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inventolux

Moto Restaurant - Chicago

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Having had the chance to dine recently at WD-50, I'm looking forward to an upcoming visit to Moto.

My question: can anyone help me evaluate the merits of the GTM vs. the 10-course? Worth the extra $60?

Thanks!

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My question: can anyone help me evaluate the merits of the GTM vs. the 10-course? Worth the extra $60?

Having eaten at WD-50 and Moto, in my estimation, WD-50's food technically well made but fundamentally not particularly tasty. Moto's food is much more fun and the food can be very good at times. So if you liked WD-50, I suspect you'll love Moto...and should go with the GTM.

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Anything with GT in it has to be good.  My question is, how could you not go for it?

You're probably right. I mean what's an extra 60 bucks when you're traveling all the way from Seattle for the dinner (don't get me wrong -- it's not my only reason for going to Chicago!).

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My question: can anyone help me evaluate the merits of the GTM vs. the 10-course? Worth the extra $60?

Having eaten at WD-50 and Moto, in my estimation, WD-50's food technically well made but fundamentally not particularly tasty. Moto's food is much more fun and the food can be very good at times. So if you liked WD-50, I suspect you'll love Moto...and should go with the GTM.

WOW! Glad to hear I'm not alone on my assessment of WD-50!!

Re: GTM - GO FOR IT!! The one time I ate at Moto, the food was creative, innovative, fun, slightly gimmicky, but very tasty!!

u.e.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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That's not so tough for me.... although I've been to A twice and M only once, I would recommend M over A in a heart-beat... but that's just me.

I thought that A was much more like the experience noambenambi described about WD-50 above - A is technically flawless and certainly very creative - but it lacked a certain "fundamental tastiness" that Moto delivered much better on...

u.e.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I was just curious what was going on with Moto? There hasn't been a post for sometime, especially one with any sort of review/details. Has anyone been recently and experienced any new inventions or cool creations?

I still have not been able to make it to moto, but that may not be so for long and I'm curious if I should still consider it to be on my high priority list for my next chicago visit. Thanks.

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I was just curious what was going on with Moto?  There hasn't been a post for sometime, especially one with any sort of review/details.  Has anyone been recently and experienced any new inventions or cool creations? 

I still have not been able to make it to moto, but that may not be so for long and I'm curious if I should still consider it to be on my high priority list for my next chicago visit.  Thanks.

Id be going in if it weren't for being closed on sundays and monday :hmmm:


"cuisine is the greatest form of art to touch a human's instinct" - chairman kaga

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With my wife and I's crazy schedule, we cant get back to Moto for a few months, so I decided to recreate a few of our favorite dishes in the little free time i do have around here. "Ceasar Salad," "Dounut Soup," and if my sodium alginate/calcium chloride ever gets here ill whip up some liquid center b-day cake as well as a few other dishes. hmm, wonder where i could score some liquid nitrogen to make those "Pancakes" I had last time i was there...anyway, heres a few pics followed by a brief description of the process...btw, chef cantu, i have to say they taste nearly exact like yours., consider it a grand cru compliment... :cool:

Ceasar Salad

P7300023.jpg

P7300019.jpg

Romaine lettuce, liquified, seasoned, frozen, and scraped into a granita, accompanied with classic housemade ceasar dressing, and a parmasean crudite.

Dounut Soup

P8010034.jpg

P8010033.jpg

Krispy Kremes, liquified, then fortifed with a dounut stock, and confection sweetened cream, gently warmed.

Look for more pics soon, next up, lquid center b-day cake, potato links, etc...


