• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

  • product-image-quickten.png.a40203b506711f7664fc62024e54a584.pngDid you know that these all-volunteer forums are operated by the 501(c)3 not-for-profit Society for Culinary Arts & Letters? This holiday season, consider a tax-deductible Quick Ten Bucks to support the eG Forums and help us remain completely advertising-free. Thanks to all those who have donated so far!

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
ronnie_suburban

The Alinea Project - General Discussion

108 posts in this topic

Can you tell us how the fundrairser at the Museum of Contemporary Art went last night?

Actually, Ron, The Food and Wine event at the MCA is tomorrow night. Chef has prepared a beautiful one-bite -- we will report after the event.

What is the latest on a projected opening?

Unfortunately it keeps getting written in the press that we will be opening in early January -- I think we are beholden to an early, off the record report that was published and then keeps getting referenced. While that was our goal a long time ago, the ambitious design for the interior and the usual red tape will likely mean that we open late in the first quarter of 2005. Is Feb possible?... sure it is. But we have every intention of opening only when everything is polished and all of the proper permits are in place. Some of those are variables beyond our immediate control.

Now that construction is proceeding, we will get a clearer picture of the opening date in the next few weeks and will likely open the reservation line once we can be reasonably certain of our opening week.

Thanks for your patience!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can you tell us how the fundrairser at the Museum of Contemporary Art went last night?

Actually, Ron, The Food and Wine event at the MCA is tomorrow night. Chef has prepared a beautiful one-bite -- we will report after the event.

Thanks, Nick. I look forward to hearing about it.

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Totally new topic -- I would have created a new topic, but the BBS software wouldn't let me.

ChefG: How would you feel about doing a pre-opening night for eGulleters? My wife and I both enjoyed a tour de force at Trio ("He's really cute!" my wife gushed) and we'd definitely make the trip up to Chicago for such an event.

I think that eGulleters would be a great way for you to do a practice run. We could slam your kitchen and your wait staff, and perhaps we could have a little round-table style conversation after service was over to discuss the experience. Alinea notepads all around!


Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would fly in for that if I could arrange the time.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, that would be a great trip.


Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ChefG:  How would you feel about doing a pre-opening night for eGulleters?  My wife and I both enjoyed a tour de force at Trio ("He's really cute!" my wife gushed) and we'd definitely make the trip up to Chicago for such an event.

This is a great idea...my wife and I would fly out from California for this.


View more of my food photography from the world's finest restaurants:

FineDiningPhotos.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, Nick and ChefG, do you want to fly me in, too? The more the merrier! I could bring an Etch-a-Sketch instead of my digital cameras and do SUCH a good report.

(wink, wink, I do understand you both have an actual sense of humor.)

No, really. Seriously.

heh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey... Don't you guys think it is kinda rude to invite your selves to a pre opening?

BTW... I could make it to C-town too for that. :wink:


Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chef,

It's still weeks before the opening, yet you and Alinea received a "special mention" in Travel + Leisure Magazine's list of "Best New American Restaurants 2004"...

CHEF TO WATCH During his three-year stint heading the kitchen of Trio, the Thomas Keller-trained wunderkind Grant Achatz got it all: four stars from the Chicago Tribune, the title of James Beard Rising Star, and fans who clamored for his infusions and outré ice creams (olive oil, anyone?). At Alinea (1723 N. Halsted St.; 312-867-0110; dinner for two $125), due to open next month [January, 2005], Achatz will experiment with savory truffle bonbons (frozen on the outside, liquid inside), freeze-dried strawberries encased in foie gras tempered with cocoa butter, serving them in an equally cutting-edge space. Curious for a taste of the future? Start calling for reservations.

...does such coverage make you feel any additional pressure? I thought it was particularly exciting to see Alinea make the 2004 list when it won't even open until 2005 :smile:

=R=

Unfortunately, Travel and Leisure got the reservation line wrong -- they must have simply called information and gotten our office number. The actual reservation line number is: 312-867-0110

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unfortunately, Travel and Leisure got the reservation line wrong -- they must have simply called information and gotten our office number.  The actual reservation line number is:  312-867-0110

Nick, I've gone back and corrected every instance of it on this thread.

Good luck tonight! :smile:

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chef Achatz and some of the Alinea staff were happy to participate in the 6th Annual Food and Wine Entertaining Showcase, held yesterday at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

Chef G and Martin Kastner used the expanded "antenna" serviceware piece that was improved upon with the addition of Bird's Eye Maple bases added since the Harvest Moon event. It holds 20 antennas at once, each with its own base mechanism.

gallery_21344_267_1100812801.jpg

Crispy Strawberry / Foie Gras / Licorice Root was prepared and served to at least 500 patrons. It was very well received.

