Food for Thought...

Quite often, I am somewhere, just contemplating food pairings...one thing with this, and another thing with that, or maybe with this over there, or even, if it makes sense, altogether, to make something totally unique! I know that this theory does not jive with all chef's, and that's cool, because that is what makes things interesting, and keeps us as professionals and craftspeople individual. Imagine if all the houses or cars that manufacturer's produced all looked alike and had all the same features?... How boring would that be! I like to look at food in new ways, and ways that bring new tastes to the forefront, challenging one's mind, one's palate and thought about flavor. That is not to say that I like to be different, just for the sake of being so,(yet it sometimes turns out that way) but to provoke something incredible and so tasty that you can simply enjoy it for the sake of it being surreal and mindblowing. Some chef's keep it very simple, and everyone can surely appreciate that, for those flavors we all can sense in our minds and taste buds are so vivid due to this subscription or submission. But I tend to like to explore the realms of quite a few layers later...a universe of ingredients, a new technique not used everyday, or more so, flavors and combinations that are not so commonplace. And why not? Why not be a bit crazy and insane? I am blessed with the ability and gift of having a good palate and the passion to be able to craft my workmanship together with technology and bring new flavors to life. As I once read, "one can not explore new oceans unless one is willing to lose sight of the shore". As cliche as that may sound, it holds truth and honesty in our cooking. I offer you as a reader this...try things together that you normally would not. As long as you use common sense, good, strong technique and great ingredients, it is hard to steer down the wrong path. Albeit, you may certainly come up with some pairings that your average guest or friend may not approve of, but you will feel good about not being afraid to explore. Remember Christopher Columbus? As a cook, what have you got to lose?
Here are just a few thought provoking ideas and new dimensions in flavor below:

Cinnamon/Potato/Garlic and Lime
White Chocolate/Caviar/Prosciutto/Smoked Paprika
Dark Chocolate/White Anchovy/Olives
Coffee/Lamb/Wild Mushroom/Truffle
Sea Urchin/Vermouth/Nutmeg/Artichoke
Parmesan-Olive Oil Ice Cream/Prosciutto/Linzer
Foie Gras/Bittersweet Chocolate/Pineapple
Pedro Ximenez/Caramel/Strawberry/Black Pepper/Mascarpone
Truffle/Lime/Mushroom/Pigs Feet/Armagnac
Habanero/Mango/Chocolate/Smoked Porcini

Well, that is a start, or perhaps an end to something you wish nothing more than to cast away as being utterly ridiculous. That is understandable and even predictable. But I ask you...what if? How did Ferran and Albert, or the whole host of others in their wake(Achatz, Dufresne, Arola, Trotter, Andreas, Balaguer, Herme, Rovira, etc.) come to what is arguably some of the most inventive cuisine of the last couple decades? Did they sit back on their laurels and rely on their good looks or their conservative and pedestrian style of cuisine? No, they forged ahead where others would dare not! Now, we see many talented and skilled, young and old, male and female cuisiniers trying ever so daringly to be different, and yet, to be the same in that we want to be good! To be rewarded by our customers, our peers and most of all, our pride of something we alone, or maybe together created. I always say to those around me..."it is not my guests whom I strive to please, yet it is I, for if I can do that, I can please them. If I can not, then perhaps nobody can. If I have not, then I did not do my best"! With this I rest. In good food and cooking...cuisinier.


Blogger Dana said...

The combo's are inspiring. Litchi is one of my favorite flavors ever.

I am very interested to hear about the non alcoholic pairings you are doing. It is largely new territory for restaurants to pair non alcoholic beverages of thier own creations, is it not?

I would love to take you up and stage a little in the kitchen! I wrote to what I thought was Tyler's email, if I remembered correctly. I am very excited to experience the creativity you and Tyler seem to inspire first hand.

My email is DanaBickford@gmail.com.


1:57:00 PM  
Blogger cuisinier said...

Thanks Dana, and you are right, it is not a very weel traveled path, at least here in Seattle, and I have yet to experience it much elsewhere. Laundry, Trotters, Per Se yes, but not much else. I will keep looking though. We do it because it makes sense. Also, since I do not drink myself, I am much more sensitive to the topic. You have already received my email reply so please feel welcome. Looking forward to it! cuisinier.

6:33:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home