Edited by djsexyb (log)

Grand Cru Productions

Private High End Dinners and Personal Chef Service

in Chicago, Illinois

For more information email me at:

grandcruproductions@hotmail.com

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Chef Cantu, after reading the NY times aritcle "Two Parts Vodka, a Twist of Science," ive been incredible curious as to how you make the fizzing and foaming hurricane. ( the laser trick is fascinating but... unless santa exists its not in my budget. Back to my original question about the hurricane. could you possibly (begs) share the recipe for the mixture that makes the drink "fizz and foam". I created a topic on this drink here, http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=91115 and there has been some intresting experimentation. but to be honest when mixed into a drink they all taste, well awful.

thanks

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also on a second note... is moto ever planning on releaseing a cookbok. from articles read and pictures seen, im absolutly fascinated by every aspect of moto's food.

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I created a topic on this drink here, http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=91115 and there has been some intresting experimentation. but to be honest when mixed into a drink they all taste, well awful.

thanks

skidude, sorry i dont mean to be whoring all your posts, but the final drink i did yesterday (the one in the video) tasted great, no trace of baking soda or the byproducts of the reaction. lemon juice/Cream of tartar converts nearly all of it and coupled with the alcohol and cherry syrup, there was no "chemical" taste at all. ok, thats my $.02.... :cool:

but i would LOVE to know how Moto does it....


Edited by djsexyb (log)

Grand Cru Productions

Private High End Dinners and Personal Chef Service

in Chicago, Illinois

For more information email me at:

grandcruproductions@hotmail.com

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I created a topic on this drink here, http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=91115 and there has been some intresting experimentation. but to be honest when mixed into a drink they all taste, well awful.

thanks

skidude, sorry i dont mean to be whoring all your posts, but the final drink i did yesterday (the one in the video) tasted great, no trace of baking soda or the byproducts of the reaction. lemon juice/Cream of tartar converts nearly all of it and coupled with the alcohol and cherry syrup, there was no "chemical" taste at all. ok, thats my $.02.... :cool:

but i would LOVE to know how Moto does it....

There are many ways one can create this reaction. For the advanced home cook, you can separate a mixed drink into 2 inert liquids. One contains an acid and one contains a base. The one that contains a base should have the foaming agent, in this case we use egg white powder. Just be sure to allow the egg white powder to dissolve and strain out any lumps as egg white powder pockets are less than tasty. Use a hand blender rather than a cup blender because the cup blender will create a foaming mass that will spill all over. The only thing one should taste is the drink, not the elements added to create the effect, so only use what is necessary. Depending on the beverage you want to create, you have to adjust the acid vs base. Also bear in mind items like lemon flavored spirits alter the formula and should be taken into consideration. We chose the hurricane because as the base is ejected into the acid, it swirls around in the martini glass thus producing a "milky way" like effect that looks like a satellite image of a hurricane. Any beverage can be adapted to this technique. Cheers.


Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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Thank You... now if only i could afford to get out to chicago to dine at moto... :biggrin:

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chef cantu, if you would indulge me once again...

i have recently been reading up about the class I lazer and how you zap the vanilla bean before pouring in some wines. my question...

what wines do you traditionally serve in this method? being a self-admiting wine geek, and also Moto fanatic, i have conflicting view points on this. i would think that you use a wine of lesser quality, therefore the vanilla perks it up. right?

because infusing something into a high quality (and possibly expensive) pinot sets off a few alarms in my head.

so which wines do you use for this?

Thanks in advance, as always.


Grand Cru Productions

Private High End Dinners and Personal Chef Service

in Chicago, Illinois

For more information email me at:

grandcruproductions@hotmail.com

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Just to clarify, the Class Type is 4. It is a 20 watt Carbon Dioxide Gas Model with an infrared wavelength. It is similar to ones used in the military for star wars and lasik surgery.

I only believe in top quality ingredients. We change the wine daily, but the characteristics that we look for (with vanilla caramelaserization) is a very oaky wine, because oak contains similar flavor compounds that are found in vanilla beans. So the idea is food and wine pairing, in this case, the food is an element found in the wine that is simply reintroduced back into it. This food is just a little closer to your wine than most food.

