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Michael Laiskonis

Sweet Meets Savory...

71 posts in this topic

This whole concept is extremely exciting, especially in the hands of people who know how to implement it. I really, really, really wish I could get out to Chicago for this dinner. I have yet to dine at Trio or had the pleasure of Mr. Laiskonis' desserts, but I must make a point of it in the not too distant future. Wow, my mouth and mind are both salivating just thinking about this. The pastry chefs of Barcelona are doing great things with combinations of chocolate and all sorts of other flavors and ingredients. Amazing, amazing, amazing!


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I humbly suggest looking at Scandinavian menus. There is a lot of crossover, mainly one-directional (traditional dessert fare masquerading as savory), dishes like rommegrot that are neutral and don't fit into either category, and new flavors that will surprise your customers' palates. But I wonder whether it is the intellectual or the sensual effect you are going for (both, I guess). For example, is it important that they recognize the ingredient and know that it is being used differently?

As a patron, I would be amused, in a boy-do-they-think-they're-clever way, by a meal that was strictly backwards, but I am intrigued by your "rolling hills" idea.


Queen of Grilled Cheese

NJ, USA

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I humbly suggest looking at Scandinavian menus.  There is a lot of crossover... 

...But I wonder whether it is the intellectual or the sensual effect you are going for (both, I guess).  For example, is it important that they recognize the ingredient and know that it is being used differently?

Good angle babyluck, and that's precisely why I've always enjoyed and been inspired by the work of Marcus Samuelsson at Aquavit.

And yes, I do think the featured ingredients may act as secondary players; many of the ingredients I threw out into the open would be best used in such a manner. Perhaps how either of us chooses not to use a particular ingredient, or rather downplay it, is just as valid as how we might choose to feature it.


Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

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This is very interesting and I greatly enjoyed reading the other threads you linked into this conversation.

Ingredient choices:

curry paste

fresh ginger root

saffron

cucumber

This adventure seems like a jazz rift and something you can't really plan. I lean toward a harmony of sorts.

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Vanilla - with lobster for savory, with almost ANYTHING for sweet.

Avocado - I recently had avocado gelato that blew me away. Savory is easy. Sweet you could team it with another ingredient (or not) and do a sorbet or gelato.

Rhubarb

Goat cheese (already suggested, but worth repeating) I've made a savory "cheesecake" that has a layer of pesto and a layer of sun-dried tomatoes in it. Yummy stuff.

Black pepper. Hot and Sour Soup for savory. Black Pepper gelato for sweet.

Mango. As the main component of a savory salsa. As the main component of a sweet dessert or sauce.

I'll think of others...


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I don't mean to sound negative by saying it's all been done, or pretentious by implying I've already had it, when in fact you're trying to push the envelope just at a time when it's recently been pushed so far that the danger is of not seeing the center as well as at a time when so many others are pushing the same envelope that it's become a very amorphous thing that's hard to find let alone push. In fact, I admire your interest and am excited by your intentions.

Animal and especially fish proteins for dessert seem the most untouched in this regard, but one need look no further than dried salmon candy from the northwest for inspiration. Regis Marcon is devoted to mushrooms in his two star restaurant in France. Mushrooms were featured in every course I had including a caramelized mushroom sauce in my dessert. Years ago, I had poached fennel (think licorice) with ice cream in an unstarred restaurant in Paris that lacked a pastry chef. Arpege not only had a tomato for dessert, but an avocado soufflé--hell, that's a fruit, as is a tomato.

I've heard before that sugar is an appetite suppressant and if I'm not mistaken if was from no less a trusted expert than Jeffrey Steingarten--I wish I could find the reference. On the other hand, the French, no slouches when it comes to the history of making a meal something that's more art than sustenance, drink some very sweet drinks as aperitifs. Wines Americans relegate to the desesrt table are often considered aperitifs in France. An appetizer of foie gras will often be paired with an intensely sweet wine. An American friend in Paris once served us some blue cheese crisps with a nice medium sweet wine from the Loire before we were off to a very tradtional dinner (Ducasse). It seemed a lovely start that in no way reduced my appetite for the dinner to come, although I drank too much wine and thought it best to skip another aperitif in the restaurant. So I fail to see the evidence that sugar is supressing my appetite. I'd admit that some of the food Adria or Blumenthal is jarring my carefully trained palate, but that's what makes life exciting and dinner more than just stuffing food in my face.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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When we served lunch to the Order of the Golden Toque last year at school, we made a goat cheescake with strawberry/black pepper coulis. Still definitely a dessert, but refreshingly not too sweet. I love this whole idea, i'm anxiously awaiting the final menu, Michael!


Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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I don't mean to sound negative...

I think I know what you're trying to say, Bux, and thanks for your perspective. I'm not so sure that I'm even thinking in terms of envelope pushing, or looking to create something that has never been done. Having been invited to participate on this project, the process thus far, even in its infancy, has become very personal and introspective. I'm eagerly looking toward the Blumenthals, Marcons, Veyrats, Adrias, Liebrandts, for insight and inspiration... yet part of me is also trying to block them out, to look inward and challenge myself in my own little vacuum. I'm asking myself a lot of questions, and though I may not end up satisfied with the answers I get, I will at least have made myself a better cook.

Speaking only for myself, my motives are limited only to the pursuit of creating something 'in the moment,'- 10 courses, one room, one night- to be experienced by 60 or so guests, and by extension, the handful of cooks and servers who will be an integral part of its execution. Wait- isn't that what we strive to do with every night's service?!

That this collaboration has begun with a casting aside of conventional wisdom and preconceived notions of sweet and savory, simply opens up the dialogue and transfer of ideas between two chefs. It is refreshing and daunting, exciting and kind of scary. That we may end up reigned in by traditional structure, well, that might be inevitable. But the opportunity to work through the process itself is rewarding enough. And sharing the results of that process will be the icing on the sea urchin, er, I mean, the icing on the cake...

With chefg's blessing, I'll continue to offer updates and thoughts as the menu development proceeds...


Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

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[

With chefg's blessing, I'll continue to offer updates and thoughts as the menu development proceeds...

I, for one, am looking forward to your reports with vicarious pleasure wishing I was able to be there. :smile:


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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question? what role does order of service play on cuisine which is interprative? example: if one were to recieve alain passards stuffed and roasted tomato would there be any discusion? would foie gras chantilly bat an eyebrow at the beginning of a meal rather than at the end served atop a mole cake?

what about sweet maine shrimp for dessert?

a savory bavarois, fennel pastry cream where do they go?

or should it be up to the diner such that a tasting menu is served not as a progression but as a large selection; one big dim sum house with haute cuisine along side that inspired by gray's papaya?

thus is order of service a technique, an ingredient or a whole other entity in the cooking foreum?

oh yeah and where does wine fall into the equation?

another ingredient to play with caramelized yoghurt: to make drain yoghurt in cheesecloth, then boil in a bag for twenty four hours.

side note to michael: an atomizer does not work for me to give cold foods an aroma. a dining room is not the place for a bloomingdales sales person at christmas pushing the latest fragrance. help me with my work please


Edited by twodogs (log)

h. alexander talbot

chef and author

Levittown, PA

ideasinfood

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question? what role does order of service play on cuisine which is interprative?  example: if one were to recieve alain passards stuffed and roasted tomato would there be any discusion? would foie gras chantilly bat an eyebrow at the beginning of a meal rather than at the end served atop a mole cake?

The traditional structure and course progression is the only model most of us know. And as more chefs immerse themselves in an 'interpretive' cuisine, the more that structure can be rearranged, or removed altogether. Inserting techniques into places they once did not occupy is becoming commonplace. What is the next step from there? Is it the swapping of ingredients, or have we done that too? What do you think?

or should it be up to the diner such that a tasting menu is served not as a progression but as a large selection; one big dim sum house with haute cuisine along side that inspired by gray's papaya?

