or their passion.

I am also in the "it's ridiculous" camp, but not particularly ardent about it. I'm old enough to have seen a lot of fads and trends come and go, and I've learned that whether one loves whatever the new one is, or despises it, in the end, getting all worked up either way most often turns out to be a waste of time and energy because this, too, shall pass. The best thing is that all of the new acolytes to whatever-it-is usually wind up selecting and retaining the most positive and helpful of the many small bits that make up a new trend. Not much of "modernist cuisine" is of any interest to me (and actually, I'll admit it's really none), but several years from now, parts of it undoubtedly will still be around, and will have proven to be worthwhile enough to have become commonplace. That's when I'll probably embrace them. After the "hobbyists" (because that's what I think they are, and I don't mean that in a derogatory way) have moved on to something else. And I'll be grateful to them for the winnowing process..

Just to complete my thought...

I sure don't need a set of "Modernist Cuisine" cookbooks at $500+.

I'm going to wait a few years for "Modernist Cuisine for Dummies" at about $13.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I wish it was just a county or state thing. No, It's a obsession with bacon thing that started in the BBQ community probably five years ago. Now everyone is doing it.

https://www.google.c...chrome&ie=UTF-8

I love bacon. Really really love bacon. But I don't like bacon explosions, it's the ultimate lily gilding over the top "lets see if we can weaponize bacon and be disgusting americans" thing.

I think you would have to use this kind of bacon for this kind of dish:

http://www.lapolicegear.com/cmmg-tac-bacon.html

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We're not going to agree on this Michaela, but that's perfectly ok. Not every argument has to come to an agreement. Or even accommodation.

Heck, I'm just trying to figure out if we were even discussing the same thing!

But that aside, 'bacon explosion'? I'm intrigued. State/county fair sort of thing?

I wish it was just a county or state thing. No, It's a obsession with bacon thing that started in the BBQ community probably five years ago. Now everyone is doing it.

https://www.google.c...chrome&ie=UTF-8

I love bacon. Really really love bacon. But I don't like bacon explosions, it's the ultimate lily gilding over the top "lets see if we can weaponize bacon and be disgusting americans" thing.

I'll bet that'd go great with a nice tater tot casserole!!!!! :laugh:

~Martin :raz:


~Martin :)

I try to find the good food in every situation!

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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But that aside, 'bacon explosion'? I'm intrigued. State/county fair sort of thing?

I wish it was just a county or state thing. No, It's a obsession with bacon thing that started in the BBQ community probably five years ago. Now everyone is doing it.

https://www.google.c...chrome&ie=UTF-8

I love bacon. Really really love bacon. But I don't like bacon explosions, it's the ultimate lily gilding over the top "lets see if we can weaponize bacon and be disgusting americans" thing.

You really would have loved being at a wedding reception recently featured on the reality show "Four Weddings." One of the brides had a "bacon bar" at her reception.

It's a competition, and one of the losers speculated that the winning bride's "bacon bar is probably what put her over the top."


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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