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inventolux

Moto Restaurant - Chicago

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Can anyone say what they think Moto ranks up with other restaurants such as Alinea, Trotter's, Tru, Avenues, etc etc. ?

Of course Moto is one of Chicago's finest, innovative chefs. If you haven't figured this out, you are not tasting nor noticing. Homaro is a unique talent that has comparisons with the best talents in Spain today. We are both enduring supporters. Moto excites the palate and offers an unusual dining experience. Judith Gebhart

i second judith's opinion.

u.e.

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he asks, how might one dress for a dinner at Moto? would "smart casual" be appropriate?

i suppose the recommended approach includes wine pairings?

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he asks, how might one dress for a dinner at Moto?  would "smart casual" be appropriate?

"smart casual" is definitely an appropriate description/recommendation. i even saw some trendy (hipster) jeans-wearers...

i suppose the recommended approach includes wine pairings?

sorry, don't drink :shock:
Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

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Of course Moto is one of Chicago's finest, innovative chefs. If you haven't figured this out, you are not tasting nor noticing. . .

Or maybe you just have a difference of opinion about the matter.

Speaking as host of this forum I'm requesting that we not present our opinions as facts or imply that those who don't agree with us are somehow wrong.

Thank you and carry on :smile:

=R=

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trendy (hipster) jeans-wearers...   

thanks! that'd be me. i'm just "jersey-hip" though.

not so hip now that i think about it. not so much at all really. :sad:

edit:

looking at UE's below post i'm compelled to clarify that i was thinking "hipster" as in this hipster, rather than this hipster. :unsure:


Edited by tommy (log)

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tommy!

was that you at moto? :raz: (i don't even know who you are! :laugh: ) well, i'm sure you looked stunning strutting around in those hipsters! while you fashion-forward diners keep restaurants looking as cutting-edge as the food they serve, i, unfortunately, will have to take a backseat and enjoy the ride!

u.e.

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Hello all, I will have the pleasure of dining at Moto on Wednesday night, and just wanted to see if i could get any advice for what to expect, or is it better not to expect anything? Is there anything I should know before I eat there? I have read this post from eginning to end, so I think I have a prety good idea of whats coming, but I just wanted to check. Just to make you all jealous, I will be eating at TRU tomorrow night, but thats more straight forward. Thanks in advace for any help. Cheers

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We will not offer a wine list per say, just wine progressions. Every tasting menu will have a new world and old world pairing offered with it. We feel the best way (and the only way) to experience moto is to allow us to set the parameters for wine and food pairing. A wine list would be futile when exploring this type of gastronomy, so we have decided to minimalize it altogether. It just makes sense from a financial and creative standpoint.

As far as the future of moto..................

as long as every new team member is totally commited to forgetting their past experiences and retaining only a high level of attention to detail, moto will carry forth in an acceptable fashion. Idiscourage all of the cooks from reading cook books and only focusing on knowledge of ingredients. Techniques are things we can invent and reinvent.

Thank you for your kind words, it means a lot.

"Omar"

You can order cocktails with tasting menus at Moto, right?

I may be alone in this, but I would love to see a mixed drink/cocktail tasting as an option at a place like Moto. Not everyone is into wine, I'll drink Riesling but I don't really enjoy it like I enjoy a good Mojito. If I could taste several cocktails without getting sloppy drunk, I'll be more inclined to come back to the lounge when I just want a couple drinks, and I'll be more inclined to do a tasting menu again.

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We will not offer a wine list per say, just wine progressions. Every tasting menu will have a new world and old world pairing offered with it. We feel the best way (and the only way) to experience moto is to allow us to set the parameters for wine and food pairing. A wine list would be futile when exploring this type of gastronomy, so we have decided to minimalize it altogether. It just makes sense from a financial and creative standpoint.

As far as the future of moto..................

as long as every new team member is totally commited to forgetting their past experiences and retaining only a high level of attention to detail, moto will carry forth in an acceptable fashion. Idiscourage all of the cooks from reading cook books and only focusing on knowledge of ingredients. Techniques are things we can invent and reinvent.

Thank you for your kind words, it means a lot.

"Omar"

You can order cocktails with tasting menus at Moto, right?