The most interesting part of this procedure is the winemakers that have tried it, like it the most. Forward thinking is something that winemaking is also being revolutionized with and its a technique that can add very rich qualities to an already exquisite wine.

Vanilla beans are one of thousands of "caramelaserized notes" we can impart into a glass. We can even extract notes from complex sources like an entire fruit basket. The notes can run the entire sweet and savory spectrum.

chef cantu, if you would indulge me once again...

i have recently been reading up about the class I lazer and how you zap the vanilla bean before pouring in some wines. my question...

what wines do you traditionally serve in this method? being a self-admiting wine geek, and also Moto fanatic, i have conflicting view points on this. i would think that you use a wine of lesser quality, therefore the vanilla perks it up. right?

because infusing something into a high quality (and possibly expensive) pinot sets off a few alarms in my head.

so which wines do you use for this?

Thanks in advance, as always.


Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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Just to clarify, the Class Type is 4. It is a 20 watt Carbon Dioxide Gas Model with an infrared wavelength. It is similar to ones used in the military for star wars and lasik surgery.

I only believe in top quality ingredients. We change the wine daily, but the characteristics that we look for (with vanilla caramelaserization) is a very oaky wine, because oak contains similar flavor compounds that are found in vanilla beans.  So the idea is food and wine pairing, in this case, the food is an element found in the wine that is simply reintroduced back into it. This food is just a little closer to your wine than most food.

The most interesting part of this procedure is the winemakers that have tried it, like it the most. Forward thinking is something that winemaking is also being revolutionized with and its a technique that can add very rich qualities to an already exquisite wine.

Vanilla beans are one of thousands of "caramelaserized notes" we can impart into a glass. We can even extract notes from complex sources like an entire fruit basket. The notes can run the entire sweet and savory spectrum.

ok, i see where you are going with this and i will sure try it for myself the next time I am in. My wife and I are planning on dining again in a couple months, once our businesses reach their slow time of the year.

I am assuming that the vanillan compounds would add a distinct, though not overpowering nose, and perhaps a little added bite on the palate. This is kind of like the "Randal the Enamel Animal" filter used in some bars to impart more hop flavor (though waaay more high tech) (quick note: the "Randal" machine is a two foot tall cone filter that gets attached after the tap and is filled with 1-2 pounds of dried hops, or fresh when available).

hmm. seeing as you said that you can impart any flavor you want into the glass, wouldnt it be different if you did a deconstructed wine course that consists of all the primary and secondary flavors of a specific wine carmelized into a glass. it could be served along side a tasting portion of the actual wine for comparison's sake too. just a thought (i am assuming that by carmelizing the flavors into the glass you obtain a product with amazing nose/scent...man, i just have to come in and try this already....)

Much thanks Chef


Grand Cru Productions

Private High End Dinners and Personal Chef Service

in Chicago, Illinois

For more information email me at:

grandcruproductions@hotmail.com

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Facinating!


"A man's got to believe in something...I believe I'll have another drink." -W.C. Fields

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My family and I have been planning a trip to Chicago right after Christmas for some fine dining, of which, Moto will be one of the restaurants we visit. Just to get everything planned I tried to reserve a table on Opentable.com yesterday. When I entered that we were a party of 4 for December 27 at around 7:15PM I was surprised to find that only a 5:30 and 8:30 spot was available. I was surprised that the restaurant would be so booked 3 months out. Anyway, I called and the pleasant receptionist mentioned that they currently had plenty of spots as I had suspected and commented that opentable can act funny sometimes.

Has anyone else ever encountered such an issue?

Anyway, I am very excited to finally get to visit Moto for the first time and looking forward to experiencing as many of the technological/tastylogical creations that Chef Cantu and his team can conjure.

