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Voyage into Creativity

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Simply: thank you for sharing with us. You've given me insight, educated me, and made me curious. What a gift.

Not to mention, I've developed an obscene addiction to Spanish almonds, maracona (sp?), and I hold you directly responsible!  :laugh:

Thank you, Judith for the repeated kind responses. I do appreciate them. Those marcona almonds are nastily addictive though, aren't they? Don't get started on iberico though! That can be a very expensive habit. :wink::laugh:


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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A few photos from Ferran Adria's small group demonstration:

gallery_8158_4179_60916.jpg

The line-up of Texturas Products.

gallery_8158_4179_57228.jpg

Ferran chats with Dr. Tim Ryan, President of the Culinary Institute of America through an interpreter.

gallery_8158_4179_70689.jpg

Harold McGee and Ferran Adria. McGee was the moderator of the session.

gallery_8158_4179_78212.jpg

Potato vs. truffle. How would the potato be viewed if it was as rare and costly as a truffle?

gallery_8158_4179_53316.jpg

A demonstration and discussion.

gallery_8158_4179_14875.jpg

Ferran and his lightly cooked clams.

gallery_8158_4179_65493.jpg

Rafa Morales and Ferran Adria squeeze shrimp heads.

gallery_8158_4179_19134.jpg

Lightly cooked shrimp.

gallery_8158_4179_69949.jpg

Rafa Morales pours melted ice cream into an Isi "Gourmet Whip" to make whipped cream. Many of Adria's techniques are transferable to a home kitchen.

gallery_8158_4179_12566.jpg

Adria makes carrot "air".

gallery_8158_4179_32226.jpg

Using Xantham Gum.

gallery_8158_4179_35902.jpg

Ferran with a can of agar.

gallery_8158_4179_51311.jpg

gallery_8158_4179_81830.jpg

Making fresh orange sorbet with liquid nitrogen.

Though it has taken awhile, this concludes the content for my presentation of this incredible conference that I was fortunate enough to attend. I hope that you have enjoyed it and perhaps more inclined to set a place for Spain and Spanish food at your table.


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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Jeez, 'doc!

it's been awhile sice I first ventured into this amazing essay.

truly great stuff.

Question: You mention book signings by Oriol Balaguer amongst others.

Was it Dessert Cuisine or La Cocina Dolce or a (I pray) a new one?

Thanks again for such a stellar presentation!


Edited by tan319 (log)

2317/5000

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Jeez, 'doc!

it's been awhile sice I first ventured into this amazing essay.

truly great stuff.

Question: You mention book signings by Oriol Balaguer amongst others.

Was it Dessert Cuisine or La Cocina Dolce or a (I pray) a new one?

Thanks again for such a stellar presentation!

Thanks, Ted. I remember seeing Dessert Cuisine, but not the other. It's a beautiful book.


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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The L.A. Times has an article today on Identità Golose:

http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo...-headlines-food

The Taste of Things to Come

At a most unusual chefs' conference, great ideas trumped pomp and pretention.

By Regina Schrambling, Special to The Times

February 7, 2007

Milan, Italy — THINK of Italy, and wild and crazy exchanges of cooking ideas are not what come to mind first. This is a country where each and every region is a world apart; the Tuscans in the center might as well be on Mars for all the interaction with the Piemontese to the northwest.

Which makes the frenzy of Identità Golose (literally "greedy identity") all the more extraordinary. For three days last week some of the biggest names in "molecular gastronomy" (Ferran Adrià, Wylie Dufresne) were mixing and matching secrets with more traditional chefs from Italy, France, Scandinavia, even Japan. The result was a dazzling exploration of new ways to cook fish, present pasta and generally make a restaurant meal more like a night at La Scala. Throw in sugar surrealism for dessert and it was hard to remember this was all happening in the land of plain fruit and tired tiramisu.


Edited by Joe Blowe (log)

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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The L.A. Times has an article today on Identità Golose:

http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo...-headlines-food

The Taste of Things to Come

At a most unusual chefs' conference, great ideas trumped pomp and pretention.