I may be alone in this, but I would love to see a mixed drink/cocktail tasting as an option at a place like Moto. Not everyone is into wine, I'll drink Riesling but I don't really enjoy it like I enjoy a good Mojito. If I could taste several cocktails without getting sloppy drunk, I'll be more inclined to come back to the lounge when I just want a couple drinks, and I'll be more inclined to do a tasting menu again.

We have created some very different "mixed drinks" that we can pair with foodstuffs. Are they cocktails...perhaps to some extent. However they are far from the norm. The wine progression list is also being expanded with 2 new categories. "Synthetic Pairings" or "reformulated vintages" and "Laserization Creations". The whole wine/synthetic/laserization/mixed drink option I feel is still the best way to experience Moto, so we are beginning to apply ourselves to the category in the same way we approach the food. Matt Gundlach and I believe that a glass of wine or a "mixed drink" should not be limited to the historical standards of the experience. So you are not alone in your quest for a nice mixed beverage experience. There is no reson that we cant customize something that can be intellectually stimulating as well as something that goes against the grain. This option will definitely evolve in the coming weeks. Just as it has evolved since the last post above.

HC


Edited by inventolux (log)

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We will not offer a wine list per say, just wine progressions. Every tasting menu will have a new world and old world pairing offered with it. We feel the best way (and the only way) to experience moto is to allow us to set the parameters for wine and food pairing. A wine list would be futile when exploring this type of gastronomy, so we have decided to minimalize it altogether. It just makes sense from a financial and creative standpoint.

As far as the future of moto..................

as long as every new team member is totally commited to forgetting their past experiences and retaining only a high level of attention to detail, moto will carry forth in an acceptable fashion. Idiscourage all of the cooks from reading cook books and only focusing on knowledge of ingredients. Techniques are things we can invent and reinvent.

Thank you for your kind words, it means a lot.

"Omar"

You can order cocktails with tasting menus at Moto, right?

I may be alone in this, but I would love to see a mixed drink/cocktail tasting as an option at a place like Moto. Not everyone is into wine, I'll drink Riesling but I don't really enjoy it like I enjoy a good Mojito. If I could taste several cocktails without getting sloppy drunk, I'll be more inclined to come back to the lounge when I just want a couple drinks, and I'll be more inclined to do a tasting menu again.

We have created some very different "mixed drinks" that we can pair with foodstuffs. Are they cocktails...perhaps to some extent. However they are far from the norm. The wine progression list is also being expanded with 2 new categories. "Synthetic Pairings" or "reformulated vintages" and "Laserization Creations". The whole wine/synthetic/laserization/mixed drink option I feel is still the best way to experience Moto, so we are beginning to apply ourselves to the category in the same way we approach the food. Matt Gundlach and I believe that a glass of wine or a "mixed drink" should not be limited to the historical standards of the experience. So you are not alone in your quest for a nice mixed beverage experience. There is no reson that we cant customize something that can be intellectually stimulating as well as something that goes against the grain. This option will definitely evolve in the coming weeks. Just as it has evolved since the last post above.

HC

Thanks for the reply to my question! You seem very open to blending unconventional and conventional things to make the dining experience enjoyable for all tastes. A

big reason why I changed my mind about where to go as I just made a reservation for Moto in June. I think I'm going to enjoy it and better yet want to come back frequently, and I think my dad will enjoy it as well. I like what you've done with the lounge-sometimes I might just want drinks and dessert, sometimes the five course menu, sometimes the longer ones for a special occasion, like the dinner I'm treating my dad to. You definitely present more options than other places of your caliber, imho. As I stated in another thread, I look at pics of your food and think "That really looks good!"

Is it possible to have a New York Yankees logo imprinted on one of your edible menus? I'll contact the restaurant as the date gets closer, I'm just curious if that's something you would do.


Edited by Elrushbo (log)

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Thanks for the reply to my question! You seem very open to trying unconventional and conventional thinks to make the dining experience enjoyable for all tastes. A

big reason why I just made a reservation for Moto in June.

congrats! can't wait to hear your report!

As I stated in another thread, I look at pics of your food and think "That really looks good!"

and so it is!

enjoy!

u.e.