I think that is an entirely valid approach, yet I also think there is room for a chef to display his/her intentions with regard to sequence. And at a certain level a sense of surprise is welcome, and perhaps at times a certain level of trust is called for as well. Recalling history, this is really just service a la Russe vs. service a la francaise, isn't it?

thus is order of service a technique, an ingredient or a whole other entity in the cooking foreum?

Perhaps all three. Or merely a way to get from point A to point B. Different cultures have their own unique structures. Kaiseki, for instance, is bound more by a progression of cooking techniques. Maybe, for centuries, at least from the European tradition, the sweets have simply been the incentive to get through the rest of the meal! Seriously, I think the removal of a traditional structure does not necessarily imply culinary anarchy, or a lack of order. Surely, the challenge is to remove structure while retaining meaningful transitions from one course to the next. Paraphrasing something I read long ago, some snippet of anarchist theory: 'Destruction only has value in its reconstruction.' Or something along those lines.

oh yeah and where does wine fall into the equation?

Beverage pairings can also be examined more closely. A savvy sommelier should be able to recognize the range of flavors and nuances of a dish, isolate a potential match, and then make further decisions regarding what came before and what will come after. Yet I found myself at conflict with the wine pairing at my aforementioned meals at Susur; simply inverting the structure, working from Cabernet to Champagne then to 'dessert' wines, did not necessarily prove successful.

side note to michael: an atomizer does not work for me to give cold foods an aroma.  a dining room is not the place for a bloomingdales sales person at christmas pushing the latest fragrance.  help me with my work please

I hear you. There are too many variables that may present problems. I remember considerable debate here on that very subject with regard to Trio's 'vapor' dishes. What have you discovered in your process toward that goal? What else has failed, and what favorable leads might you have? Are there ways we can subvert/manipulate what Blumenthal refers to as the 'brain to palate connection'? Can we fool ourselves into merely thinking that we are smelling something when we actually are not?!

Thanks for your compelling input.


Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

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I don't mean to sound negative...

introspective. I'm eagerly looking toward the Blumenthals, Marcons, Veyrats, Adrias, Liebrandts, for insight and inspiration...

Michael, did you mean Regis, Fabrice, or Betty Marcon?

I'm a bit out of the loop on this one and want to look them up.

Thanks, and good luck on your adventure.

Sorry I haven't posted on this subject, it's been perplexing to me for some reason, but I'm enjoying reading everyone else!

ted


2317/5000

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"the biggest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist" i am quoting from the devil's advocate though probably not exactly, my memory fades. anyway the principle of the quote should be related to the next leaps and bounds in cooking. "strange things are afoot at the cirlcle k" the key is to weave them into a contemporaty cuisine such that they become the backbone of the cuisine rather than strange for strangeness sake.

nothing is new, it is all just in the approach, keep it simple even if it is ultimately extremely complex: look at the past alain chapel a savory cappucino, alain senderens lobster and vanilla, ferran adria foie gras and fish carpacio--the list is endless

question? if you eat six oysters for dinner was the first an amuse and the last dessert and the middle few the menu of the day? is it strange to eat oysters for dessert?

cheers


Edited by twodogs (log)

h. alexander talbot

chef and author

Levittown, PA

ideasinfood

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"the biggest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist" ...

Cyptic as usual, twodogs, but I share the overall sentiment!

Ted, I was referring to Regis Marcon, whom Bux mentioned with regard to mushrooms (and hey, in addition to the Thuries issue with Conticini, look for an older issue that features a handful of mushroomy desserts from Marcon).

So, chefg and I have arrived at our list of ingredients. We actually picked five, to account for an amuse and a mignardise (oops, there we go adhering to French structure again!). From the following ingredients we will each present a course...

Trout Roe

Crab

Truffles

Coconut

Malt

This is going to cool...


Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

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Michael, chefg - promise us you're documenting this a la Adria! :wink:

Reading your list, at first they seemed a bit discordant - until the taste memory kicked in. I can't wait to see what you do with the temperature and textures - why trout roe specifically, which crabs and truffles, the nature of the coconut, the composition of malt, etc.

You literally have me salivating.