By Regina Schrambling, Special to The Times

February 7, 2007

Milan, Italy — THINK of Italy, and wild and crazy exchanges of cooking ideas are not what come to mind first. This is a country where each and every region is a world apart; the Tuscans in the center might as well be on Mars for all the interaction with the Piemontese to the northwest.

Which makes the frenzy of Identità Golose (literally "greedy identity") all the more extraordinary. For three days last week some of the biggest names in "molecular gastronomy" (Ferran Adrià, Wylie Dufresne) were mixing and matching secrets with more traditional chefs from Italy, France, Scandinavia, even Japan. The result was a dazzling exploration of new ways to cook fish, present pasta and generally make a restaurant meal more like a night at La Scala. Throw in sugar surrealism for dessert and it was hard to remember this was all happening in the land of plain fruit and tired tiramisu.

I wonder if the following passage from the article is a portent of the 2007 season at El Bulli?

Adrià, who was greeted like Mick Jagger by an auditorium full of chefs, food media and others, also demonstrated his new technique for turning seaweed into "caviar" by mixing chemicals to gel it and dropping it into liquid from a syringe. But that was just part of his larger point that seaweed is the ingredient of the future, given that no fewer than 500 varieties exist, many known only by their biological names at this point.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

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

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I appreciated the information that the author was presenting, but 'tired tiramisu'? She needs to get out a little more. I can't remember the last time I saw tiramisu at a restaurant in Italy. Maybe that's what they serve in L.A. at Italian restaurants?

Apparently she responds to sweets more than savory:

"Sugar traditionalists can hope more chefs took away the last lesson of the conference, given by Galileo Reposo, a twentysomething chef who worked at Alain Ducasse's new restaurant in Tuscany. One of his creations layered pistachio shortbread with orange conserve, then partially gelled pastry cream, followed by a dip in melted white chocolate and a dusting of chopped pistachios; the precise perfection was plated with pistachio cream and orange sorbet. It was clearly more French pâtisserie than Italian dolce. But it could be a huge advance over tiramisu in a country where the food borders are now wide open."

I'm guessing this was put in here so that we could all go, "EEEEWWWW!"

"But most were left to the palate's imagination (luckily, in the case of the purée of pork lung and Jerusalem artichoke served under sweetbreads baked in blood pudding and garnished with shards of crispy pig's ear that a Swedish chef concocted)."

Sorry, the article couldn't make up its mind if it wanted to be snarky, informative or just gratuitous.

Edit because I couldn't make the quote thing work properly.


Edited by hathor (log)

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I love Spain and its various sections. I love the food. I love the scenery and I love the people. I have had the pleasure and good fortune to visit parts of the country several times over recent years and certainly looked forward to going back at some point in the not-to-distant future. That is until this conference which whet the appetite for a return for both my wife and myself that simply couldn't wait too long. This past weekend we returned from an all too brief, but very intense culinary tour de force to Catalunya and the Community of Valencia. I will use this topic to relate a few observations.

Spain has become known for its inventive modern cuisine manifest most visibly to the world by Ferran Adria and elBulli. The incredible level of creativity of that restaurant and others, I am happy to say, continues. It does so, but the quality, degree and recognition of Spain's traditional cuisines have assumed greater prominence in the imaginations of both the chefs and the public than I recall from recent visits. For the most part, the cuisines exist in harmony with respect for both approaches and in many cases harmonious co-existence within the same restaurant or in the work of the same chef in sister restaurants. An example of the former is El Poblet, Quique Dacosta's vanguard haven in Denia in Alicante. While Dacosta's degustation menu is decidedly vanguardist, his regular menu is strong on tradition and pristine ingredients. An example of the latter is Maria Jose San Roman's neighboring restaurants, Monastrell and La Taberna in the city of Alicante. Though not unabashedly vanguardist, Monastrell is creative alta cocina retaining respect for local tradition. La Taberna is unabashedly traditional.