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Thanks for the reply to my question! You seem very open to trying unconventional and conventional thinks to make the dining experience enjoyable for all tastes. A

big reason why I just made a reservation for Moto in June.

congrats! can't wait to hear your report!

As I stated in another thread, I look at pics of your food and think "That really looks good!"

and so it is!

enjoy!

u.e.

Will do...hopefully I can get a few nice pics, maybe one of the laser?

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I like it. I would have liked more food pictures, however.

If you click on the either three of the "five course" "ten course" or "GTM" buttons under the cuisine heading over and over again, it rotates the pictures. Impressive photography, btw.

And noambenami, speaking as a user, I had no problem navigating the site and I found it pretty much representitive of what I exerienced at Moto. Almost futuristic in presentation. Then again, I am no expert. I don't think many people who go to restaurant websites are though.

I noticed that about clicking on the buttons. There are also four short tv clips on the site, I enjoyed them all. I'm wondering if we might be able to see highlights on the site of Chef Cantu on Iron Chef America once it airs.

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We will not offer a wine list per say, just wine progressions. Every tasting menu will have a new world and old world pairing offered with it. We feel the best way (and the only way) to experience moto is to allow us to set the parameters for wine and food pairing. A wine list would be futile when exploring this type of gastronomy, so we have decided to minimalize it altogether. It just makes sense from a financial and creative standpoint.

As far as the future of moto..................

as long as every new team member is totally commited to forgetting their past experiences and retaining only a high level of attention to detail, moto will carry forth in an acceptable fashion. Idiscourage all of the cooks from reading cook books and only focusing on knowledge of ingredients. Techniques are things we can invent and reinvent.

Thank you for your kind words, it means a lot.

"Omar"

You can order cocktails with tasting menus at Moto, right?

I may be alone in this, but I would love to see a mixed drink/cocktail tasting as an option at a place like Moto. Not everyone is into wine, I'll drink Riesling but I don't really enjoy it like I enjoy a good Mojito. If I could taste several cocktails without getting sloppy drunk, I'll be more inclined to come back to the lounge when I just want a couple drinks, and I'll be more inclined to do a tasting menu again.

We have created some very different "mixed drinks" that we can pair with foodstuffs. Are they cocktails...perhaps to some extent. However they are far from the norm. The wine progression list is also being expanded with 2 new categories. "Synthetic Pairings" or "reformulated vintages" and "Laserization Creations". The whole wine/synthetic/laserization/mixed drink option I feel is still the best way to experience Moto, so we are beginning to apply ourselves to the category in the same way we approach the food. Matt Gundlach and I believe that a glass of wine or a "mixed drink" should not be limited to the historical standards of the experience. So you are not alone in your quest for a nice mixed beverage experience. There is no reson that we cant customize something that can be intellectually stimulating as well as something that goes against the grain. This option will definitely evolve in the coming weeks. Just as it has evolved since the last post above.

HC

Thanks for the reply to my question! You seem very open to blending unconventional and conventional things to make the dining experience enjoyable for all tastes. A

big reason why I changed my mind about where to go as I just made a reservation for Moto in June. I think I'm going to enjoy it and better yet want to come back frequently, and I think my dad will enjoy it as well. I like what you've done with the lounge-sometimes I might just want drinks and dessert, sometimes the five course menu, sometimes the longer ones for a special occasion, like the dinner I'm treating my dad to. You definitely present more options than other places of your caliber, imho. As I stated in another thread, I look at pics of your food and think "That really looks good!"

Is it possible to have a New York Yankees logo imprinted on one of your edible menus? I'll contact the restaurant as the date gets closer, I'm just curious if that's something you would do.

Its possible to print anything. The only issue with the NYY (they are my favorite team of all time) is copyright infringement. All of the images I use I generate myself with photo shop or by hand to avoid this. Is this for your dad?

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We will not offer a wine list per say, just wine progressions. Every tasting menu will have a new world and old world pairing offered with it. We feel the best way (and the only way) to experience moto is to allow us to set the parameters for wine and food pairing. A wine list would be futile when exploring this type of gastronomy, so we have decided to minimalize it altogether. It just makes sense from a financial and creative standpoint.