As to the vapor issues - discussed this at length with the incredible Amoretti people - Jack and Maral Barsoumian - with their Edible Perfume sprays - they sponsored Albert Adria at the World Pastry Forum in Vegas this summer. Theirs is a product more precise - now the question is a more precise method of delivery. We were talking vials to sprayed linen napkins presented in a sealed container - just a few thoughts.

Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

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now that the ingredients are choosen one begins to ask from what form they are being used?

trout roe: fresh, fleur de sel preserved caviar, home made caviar with sugar and spices, pureed and used as eggs, dehydrated and ground as a seasoning or a thickener

crab: what species, fresh, dried, is the broth used, its eggs, mustard or "butter" which then leads to a whole other avenue of thought, chinese crab crackers, japanese candied crabs

truffles: white, black, summer, preserved, vinegar, syrup, honey, salt, infusions, flour, oil--or did i miss the whole concept and were you talking about confectionary truffles; i never know

coconut: oil, milk, fresh, water(consomme), dried, salted, an almond joy

malt: whoppers, malt powder, syrup, does beer fall into place, extract, barley which is used to make malt

and a side question are the courses presented together, or are they interspersed through the meal or does one person begin from the beginning of the meal and another from the end thus gaining two seperate experiences from the same menu based on product placement while also being able to see and taste another's viewpoint for they would be sitting across the table from them. a duel tasting menu or perhaps a culinary duel

cheers


Edited by twodogs (log)

h. alexander talbot

chef and author

Levittown, PA

ideasinfood

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Michael,

I started thinking about this thread as I prepared the first course for an impromptu dinner party I had Saturday night. I invited guests at around 7:00 for an 8:00 arrival, so I had to work with what was at hand.

I did a crab salad with only the following ingredients -- jumbo lump crab, diced apple, lemon juice, creme fraiche, EVOO, salt and pepper. OK, I did serve it over a bit of bibb lettuce tossed with a lemon vinaigrette.

As the dish came together, I thought -- A pastry person could take every one of these products and incorporate them into a pastry course!

So, can you?

Michael

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Hopefully, I will find time to post on this thread tommarrow. Maybe we can document the process right here on the gullet!


--

Grant Achatz

Chef/Owner

Alinea

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ingredients will be chosen, and for each, the chef and I will create our own interpretation- his in the savory realm, and mine in the sweet one.
Trout Roe

Crab

Truffles

Coconut

Malt

I think some additional focus on the issue of cheese may be in order. Cheese is already the reigning champion switch-hitter: it's the thing that nobody thinks twice about sandwiching between the traditional savories and the traditional sweets.

Another place to dwell a bit more: smoking, and related curing processes.

Michael, you're obviously not going to have any trouble coming up with coconut or malt-based sweet courses. Truffles aren't a huge challenge either. You're going to be pretty much free to create in other directions, without having to overcome much of a preconception against the ingredients being treated as sweet.

The two seafood items are a different story, of course. They're the challenges.

Which gets back to the issue of cheese. Trout roe and cheese. Something to think about. Perhaps you could take a step back and manufacture some cheese yourself, with roe as an ingredient . . . and then plug that into a larger dessert concept.

Crab. There are so many obvious tropical fruit additions that maybe the best move is to steer clear entirely of them. Perhaps smoke can be brought into play here. That salmon candy, why not do something like that to crab? And then work from there. Also don't overlook the dessert potential of the phrase "crabcake."


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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To my long initial list, G was interested in adding cheese and coconut, among others. The final choice of the five ingredients was left to me, as G has the home field advantage (an assistant and I will be flying into Chicago the morning of the dinner, with a partial amount of product prepped and shipped the day before). I agreed on cheese at first, as there are so many wonderful possibilities, but the menu of ten courses suddenly seemed so limiting, that I suggested replacing cheese with malt, thereby giving G a challenge, and also allowing me to perhaps approach that ingredient in a way I never had. Realize that we tried to engineer that first phase to set up challenges for both of us. The trout roe is 'easy' for him, the malt is 'easy' for me. Although we chose five particular ingredients for their potential sweet/savory roles, there is nothing to prevent either of us from inserting other 'interesting' products as we see fit! To be honest, once we arrived at our list of five, we both remarked that it suddenly seemed so small! Too bad we couldn't do ten ingredients/twenty courses!