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THis is my first time posting. I live between Chicago-NY and Barcelona. In the last seven months, I have visited many restaurants from old favorites ("Celler," "Moo," "Cinc Sentits," "Schwa," "Tru," "Grand Vefour" among many others) to new(er) ones such as "Alinea," "WD-50" and trying to experience as many restaurants/cuisines as I can. From Jean Georges to the corner hot dog stand and everything in between. I am mentioning these restaurants not to show off but just to prove that I am not new into the culinary scene. Gastronomy, and its cultural implications, is fast becoming an area that fascinates me to no end.

I went to Moto at the beginning of September by a strange twist of fate. I had the 10 course (I had the mistake of having had lunch that day) plus some freebies. I had read comments on this site plus the website and some of the articles. I was not prepared for Moto to be such an incredible experience. Although the night started off iffy (the soup, though spectacularly presented, was mild), the dishes just became more and more extraordinary. Among the winners, the "Champagne," "popcorn," the "barbeque" and the desserts. However, the element of unpredictability mixed with the luscious orgy of tastes became the big (Gastronomical) surprise of the year for me.

I would also like to commend the owners for having assembled such a great service team.

The question between Alinea vs. Moto is a perverse one. I will go to "A" for my third time this Xmas and I have only been to Moto once (repeating next week, I will post). However, I have to say that Moto, from its innovative cuisine, its impeccable service, and great wine pairing (thanks Matt) created such a relaxed and enriching experience that, from now on, in Chicago, Motohas gained my total devotion.

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wow! what an inspiring post. I didn't think I could be even more excited for my december trip to chicago and Moto, but I am. I can't wait to hear details.

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THis is my first time posting.  I live between Chicago-NY and Barcelona.  In the last seven months, I have visited many restaurants from old favorites ("Celler," "Moo," "Cinc Sentits," "Schwa," "Tru," "Grand Vefour" among many others) to new(er) ones such as "Alinea," "WD-50" and trying to experience as many restaurants/cuisines as I can. From Jean Georges to the corner hot dog stand and everything in between.  I am mentioning these restaurants not to show off but just to prove that I am not new into the culinary scene.  Gastronomy, and its cultural implications,  is fast becoming an area that fascinates me to no end.

I went to Moto at the beginning of September by a strange twist of fate.  I had the 10 course (I had the mistake of having had lunch that day) plus some freebies.  I had read comments on this site plus the website and some of the articles.  I was not prepared for Moto to be such an incredible experience.  Although the night started off iffy (the soup, though spectacularly presented, was mild), the dishes just became more and more extraordinary.  Among the winners, the "Champagne," "popcorn," the "barbeque" and the desserts.  However, the element of unpredictability mixed with the luscious orgy of tastes became the big (Gastronomical) surprise of the year for me.

I would also like to commend the owners for having assembled such a great service team.

The question between Alinea vs. Moto is a perverse one.  I will go to "A" for my third time this Xmas and I have only been to  Moto once (repeating next week, I will post).  However, I have to say that Moto, from its innovative cuisine, its impeccable service, and great wine pairing (thanks Matt) created such a relaxed and enriching experience that, from now on, in Chicago, Motohas gained my total devotion.

Welcome to eGullet, Lenski. That is strong praise, indeed given the roster of restaurants you mentioned. I have been to Moto once under less than ideal circumstances(immediately after a long delayed flight). I will have to return when next in Chicago.

Nice picture of Chef Cantu on the cover of the new Gourmet.


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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Ok, Not to be a party pooper but I too recently dined at moto and although the Food was really an experience to be had, I personally thought that the service was so poor that Im not sure I will go back.

First off, I felt that we were rushed. We ordered a couple of cocktails that were recommended by our server. When they arrived he asked if we would like a wine pairing. We said no, but we would like to order a bottle with dinner. Not even two sips into our drinks and our wine was being poured. So at this point we have a martini glass, a white wine glass, and a water glass all working at once. If it were a red wine maybe it would have been alright but the white we ordered, as I 'm sure chef Cantu would agree, was a little warm by the time we finished our first drinks.