As far as the future of moto..................

as long as every new team member is totally commited to forgetting their past experiences and retaining only a high level of attention to detail, moto will carry forth in an acceptable fashion. Idiscourage all of the cooks from reading cook books and only focusing on knowledge of ingredients. Techniques are things we can invent and reinvent.

Thank you for your kind words, it means a lot.

"Omar"

You can order cocktails with tasting menus at Moto, right?

I may be alone in this, but I would love to see a mixed drink/cocktail tasting as an option at a place like Moto. Not everyone is into wine, I'll drink Riesling but I don't really enjoy it like I enjoy a good Mojito. If I could taste several cocktails without getting sloppy drunk, I'll be more inclined to come back to the lounge when I just want a couple drinks, and I'll be more inclined to do a tasting menu again.

We have created some very different "mixed drinks" that we can pair with foodstuffs. Are they cocktails...perhaps to some extent. However they are far from the norm. The wine progression list is also being expanded with 2 new categories. "Synthetic Pairings" or "reformulated vintages" and "Laserization Creations". The whole wine/synthetic/laserization/mixed drink option I feel is still the best way to experience Moto, so we are beginning to apply ourselves to the category in the same way we approach the food. Matt Gundlach and I believe that a glass of wine or a "mixed drink" should not be limited to the historical standards of the experience. So you are not alone in your quest for a nice mixed beverage experience. There is no reson that we cant customize something that can be intellectually stimulating as well as something that goes against the grain. This option will definitely evolve in the coming weeks. Just as it has evolved since the last post above.

HC

Thanks for the reply to my question! You seem very open to blending unconventional and conventional things to make the dining experience enjoyable for all tastes. A

big reason why I changed my mind about where to go as I just made a reservation for Moto in June. I think I'm going to enjoy it and better yet want to come back frequently, and I think my dad will enjoy it as well. I like what you've done with the lounge-sometimes I might just want drinks and dessert, sometimes the five course menu, sometimes the longer ones for a special occasion, like the dinner I'm treating my dad to. You definitely present more options than other places of your caliber, imho. As I stated in another thread, I look at pics of your food and think "That really looks good!"

Is it possible to have a New York Yankees logo imprinted on one of your edible menus? I'll contact the restaurant as the date gets closer, I'm just curious if that's something you would do.

Its possible to print anything. The only issue with the NYY (they are my favorite team of all time) is copyright infringement. All of the images I use I generate myself with photo shop or by hand to avoid this. Is this for your dad?

Yeah, it's for him...we'd eat it on the spot, no evidence! But I understand if you can't do it... would you be willing to do a picture and a birthday greeting? I'd pay extra for it, you'd certainly get my repeat business(which from what I'm hearing about Moto you'll get anyway). He grew up in NY, so I was raised on the Yankees, with the great teams in the late 70's, the looooong 15 year absence, to the great team the last ten years. We see them play the Tigers in Detroit every year, and this year I just thought it would be perfect to take him to Wrigley for his birthday, since neither of us have ever been there, and they happen to be hosting the Tigers. And of course, I want to take him to the best dinner he's ever had in his life.


Edited by Elrushbo (log)

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We will not offer a wine list per say, just wine progressions. Every tasting menu will have a new world and old world pairing offered with it. We feel the best way (and the only way) to experience moto is to allow us to set the parameters for wine and food pairing. A wine list would be futile when exploring this type of gastronomy, so we have decided to minimalize it altogether. It just makes sense from a financial and creative standpoint.

As far as the future of moto..................

as long as every new team member is totally commited to forgetting their past experiences and retaining only a high level of attention to detail, moto will carry forth in an acceptable fashion. Idiscourage all of the cooks from reading cook books and only focusing on knowledge of ingredients. Techniques are things we can invent and reinvent.

Thank you for your kind words, it means a lot.

"Omar"

You can order cocktails with tasting menus at Moto, right?

I may be alone in this, but I would love to see a mixed drink/cocktail tasting as an option at a place like Moto. Not everyone is into wine, I'll drink Riesling but I don't really enjoy it like I enjoy a good Mojito. If I could taste several cocktails without getting sloppy drunk, I'll be more inclined to come back to the lounge when I just want a couple drinks, and I'll be more inclined to do a tasting menu again.