It was also wonderful to watch the guests interact with the serviceware. People were gently instructed to push the "puck" away from them, thereby lowering the strawberry into perfect position. This interaction produced great reactions ranging from surprise, to delight, to confusion, to giddiness. One lady ate 3 in a row -- boom boom boom -- and then demanded to know "who is the person responsible for this -- I need to know!".

gallery_21344_267_1100813069.jpg

Here you can see the antennas at various heights and the motion involved

These events have provided welcome relief from the insular nature of the jobs we are currently working on. After all, it is really all about the food and the patrons...

gallery_21344_267_1100813103.jpg

Left to Right: Martin, Nick, John, Grant, Curtis, Ryan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beautiful! Glad it was so well received.


Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dining should be fun. This looks like fun.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ChefG:  How would you feel about doing a pre-opening night for eGulleters?  My wife and I both enjoyed a tour de force at Trio ("He's really cute!" my wife gushed) and we'd definitely make the trip up to Chicago for such an event.

This is a great idea...my wife and I would fly out from California for this.

I totally missed out on Trio, but I am definitely flying out from California to see the new place. Very excited! I'd love to see Chicago too, never been.


I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations on the event!

Looks like it went off great.

Love the delivery system for the C.S.F.G.L.R. , sounds like a great flavor combo.


2317/5000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phenomenal! Seeing Chef Achatz's creations (and all the Alinea staff that are involved) truly do make me giddy. It is like watching the passing of the torch so to speak in the evolving periods of food and dining. Sort of like witnessing the changing of classical art movements, such as Baroque to Rococo

Rock on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chef Achatz,

When dealing with possible new employees for the kitchen what are a few main points or ideas that make you take interest and agree to grant them a stage? While on the stage how do you normally judge who does and who does not get an opportunity to stay with you longer.

In general what types of responsibilities does a competent long term stage get to take on and how is he compensated for his work?

I am sure you attract a great deal of very talented applicants with the setup of the kitchen and the integrity levels of the work but I am curious as to how you weed these down to a more elite few.

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chef Achatz and Mr. Kokonas...

Happy New Year to you both. The aniticipation regarding Alinea's opening must be at a fever-pitch.

I have a few questions...

1 - What's happening at Alinea right now in terms of printing menus, configuring dining spaces, hiring/training staff, etc.? What big hurdles are left?

2 - Would it be possible to post an interior and exterior photo? When should we look for a website update?

3 - In the Alinea, Grant Achatz's new restaurant thread, Chef you briefly discuss how your preparation methods "[are going]" to (and by now have) impact Alinea's kitchen design and organization. To quote a June 10th posting on that thread...

"As I see it now the team will be composed of at least 15, probably closer to 20 with the presence of externs and long term stages. I am included in that count, as my role is a very involved one in day-to-day prep and service. Under me there will either be three sous chefs OR two sous chefs and a pastry chef. That is yet to be determined. All other staff will be at a chef de partie level, we will not utilize commis at Alinea. Nor will we give classical titles to the cooks such as saucier or garde manger, as the cuisine will not follow those predetermined guidelines."

Can you bring us up to date on the general organization of the kitchen brigade?

As the big day approaches, best of luck to you and the Alinea team.

Kind regards,

- CSR


Edited by C_Ruark (log)

"There's something very Khmer Rouge about Alice Waters that has become unrealistic." - Bourdain; interviewed on dcist.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the latest? Any idea of an opening date? How are preparations coming along?


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your questions. Sorry for the delayed response...

Everything is moving along very well with the development of Alinea. There are so many different aspects of development occurring simultaneously that it is hard to summarize the progress... but here is an attempt.

The Restaurant Build-Out

While there were early fits-and-starts in construction, it is now progressing at a rapid pace. The entire interior of the building was gutted down to the concrete and brick, and we have replaced all of the HVAC, electrical, and plumbing. We are adding several stairways, ducts, etc, so major concrete cutting and steel reinforcement of the structure was done. At this point we are pressing forward with the kitchen installation, framing, and finish work.

Web Site

We have finished development of Phase II of the Alinea website and are simply awaiting some photographic scans to be completed before we launch it -- likely by the end of January. Unlike the trailer, this will be a site that includes photos of the food, detailed menus, and bios of the staff and the creative team. As construction finishes, we will add interior and exterior shots of the restaurant itself, as well as update the content as Alinea evolves.

Reservations

We have decided to open the reservation book on February 7th for dates beginning in May. We believe that we will likely be open before then, but certain time constraining issues remain vague at best... licensing, permitting, etc. If we do open before May, we will post that information on our website, and of course, here on eGullet. If you have emailed us at the info@alinearestaurant.com email, or called our reservation line, you will be receiving an email this week with more details, and will be getting another email in early February before the reservation book opens.