I've done a ton of these guest chef dinners, both as co-host and as guest. To the typical framework, either a chef chooses a preference for a particular course or protein, or the chef may simply be be assigned one; barring any duplication of ingredients from one course to the next, that chef will usually conceive and execute that dish in isolation from the menu as a whole. While great fun, these events become rather tame, carbon copy rituals. The concept G came up with will require much more interaction, much more discussion as we decide the placement of each course. While we will be featuring one similar ingredient in two dishes on purpose, not repeating their 'supporting' players will be a challenge. And opening up the wide range of methods and techniques available, we may also have to alter and compromise to avoid any repetition on that level, as well.

We've thus far taken a few days to think on our own, so the discussion and menu framework has yet to begin in earnest (I initially sat down at the computer just now to write to G, but took the requisite detour here!). MichaelB, your post kind of sets up my current thought process. I'm starting first with supporting ingredients, followed by cooking technique. In some cases, the technique may exclude one ingredient, or give me an idea for another. So, with crab, had I started from your palette of flavors, I might then proceed with what cooking techniques or what concepts I wanted to explore. From there I start free associating... hot, cold, liquid, solid, acid, sweet, fat, salt... By thinking, 'green apple gelée' or 'creme fraiche sorbet' or 'liquid center crabcake'... back and forth it may go until I hit what I think is a good idea.

With four of our ingredients I'm at that stage of development. Coconut, for example is somewhere here...

coconut-curry-sweet potato-milk chocolate-banana-peanut-cherry-almond-carrot-apple cider-sesame-brown butter-coffee-chili-grains....

'risotto'-soup-anglaise-sorbet-foam-cake-gelée-liquid-caramel-fried-frozen-sous vide-linear presentation...

From there I'm just riffing, running through all the possible compliments and contrasts; obviously, some potential components or techniques will be dropped, just as the process may unveil others not yet on that list. One dish that has arrived at some form of completion is for the trout roe...

In an emptied brown eggshell, a soft chawan mushi style custard (barely sweetened and flavored with a hint of bonito/dashi) will be baked in, about 1/3 to 1/2 full. Spooned on top of that, will be a layer of a light, semi-liquid yuzu and ginger gelee, set with pectin. A caramel foam will be dispensed next, finished with the trout roe and a mere drop or two of maple syrup.

To start, we will be using the very fresh product of one of G's friends in Midland, Michigan, thus I want to present it simply and relatively un-manipulated. The roe's flavor will be echoed faintly by the sea-flavor of the custard, the acid and pungency of the yuzu-ginger to cut through the custard and foam, the play of the sweet maple and caramel against the briny roe is nice, and texturally, there is some interesting interplay between the rich custard, soft foam, and 'pop' of the roe. Add to that the perhaps cliché egg-in-egg idea, and the fun of receiving explicit instructions for eating it- dipping the demitasse spoon all the way to the bottom, in order to experience all the flavors and textures at once.

Based on what G is thinking of doing, or simply, once I try it out, if it doesn't work as well as I had thought, everything is subject to change. There is an almost improvisational feel to the concept, despite the fact that we are both likely pretty anal as chefs. The question is... is this trout roe dish a dessert, or better placed as a second or third course? That is the next phase.


Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

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I think some additional focus on the issue of cheese may be in order. Cheese is already the reigning champion switch-hitter: it's the thing that nobody thinks twice about sandwiching between the traditional savories and the traditional sweets.

Since you brought it up, FG, you may want to be around for one of the pastry demonstrations at this year's IHMRS in New York this November. Four pastry chefs, two hours, all about cheese.


Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

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In an emptied brown eggshell, a soft chawan mushi style custard (barely sweetened and flavored with a hint of bonito/dashi) will be baked in, about 1/3 to 1/2 full. Spooned on top of that, will be a layer of a light, semi-liquid yuzu and ginger gelee, set with pectin. A caramel foam will be dispensed next, finished with the trout roe and a mere drop or two of maple syrup.