We have created some very different "mixed drinks" that we can pair with foodstuffs. Are they cocktails...perhaps to some extent. However they are far from the norm. The wine progression list is also being expanded with 2 new categories. "Synthetic Pairings" or "reformulated vintages" and "Laserization Creations". The whole wine/synthetic/laserization/mixed drink option I feel is still the best way to experience Moto, so we are beginning to apply ourselves to the category in the same way we approach the food. Matt Gundlach and I believe that a glass of wine or a "mixed drink" should not be limited to the historical standards of the experience. So you are not alone in your quest for a nice mixed beverage experience. There is no reson that we cant customize something that can be intellectually stimulating as well as something that goes against the grain. This option will definitely evolve in the coming weeks. Just as it has evolved since the last post above.

HC

Thanks for the reply to my question! You seem very open to blending unconventional and conventional things to make the dining experience enjoyable for all tastes. A

big reason why I changed my mind about where to go as I just made a reservation for Moto in June. I think I'm going to enjoy it and better yet want to come back frequently, and I think my dad will enjoy it as well. I like what you've done with the lounge-sometimes I might just want drinks and dessert, sometimes the five course menu, sometimes the longer ones for a special occasion, like the dinner I'm treating my dad to. You definitely present more options than other places of your caliber, imho. As I stated in another thread, I look at pics of your food and think "That really looks good!"

Is it possible to have a New York Yankees logo imprinted on one of your edible menus? I'll contact the restaurant as the date gets closer, I'm just curious if that's something you would do.

Its possible to print anything. The only issue with the NYY (they are my favorite team of all time) is copyright infringement. All of the images I use I generate myself with photo shop or by hand to avoid this. Is this for your dad?

Yeah, it's for him...we'd eat it on the spot, no evidence! But I understand if you can't do it... would you be willing to do a picture and a birthday greeting? I'd pay extra for it, you'd certainly get my repeat business(which from what I'm hearing about Moto you'll get anyway). He grew up in NY, so I was raised on the Yankees, with the great teams in the late 70's, the looooong 15 year absence, to the great team the last ten years. We see them play the Tigers in Detroit every year, and this year I just thought it would be perfect to take him to Wrigley for his birthday, since neither of us have ever been there, and they happen to be hosting the Tigers. And of course, I want to take him to the best dinner he's ever had in his life.

We dont charge extra for that stuff, its part of the package. Any player in particular that he likes? Perhaps an old baseball card?

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We will not offer a wine list per say, just wine progressions. Every tasting menu will have a new world and old world pairing offered with it. We feel the best way (and the only way) to experience moto is to allow us to set the parameters for wine and food pairing. A wine list would be futile when exploring this type of gastronomy, so we have decided to minimalize it altogether. It just makes sense from a financial and creative standpoint.

As far as the future of moto..................

as long as every new team member is totally commited to forgetting their past experiences and retaining only a high level of attention to detail, moto will carry forth in an acceptable fashion. Idiscourage all of the cooks from reading cook books and only focusing on knowledge of ingredients. Techniques are things we can invent and reinvent.

Thank you for your kind words, it means a lot.

"Omar"

You can order cocktails with tasting menus at Moto, right?

I may be alone in this, but I would love to see a mixed drink/cocktail tasting as an option at a place like Moto. Not everyone is into wine, I'll drink Riesling but I don't really enjoy it like I enjoy a good Mojito. If I could taste several cocktails without getting sloppy drunk, I'll be more inclined to come back to the lounge when I just want a couple drinks, and I'll be more inclined to do a tasting menu again.

We have created some very different "mixed drinks" that we can pair with foodstuffs. Are they cocktails...perhaps to some extent. However they are far from the norm. The wine progression list is also being expanded with 2 new categories. "Synthetic Pairings" or "reformulated vintages" and "Laserization Creations". The whole wine/synthetic/laserization/mixed drink option I feel is still the best way to experience Moto, so we are beginning to apply ourselves to the category in the same way we approach the food. Matt Gundlach and I believe that a glass of wine or a "mixed drink" should not be limited to the historical standards of the experience. So you are not alone in your quest for a nice mixed beverage experience. There is no reson that we cant customize something that can be intellectually stimulating as well as something that goes against the grain. This option will definitely evolve in the coming weeks. Just as it has evolved since the last post above.