Chef Achatz and the team continue to develop new dishes weekly, some of which will be posted on our website. In addition, the menu and wine list design are complete, the interior furnishings are all in production, and the staff is largely in place. It is an exciting thing for all of us to see how plans made nearly one year ago have begun to take real form.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chef Achatz and the team continue to develop new dishes weekly, some of which will be posted on our website.  In addition, the menu and wine list design are complete, the interior furnishings are all in production, and the staff is largely in place.  It is an exciting thing for all of us to see how plans made nearly one year ago have begun to take real form.

Thanks for the general update, Nick.

What are some of the latest innovations? What is the current status of some of the dishes that have already been introduced to us in their natant phases? I miss the regular information. :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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a very nice metion by Jeff Lyon about Alinea and our project in this week's Chicago Tribune Magazine:

"ChefG: I have a question regarding the seafood sponge." So starts an e-mail to red-hot chef Grant Achatz, who has a dialogue going with fans on www.egullet.org.

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By eG Forums Host
      Introduction

      Welcome to the index for the Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques, & Equipment topic, one of the largest and most influential topics on eG Forums. (The topic has been closed to keep the index stable and reliable; you can find another general SV discussion topic here.) This index is intended to help you navigate the thousands of posts and discussions to make this rich resource more useful and accessible.

      In order to understand sous vide cooking, it's best to clear up some misconceptions and explain some basics. Sous vide cooking involves vacuum-sealing food in a plastic bag and cooking it in a water bath at precise temperatures. Though it translates literally as "under vacuum," "Sous vide" is often taken to mean "under pressure," which is a misnomer; not all SV cooking involves food cooked in conditions that exceed atmospheric pressure. (See below.) In addition, calculations for SV cooking involve not only time and temperature but also thickness. Finally, due to the anaerobic conditions inside the bag and the low temperatures used, food safety issues are paramount.

      You can read the basics of SV cooking and equipment here. In the summer of 2005, Nathan Myhrvold (Society member nathanm) posted this informative, "I'm now going to answer my own initial questions" post, which addresses just about everything up to that point. For what came next, read on -- and be sure to order Nathan Myhrvold's highly anticipated Modernist Cuisine book, due in spring 2011.

      As with all indexes of on-going discussions, this one has limitations. We've done our best to create a user-friendly taxonomy emphasizing the categories that have come up repeatedly. In addition, the science, technology, and recipes changed over time, and opinions varied greatly, so be sure to read updated information whenever possible.

      Therefore, we strongly encourage you to keep these issues in mind when reading the topic, and particularly when considering controversial topics related to food safety, doneness, delta T cooking, and so on. Don't read a first post's definitive claim without reading down the topic, where you'll likely find discussion, if not heated debate or refutation, of that claim. Links go to the first post in a series that may be discontinuous, so be sure to scan a bit more to get the full discussion.

      Recipes were chosen based solely on having a clear set of information, not on merit. Indeed, we've included several stated failures for reference. Where possible, recipes include temperature and time in the link label -- but remember that thickness is also a crucial variable in many SV preparations. (See below for more information on thickness.)

      History, Philosophy & Value of SV/LTLT Cooking

      Over the years, we've talked quite a bit about SV as a concept, starting with this discussion about how SV cooking got started. There have also been several people who asked, Why bother with SV in the first place? (See also this discussion.) What with all the electronics and plastic bags, we asked: Does SV food lack passion? Finally, there have been several discussions about the value of SV cooking in other eG Forums topics, such as the future of SV cooking, No More Sous Vide -- PLEASE!, is SV "real cooking," and what's the appeal of SV?

      Those who embrace SV initially seek ideas about the best applications for their new equipment. Discussions have focused on what a first SV meal should be -- see also this discussion -- and on the items for which SV/LTLT cooking is best suited. There's much more along those lines here, here, and here.

      Vacuums and Pressure in Sous Vide Cooking

      As mentioned above, there has been great confusion about vacuums, pressure, and their role SV cooking. Here is a selection of discussion points on the subject, arranged chronologically; please note that later posts in a given discussion may refute earlier ones:

      Do you need a vacuum for SV cooking, and, if so, why? What exactly is a "vacuum"? Click here, here, and ff. Are items in vacuum-sealed bags "under pressure"? Does a vacuum sealer create a vacuum inside the bag? Do you really need a vacuum, or can you use ZipLoc bags? Also see here, here, and here. If "sous vide" means "under pressure," aren't the items in the bag under pressure? There is more along these lines to be found in this discussion.  

      The Charts

      We've collected the most important of many charts in the SV topic here. Standing above the rest are Nathan Myhrvold's charts for cooking time versus thickness and desired core temperature. We worked with him to create these three reformatted protein tables, for beef, fish, and chicken & pork.