Next, as the courses became a little more headier, my fiance ordered a glass of red. No big deal except they kept pouring the white for her and at this point she has about a 10oz pour of red and a full glass, of by now, room temp white. It just dosen't make sense.

As a chef, I hate to say I would have a problem going back. And I love the fact that Chef Cantu allows the kitchen staff to experience all aspects of the business, but it shouldn't be at the cost of the diner. The meal went from being a 10 to an 8 because of the service.

With all that being said, the food itself rivaled any dinner we've had, and I'm glad that we ate there. Maybe by the time I visit Chicago again the once green service staff will have a little more experience under their belt and the experience will be different.


Kevin J. Adey

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Ok, Not to be a party pooper but I too recently dined at moto and although the Food was really an experience to be had, I personally thought that the service was so poor that Im not sure  I will go back.

First off, I felt that we were rushed.  We ordered a couple of cocktails that were recommended by our server. When they arrived he asked if we would like a wine pairing. We said no, but we would like to order a bottle with dinner.  Not even two sips into our drinks and our wine was being poured.  So at this point we have a martini glass, a white wine glass, and a water glass all working at once.  If it were a red wine maybe it would have been alright but the white we ordered, as I 'm sure chef Cantu would agree, was a little warm by the time we finished our first drinks. 

Next, as the courses became a little more headier, my fiance ordered a glass of red. No big deal except they kept pouring the white  for her and at this point she has about a 10oz pour of red and a full glass, of by now, room temp white. It just dosen't make sense. 

As a chef, I hate to say I would have a problem going back. And I love the fact that Chef Cantu allows the kitchen staff to experience all aspects of the business, but it shouldn't be at the cost of the diner. The meal went from being a 10 to an 8 because of the service.

With all that being said, the food itself rivaled any dinner we've had, and I'm glad that we ate there.  Maybe by the time I visit Chicago again the once green service staff will have a little more experience under their belt and the experience will be different.

I agree that the wine tasting service can be a problem. The attached picture shows the problem that you so elegantly presented. The wines were all very good (a couple exceptions aside) but the dishes come out pretty fast and then you have to drink fast or create a (wine)traffic jam. From now on, if (a completely rethorical if) I order the GTM, I will ask for the 10-wine pairing service.

http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/11610160...3747_512510.jpg

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      1. A conventional range was not our main heat source. We do need the flat tops and some open burners for applications such as braising and limited stock work. But our overall use of this piece of equipment is somewhat low. Given that we wanted four open burners and two flat tops with two ovens I began to source out a reliable unit. We settled on the Molteni G230.

      2. Upon analyzing our other heat source needs we decided to place a large focus on induction. By utilizing portable induction burners we are allowed the flexibility to give as much power as needed to a specific station in the kitchen. Obviously induction’s radiant heat is very low, and this allows us to keep the temperature in the kitchen reasonable, yet the power is quite high. 31,000 BTU's of highly controlable heat. But the main reason for choosing this flexible source of heat is the fact that each chef typically employed at least four different cooking applications on a given night. This huge flux in technique and the realization that the menu would change entirely in 8 weeks time meant that we had to design a kitchen that could evolve on a nightly basis. And last, we are very specific with temperatures; induction makes it easier for us to hold a liquid at a predetermined temperature for long periods of time without fluctuation. They operate between 85 and 500 degrees farenheit. We did a great deal of research on the different producers of induction and favored Cooktek. The fact that they are the only U.S manufacturer of commercial induction cooking equipment and located in Chicago made the decision easier. Their innovative approach to induction may prove to be even more exciting as we are already talking about new product development in the future.