HC

Thanks for the reply to my question! You seem very open to blending unconventional and conventional things to make the dining experience enjoyable for all tastes. A

big reason why I changed my mind about where to go as I just made a reservation for Moto in June. I think I'm going to enjoy it and better yet want to come back frequently, and I think my dad will enjoy it as well. I like what you've done with the lounge-sometimes I might just want drinks and dessert, sometimes the five course menu, sometimes the longer ones for a special occasion, like the dinner I'm treating my dad to. You definitely present more options than other places of your caliber, imho. As I stated in another thread, I look at pics of your food and think "That really looks good!"

Is it possible to have a New York Yankees logo imprinted on one of your edible menus? I'll contact the restaurant as the date gets closer, I'm just curious if that's something you would do.

Its possible to print anything. The only issue with the NYY (they are my favorite team of all time) is copyright infringement. All of the images I use I generate myself with photo shop or by hand to avoid this. Is this for your dad?

Yeah, it's for him...we'd eat it on the spot, no evidence! But I understand if you can't do it... would you be willing to do a picture and a birthday greeting? I'd pay extra for it, you'd certainly get my repeat business(which from what I'm hearing about Moto you'll get anyway). He grew up in NY, so I was raised on the Yankees, with the great teams in the late 70's, the looooong 15 year absence, to the great team the last ten years. We see them play the Tigers in Detroit every year, and this year I just thought it would be perfect to take him to Wrigley for his birthday, since neither of us have ever been there, and they happen to be hosting the Tigers. And of course, I want to take him to the best dinner he's ever had in his life.

We dont charge extra for that stuff, its part of the package. Any player in particular that he likes? Perhaps an old baseball card?

A Reggie Jackson pic would be awesome! Should I email it to the restaurant as the day draws closer? I very much appreciate this, it will make for a special day!

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A question for Inventolux...can you tell us when the menus on the Moto website will be updated? Or maybe could you post them here occasionally if it wouldn't be too much trouble? I'm curious as to how often you change your menus.

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I am finding myself in Chicago next week (not for the kitchen and bath trade show unfortunately) having to deal with the effects of every single hotel worth a salt being sold out. My one beacon of hope if the fact I was able to secure a 8pm table at Moto for Thursday. Totally looking forward to that.

I have been watching this thread for a while and my mouth has been watering. I will be sure to report back after the dinner with my findings.

John

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ok, I just got back from moto, and to sum it up, amazing. I am way to full and have consumed too much wine to do his food and the experience we had justice at this time, but I will post a full report tomorow along with pictures of him and his new fancy laser as well.

really and stunning meal.

jpd

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Recent article in today's NYT, Two Parts Vodka, a Twist of Science (by Peter Meehan).

One chef who has gotten in on the act is Homaru Cantu at Moto in Chicago.

Mr. Cantu uses a grade-school science trick — baking soda plus acid equals fizz — for his Fizzing & Foaming Hurricane and a very not-grade-school trick involving a Class 4 laser, typically used for military experiments and eye surgery, according to Mr. Cantu, and a vanilla bean to "caramelaserize" a wineglass — that is, to coat it with the flavor of vanilla — before filling it with red wine and pairing the altered wine with a beef course on his restaurant's tasting menu.

..."caramelaserize"...

:laugh: Perhaps you should apply for a trade or a service mark.

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Ever since Moto opened up the front cafe/bar area, they have been serving some amazing cocktails, which gets updated regularly. The earlier concoctions were very tasty, using the finest simple and traditional ingredients, and presented in a martini glass. Now they are pushing their philosophy from the kitchen to beverages made at the front-of-house and allowing diners to have them as starters (you can also just have cocktails and stay in the front). A few of the cooking implements and serviceware have made it to the bar area, where the drinks are prepared table (bar) side. A few items are really great and some others require, an acquired taste - Mustard Martini (part of martini made four ways). This direction follows the aesthetic of Moto and I admire chef pushing the boundaries.