      Nathan provides additional information on his charts here. Information on how to read these charts can be found in this post. For an explanation of "rest time" in Nathan's tables, click here.

      Other Society members helped out as well. Douglas Baldwin references his heating time table for different geometric factors (slab/cylinder/sphere) here; the pdf itself can be found here. pounce created a post with all three tables as neatly formatted images. derekslager created two monospace font charts of Nathan's meat table and his fish table.

      Camano Chef created a cumulative chart with information gathered from other sources including Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc. Douglas Baldwin shared this chart devoted to pasteurizing poultry. PedroG detailed heat loss and steady state energy consumption of sous vide cookers in these charts.

      Finally, there is also an eG Forums topic on cooling rates that may be of interest.

      Acknowledgment & Comments

      This index was built by Chris Amirault, Director, eG Forums. It was reviewed by the eGullet Society volunteer team as well as many Society members. Please send questions or comments to Chris via messenger or email.
       
       
    • By TdeV
      Wikipedia defines pork wings as: a pork product made from the fibula of a pig's shank - a single bone surrounded by lean, tender meat.
      Images from the internet look like a finger-size bit of meat around a bone.
      Mine, however, look more like the meat (lots) which surrounds a bone. My butcher called this cut pork wings.
      You can see on the right that there's a small amount of bone.
         
       
      My butcher said he regularly ate SEVERAL of these. But this one measures 15 oz (425g).
      He also said it had to be cooked slowly.
       
      So, if I cook these sous vide, what temp and for how long?
    • By jedovaty
      Good morning!
       
      Long story short: I am doing a spin off the coconut/chocolate/almond candy (almond joy), and trying to create a specific shape out of the almond.  My hands are cramped after a couple dozen failed attempts whittling roasted almonds, so now I'd like to try a different approach, and instead, create some kind of sub-candy or cookie with roasted almonds that I can put into a mold or use a mini cookie cutter.  I'm fairly new to sweets, my knowledge in this area is pretty slim.  Some ideas so far, I don't like any, but it might help turn some gears:
      1. dusting almond over a stencil, but that's not enough almond nor crunchy enough
      2. almond brittle, but that's too hard and sweet, I'd like it more of a soft crunch, and bringing the almond flavor forward
      3. meringue with almonds (sort of macaron-ish), however, weather has been humid and raining here, and I'm ending up with a gooey mess instead of that soft crunch
       
      In addition to having almond-forward taste and soft crunch texture, it'd be fun to explore something modernish - I have a accumulated a few tools and ingredients not customarily found in homes.
       
      There are dietary considerations I will have to account for, however, no need to worry about that now, I am just looking for ideas and a place to take it from there
       
      Thank you for your time in reading!
    • By Franzisaurus_Rex
      FOOD BRETHREN!
      I need some advice. I have one last piece of pork belly confit in the fridge. I brined these bitches for about 5 days (brine included pink curing salt), vacuum sealed the squares of pork belly with lard and sous vide them at 158 F for 16 hours. I cooked this on 11/10/16 and its been in my refrigerator since. 
      Here is the general recipe I followed, with some modifications based on my taste: https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/...
      The last piece is still vacuum sealed and submerged (mostly) in lard. Any visible pork only has contact with the bag. 
      It's staring at me. And calling my name.
      I want to deep fry this sucker and have a little date night with the handsome devil I see in the mirror every morning, but the last thing I want is spoiled food. I can't find any conclusive information about how long pork confit lasts for. I've only seen references that duck confit or in general that the confit technique will last for months in the fridge. I have found no sources which directly addresses pork confit.
      Questions/Factors I'm Considering:
      - Does pork confit keep for as long as duck confit?
      - Does vacuum sealing have any effect on the length of preservation?
      - Does sous-vide cooking method affect the length of preservation?
      I know I am probably being a bit paranoid, but I thought I would do my due diligence before taking the plunge, so to speak. Any advice on these questions would be extremely helpful and appreciated!
      The Franzisaurus-Rex
      PS - you should totally make this if you are into sous vide, confit, food, or have any respect for the enjoyment of life. Flash-searing these things after cooking was OUT OF THIS WORLD.
    • By JoNorvelleWalker
      The NY Times has a current article in the science section "A Universe of Bubbles in Every Champagne Bottle".
       
      The article asserts that it is better to serve Champagne at warmer than refrigerator temperatures so that the bubbles are larger and convey more flavor.  Also to serve in a narrow glass.
       
      However Gerard Liger-Belair (who is referenced as an authority in the Times article) points out in his book Uncorked (forward by Herve This) that the colder the wine the more viscous and the more dissolved CO2.  Liger-Belair also prefers a goblet to a flute.  I bought Uncorked after reading about it in Liquid Intelligence from Dave Arnold.
       
      Discuss.
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.