Ca Sento in Valencia has been described under the helm of Raul Alexeindre as a "vanguardist" haven. Though Aleixandre has great respect for his mentor Adria, I saw straightforward, beautiful presentations of traditional cuisine with an emphasis on spurity and simplicity. The meal was outstanding, the highlights of which were a cigala a la plancha on a bed of salt and a crab and shrimp based fideua.

Yet the vanguardists, including Adria and Joan Roca continue to create marvelous and delicious dishes. These dishes, while still offering exotic ingredients and not lacking in the technical innovations that both chefs have become known for are clearly based on their own Catalan and Spanish traditions. Dishes were loaded with local ingredients and acknowledgment of local culinary traditions. Perhaps Roca's most discussed recent dish - "Mar y Montaña" - an oyster "sauced lightly with a distillate of local "earth" is the best example of this. Surf and turf is a classic Catalan composition with this being a natural offshoot of that tradition. The minerals from the earth are supposed to provide the same component to the oyster as a great wine match like a flinty Chablis. I had the dish and it worked! I enjoyed the combination even if it may not become my favorite mode of eating the bivalves. It tasted good, it made me think and it made me laugh. What more can one ask for from alta cucina?

Though the vanguard remains strong and creativity continues to be a prominent aspect throughout Spanish culture, the continued and perhaps even exalted quality of the more traditional culinary components of Spanish cooking such as seafood and pork has become ever more in demand. This is true despite an obvious increase in cost of enjoying these delicacies. This is particularly true of seafood as supply pressures are becoming more obvious with extremely high prices for items that were perhaps more readily available a few years ago.

Our trip took us through the highest circles of Catalan Vanguard cooking and traditional cuisines. In a week we made it to elBulli, Can Roca, L'Esguard, Kiosk Universal, Aligue and the home of friends in Catalunya; and Levante, Casa Montaña, El Poblet, Ca Sento, Monastrell and Taberna in Valencia/Alicante. We had great tastes of both the vanguard and the traditional. I for one, am glad that both types of cooking exist and especially there, where they co-exist so well. It makes life and dining so much more interesting and 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

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Our trip took us through the highest circles of Catalan Vanguard cooking and traditional cuisines. In a week we made it to elBulli, Can Roca, L'Esguard, Kiosk Universal, Aligue and the home of friends in Catalunya; and Levante, Casa Montaña, El Poblet, Ca Sento, Monastrell and Taberna in Valencia/Alicante. We had great tastes of both the vanguard and the traditional. I for one, am glad that both types of cooking exist and especially there, where they co-exist so well. It makes life and dining so much more interesting and fun.

Good lord. You did all that in a week???

You know what you have really made me aware of: that 'vanguardism' in Spain is organic. Meaning that it has grown, logically and respectfully from it's traditional roots. This is a critical distinction.

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Very belated, but...

Thanks for the meticulous documentation of the WoF conference. I've been working in the kitchen at the conferences for the past three years, but considered 2006 the best yet. The hours at the conference are long to begin with; taking the extra time each day to photograph, write, and organize shows a real commitment.

Although working in the Graystone kitchens was (and always is) a treat, it didn't afford any real opportunity to see the presentations or to hear the discussions. As the presentations and breakout sessions were going on, we were doing prep for upcoming demonstrations and cooking for the evening barrel room tastings. Your narrative and pictures actually gave me more of a sense of the conference than working at the conference!


brian

"Num Num!"

-Julia

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Very belated, but...

Thanks for the meticulous documentation of the WoF conference. I've been working in the kitchen at the conferences for the past three years, but considered 2006 the best yet. The hours at the conference are long to begin with; taking the extra time each day to photograph, write, and organize shows a real commitment.

Although working in the Graystone kitchens was (and always is) a treat, it didn't afford any real opportunity to see the presentations or to hear the discussions. As the presentations and breakout sessions were going on, we were doing prep for upcoming demonstrations and cooking for the evening barrel room tastings. Your narrative and pictures actually gave me more of a sense of the conference than working at the conference!

Thanks for the feedback, Brian and welcome to eGullet! Without the work of yourself and others like you the Conference couldn't have been the success that it was.


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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