      3. a. The complexity of the presentations and a la minute plate-ups of the food require a great deal of surface area devoted to plating. This was one of the most critical factors in determining the basic shape of the kitchen. The size of some of today's popular plates, the amount detail in each composition, coupled with the fact that producing tasting menus vs. ala carte means sometimes large waves of same dish pick ups made it necessary for us to have over 44' of linear plating surface.
      b. Virtually nothing goes vertical above the 36” counter top in the space. All food, plates, equipment, and dry good storage are contained by under counter units. There are a few exceptions such as the infrared salamanders, the three-door refrigerator, and the hood. This allows all the cooks a clear line of communication between each other and the front staff. It allows me an easy sight line to survey the entire kitchen’s progress with a quick glance.
      Given these two points it seemed obvious that we needed to combine the two and create custom pieces that would fulfill both needs. Large spans of plating surfaces with all food and equipment storage below. As you can see we ended up with two 22’ long units. Each function as a pass and under counter storage.
      The building is 21’ wide wall to wall. This allowed us just enough space to create two lines on each exterior wall with their passes forming a 60” corridor for the pick up of plates and finishing of dishes.
      4. We decided to add a station to the kitchen. At Trio we had five including:
      a. pastry
      b. cold garde manger
      c. hot garde manger
      d. fish
      e. meat
      Now that we had more space, and the ability to give each station multiple heat
      sources regardless of their location in the kitchen, we could spread the workload even further. We also realized it doesn’t make much sense to identify each station by classic French Bragade terms. A saucier did not solely cook meat with classic techniques and prepare various traditional stocks and sauces…in fact quite the opposite. This holds true with most of the stations, with the exception of pastry, but even they will have very unconventional techniques, menu placement and involvement in the kitchen systems. We will add a station that will be responsible for a large majority of the one-bite courses both sweet and savory.
      5.Given the size constraints of the building we realized a walk-in would not be possible in the kitchen. If we were to have one it would be in the basement. Having experienced this at Trio we decided to design the kitchen without a walk-in, making up for the space in various lowboy locations and a three-door reach-in. I experienced the walk-in less environment when I worked at Charlie Trotter’s. It is certainly different, but as with most things if done properly it provides a very efficient environment. It works best in situations where fresh products are brought in daily for that days use. And prevents ordering in large quantities. It also provides us with very specific units to house different items. We will utilize the 3-door refrigerator to store the majority of the vegetables and herbs along with some staple mise en place, and items that cannot be made in very small quantities like stocks. Raw meat will have it’s own lowboys as well as fish, dairy, and all frozen products.
      6. At Trio we found ourselves using the salamander a great deal. It is very useful for melting sugar, bringing on transparent qualities in things like fat and cheese, cooking items intensely on only one side, and it is a highly controllable non-direct heat source. Due to the air gap between the foodstuff and the heat elements the cook can control the degree of heat applied to the dish based on the technique he is using. It becomes a very versatile tool in the modern kitchen, so much so that we will install three Sodir infrared salamanders.

      Again, this is to insure that all the cooks have access to all of the techniques in the kitchen. As I said before it is important for our cooks to be able to sauté, simmer, poach, fry, grill, salamander, and freeze at the same time and sometimes for the same dish.
      We have a few unusual pieces of equipment in the kitchen; the most is probably a centrifuge. A few months ago Nick and I were driving home from a design meeting and ended up talking about signature dishes and menu repetition. Of course the black truffle explosion came up and he asked if I would have it on the menu at Alinea. I replied a firm no, but shortly thereafter said I would enjoy updating it. We threw around some tongue and cheek ideas like White Truffle Implosion, and Truffle Explosion 2005….I said it was a goal of mine to make a frozen ball with a liquid center….but then dismissed it as nearly impossible. Within a few minutes he said …”I got it…we need a centrifuge” His explanation was simple, place the desired liquid in a spherical mold and place on the centrifuge…place the whole thing in the freezer. Within days he had one in the test kitchen. I guess this is better suited for the kitchen lab topic that we will be starting in a few weeks…
      We are working on a upload of the kitchen blueprints. When those post I plan on going into more detail about certian aspects of the design. Doing so now would be pointless as the viewer does not have a reference point.
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