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      In his introduction of Ferran Adria, Thomas Keller -- perhaps the most celebrated American chef ever -- described four elements that go into making a great chef. The chef must be aware. Once aware of one’s culinary and other surroundings that chef can then be inspired, which leads to the ability to interpret those surroundings. But a great chef does not stop there. Instead, the great chef continues to evolve. Ferran Adria, perhaps more than any other chef who has ever lived, is the embodiment of those four elements.

      The moment that Ferran Adria strode towards Thomas Keller on the stage at the CIA/Greystone’s World of Flavors’ “Spain and the World Table” Conference was electric -- as if a giant Van de Graf generator had been turned on. The feeling didn’t subside when Adria took the stage from Keller; it only became more pronounced as the packed crowd rose to its feet, raining applause, admiration and love on the Spanish master. Adria accepted the response with aplomb, and gave it right back to the audience -- and to his fellow Spanish cocineros, who were standing off to the side. He brought each one up to join him on the stage for a rousing thank-you to the conference organizers, sponsors and participants. Once this emotional release subsided, Adria got down to what everyone had been waiting for -- his discussion and demonstration.

      Ferran Adria, with eyes sparkling like the finest cava, began speaking Spanish in a voice as gravelly as the beaches of the Costa Brava, while Conference Chairman Jose Andres translated. The crowd, hushed and straining for every word, moved forward in their seats as Adria explained El Bulli and himself, with a lesson in recent culinary history thrown in. Ferran explained that El Bulli is not a business. While offshoots of El Bulli are operated on a for-profit basis, the restaurant runs without profit as a primary motivation. For example, he said, the greatest difficulty they have is distributing reservations. Given the extraordinary demand and the severely limited supply, he explained that they could simply raise the price of a meal to the point where the supply and demand met. Indeed, the price of a meal at El Bulli is in itself quite reasonable given the stature of the restaurant and well within means of most motivated diners should they be able to get there, and this is how Adria prefers it. He stated that he was not interested in cooking solely for those with the most money. He prefers to work for people with a true interest in exploring the limits of cooking with him. To this end he showed a short film depicting “A Day in the Life . . .” of El Bulli set to the Beatles’ song of the same name. The film showed a couple’s response to the experience.

      Ferran’s voyage into creativity began with a visit to Jacques Maxima at Le Chanticleer Restaurant in Nice, France. He learned from Maxima that to be creative is not to copy. This idea changed his entire approach to cooking -- from making classic cuisine to making his own. Aware of elaborate books of French cuisine, Adria resolved to catalogue his work, the results of which are the richly detailed El Bulli books, published by period. These books, as wonderful as they are, are huge and extremely expensive. During his presentation, Adria announced -- and demonstrated -- that the individual dishes photographed and described in a chronology within each book are all now available online at elbulli.com.

      He finished the philosophical discussion by talking about the general style of haute cuisine that he and others are engaged in. While others have coined the term “molecular gastronomy” to highlight the scientific component of the creativity involved, Adria rejected it, saying that all cooking is molecular: most of his techniques are in fact rather simple and don’t employ radical new technology. Most of the technology that they do use has been around for some time; they have simply adapted it to their own purposes. Nevertheless, he applauds contributions to gastronomy from Harold McGee and other food scientists, and welcomes their collaboration in the kitchen. He has yet to find a term that describes the movement: as of now, he feels that there really is no good name for this style of cooking.

      More than any other single thing, Ferran Adria is known for the use of “foams” in cooking. While he is proud of his achievements with foams, he stressed that while appropriate in some circumstances, the real utility of foams is limited. He bemoans their ubiquity -- and wishes to not be blamed for others’ poor deployment of the concept. In the course of describing this and other techniques, Adria made a point of stating that using them should not be inferred as copying. Techniques and concepts are to be used and shared. He invited everyone to learn and harness whatever they found interesting, and to employ it in to their own pursuits.