One reason this is such a good idea is that it doesn't alter the physical state of the ingredient. For something like coconut, which is firmly accepted as a sweet ingredient, it makes sense to dehydrate it, drop it in liquid nitrogen, make it into flaming ice cream, expose it to gamma radiation, or whatever. But if you did that to the roe, nobody would be impressed. "Well, sure, you can make anything sweet if you send it into outer space and coat it with enough sugar," they'd say. So for the counterintuitive ingredients, it makes sense to keep them recognizable or at least in the range of recognizable states in which that species of product would appear in a traditional meal (traditional meaning anything up to nouvelle cuisine but not avant garde).


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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One reason this is such a good idea is that it doesn't alter the physical state of the ingredient. For something like coconut, which is firmly accepted as a sweet ingredient, it makes sense to dehydrate it, drop it in liquid nitrogen, make it into flaming ice cream, expose it to gamma radiation, or whatever. But if you did that to the roe, nobody would be impressed. "Well, sure, you can make anything sweet if you send it into outer space and coat it with enough sugar," they'd say. So for the counterintuitive ingredients, it makes sense to keep them recognizable or at least in the range of recognizable states in which that species of product would appear in a traditional meal (traditional meaning anything up to nouvelle cuisine but not avant garde).

Well yes, but then not necessarily. While I agree the challenge and excitement lies in presenting such 'counterintuitive' ingredients in a 'whole' form as much as possible, I think those decisions will have to be made on an ingredient by ingredient basis. For example, the nature of coconut itself almost requires some form of manipulation, whether served in a sweet or savory context. Malt, by definition, is a manipulative process as much it is an 'ingredient'. Ultimately, I'd like to think that the flavor of a product will take priority over the form or method by which it appears. Hypothetically, G might decide to sprout, roast and grind his own version of malted barley, where I might use beer or crushed Whoppers... whose dish is more valid? Who best expressed the theme or spirit of the dinner?

While I thought the trout roe was best served in a simple way, by contrast, the use of crab has opened up many possibilities for manipulation. Perhaps, say I haven't conjured up a lot ways to utilize lump crab meat per se (it is difficult to place that texture in the 'sweet' context), so maybe I'd looked toward essences and foams, ice creams and gelées. So manipulation of said ingredient may be the key in my approach. But then G may wish to encapsulate the very essence of crab onto one of his thin sheets of vegetable paper for his course. Who has the more difficult task? Should I have to change gears and deal with it in its physical state more than he did?

Truth be told, I'm looking to use not only some 'manipulation' of crab, but I'm also hoping to score those little tiny bite size crabs, sawagani, the quarter-sized babies you might find in an haute Japanese place (I last encountered them at Sugiyama in NY). And of course, I'd use those things whole!


Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

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Some of the general points that avant garde chefs try to make about ingredients may very well cut against the specific point of this meal. I'm operating under the assumption that the point of this exercise is to demonstrate the sweet and savory possibilities of various ingredients: to show how they may currently be identified in one context but nonetheless fit well in another context. If that is the point, I think the argument is weakened the farther away one goes from the ingredient in its original form. If you wanted to demonstrate the sweet possibilities of beef, for example, the most shocking demonstration would be the one with the least intervention, i.e., serving a steak as a dessert. Now of course that isn't going to work, but the farther away you move from the steak, or from other beef permutations that people currently associate with beef (hamburger, etc.), the more likely you are to get the skeptical reaction I described above. Because if you make the beef into ice cream, removing its expected texture and temperature and masking its expected flavor with sugar, people will not feel that the sweet possibilities of beef have really been demonstrated; they'll feel that they've seen a demonstration of food-processing technology. Not that there's anything wrong with that; but if the goal is to make a point about sweet and savory, it seems to me the individual recipes should support that specific point to the greatest extent possible.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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chimay washed cheese (malt)

how come one could not serve steak for dessert?

it is caramelized, it goes well with cheese.

perhaps it is the propoions not the product?

cheers


h. alexander talbot

chef and author

Levittown, PA

ideasinfood

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