      Another set of techniques discussed and demonstrated by the master and his assistant, Rafa Morales from Hacienda Benazuza, included three types of spherification. These included the use of calcium chloride (CaCl) and sodium alginate as well as the converse, and exploration of a new agent, gluconodeltalactone. The original combinations of alginate into CaCl for “caviar” production, and CaCl into alginate for larger “spheres” have chemistry-related limits as to what can be sphericized. In private correspondence, Harold McGee explained to me that Adria described encapsulating a mussel in its own juice. While this would make the dish technically an aspic, unlike conventional aspics it remains a liquid. Adria said that though gluconodeltalactone is very new, and they are just beginning to get a handle on it, he is very excited by it. He also demonstrated a machine for spherification on a larger scale than they had originally been able to do, as well as liquid nitrogen and freeze-drying (lyophilization) techniques. At the conclusion of his demonstration -- and thus the Conference -- the audience once again awarded him a standing ovation.

      While Adria’s appearance was the culmination of the conference, the energy it produced was not just because of his stature in the world of gastronomy -- it was also due to the excitement generated by the conference that preceded it. If there had previously been any doubt, Thomas Keller’s welcome of Adria was a clarion: Spanish cuisine has landed on North American shores and is finding a niche in the North American psyche. Spanish cuisine -- in its multifaceted, delicious entirety -- lives here, too.

      + + + + +

      John M. Sconzo, M.D., aka docsconz, is an anesthesiologist practicing in upstate New York. He grew up in Brooklyn in an Italian-American home, in which food was an important component of family life. It still is. His passions include good food, wine and travel. John's gastronomic interests in upstate northeastern New York involve finding top-notch local producers of ingredients and those who use them well. A dedicated amateur, John has no plans to ditch his current career for one in the food industry. Host, New York.
    • By docsconz
      About Jose Andres
       
      Throughout his career, Jose’s vision and imaginative creations have drawn the praise of the public, the press and his peers. José has received awards and recognition from Food Arts, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Saveur, the James Beard Foundation, Wine Spectator, and Wine Advocate. In addition, José has been featured in leading food magazines such as Gourmet as well as the New York Times, the Washington Post, Good Morning America, Fox Sunday Morning News with Chris Wallace, the Food Network, and USA Today.
       
      Widely acknowledged as the premiere Spanish chef cooking in America, José is a developer and Conference Chairman for the upcoming Worlds of Flavor Conference on Spain and the World Table at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, November 2 – 5, 2006.
       
      In 1993, Jose moved to Washington, DC, to head the kitchen at Jaleo. From there, Jose took on executive chef responsibilities at neighboring Café Atlantico and later Zaytinya. In July of 2003, Jose embarked on his most adventurous project to date with the opening of the minibar by jose andres at Cafe Atlantico. A six-seat restaurant within a restaurant, minibar by jose andres continues to attract international attention with its innovative tasting menu. In the fall of 2004, Jose opened a third Jaleo and Oyamel, an authentic Mexican small plates restaurant and launched the THINKfoodTANK, an institution devoted to the research and development of ideas about food, all with a view toward their practical applications in the kitchen.
       
      Every week, millions of Spaniards invite Jose into their home where he is the host and producer of “Vamos a cocinar”, a food program on Television Española (TVE), Spanish national television. The program airs in the United States and Latin America on TVE Internacional.
       
      Jose released his first cookbook this year, first published in English, Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America (published in the United States by Clarkson Potter) and shortly after in Spanish, Los fogones de José Andrés (published by Planeta). The book is an homage to Spanish cooking and to tapas, one of Spain's gifts to the world of good cooking.
       
      Jose Andres is passionate, intelligent, dedicated, witty and a fan of FC Barcelona.
       
      Jose has been a member of the eGullet Society since 2004.
       
      More on Jose Andres in the eG Forums:
      Cooking with "Tapas" by Jose Andres
      Vamos a Cocinar - cooking show with Jose Andres
      Jaleo
      José Andrés' Minibar
      Zaytinya
      Oyamel Cocina Mexicana, Crystal City
      Cafe Atlantico
       
      Jose Andres recipes from Tapas in RecipeGullet:
      Potatoes Rioja-Style with Chorizo (Patatas a la Riojana)
      Moorish-Style Chickpea and Spinach Stew
      Squid with Caramelized Onions
    • By gibbs
      With Modernist Cuisine I waited a couple of years and ended up with a copy from the 6th printing run the advantage of this was that all errors picked up in the erratta had been corrected in the print copy.  I am looking to get modernist bread soon and wondered if someone had purchased it recently to check or if someone knew of hand if they have printed any additional corrected runs 
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