Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hear No Evil

Feel free to click this link and listen to a nice Around Noon. At about 30 min. in there's a Crooked River Smokers mention. They also cover what to do with a Bourbon Red. Originally a cross itself, the breed raises questions as to what really constitutes a heirloom. As it goes, it's just a matter of time before the Green Zebra gets that curious distinction.

And speaking of heirlooms and traditions, this evening I found myself in a conversation about the fried caesar salad cube I enjoyed at Komi. Also the foie gras cromesquis I had while in Montreal (both discussed last post). One conversation participant abstained from comment on the fried cubes of goodness. The other, a friend and chef I couldn't respect more, noted that that wasn't "real food." Bull shit. Look to art for a parallel. Even conceding that I'm a sucker for most things Dutch, I think it's hard to say that Van Gogh's impressionist paintings are not "real art." The francophiles have Monet (this exhibit introduced me to Michel Richard). I'm not bagging on the stuff that came before them (Rembrandt, another Dutchman, is just fine), but those guys were "real" artists making "real art." At least I think so.

So now, and for a while now, we have people breaking tradition with food. Moving from the norms and traditional processes. Shocking. Can you imagine the reaction to the first person who confited a duck leg in Gascony? Some person saying "My god man, we ROAST ducks, we don't SIMMER them in fat." Maybe that's not the actual origin, but I don't have this book to check. I do like my version though. Either way, someone tried something new and came up with something delicious. Sure, it might have required the use of a crock instead of a spit. It also may have required a long slow cooking time instead of a relatively short one over a fire (kind of sounds like sous vide, which is apparently all the rage these days). Regardless, some things work, and over time the things that don't hopefully fall by the wayside. All I know is that the fried caesar salad was fantastic. And I know it was real because I ate it.

Needless to say, in my happy hour glory I failed to compare molecular gastronomy to an art movement. Not that it would have gotten me too far. That chef is pretty sharp, and pretty rigid. That's probably why I love her restaurant (the pictures on the site don't nearly do it justice).

Pic courtesy of Jon Sawyer's blog. And thanks for the propers.


Anonymous said...


While I would never dare compare myself to Johnny Monis, this reminds me of a comment I've had on my cooking. Namely a goat cheese ice cream. Paraphrasing: "It might be the best goat cheese ice cream, but it will never replace vanilla". True, but what I enjoy most about cooking is new flavor combinations or techniques with interesting results. Granted, there is a reason the classics are the classics, but it would be sad to think that there was no new “real food” left to discover.

The CFT said...

Thanks. I've had that ice cream and agree with that comment. And to be frank, I wouldn't compare Monis to Van Gogh. Not until he lops off an ear.

It would have been nice to have been around and gotten the person on the street's opinion of what Careme was doing. And then Escoffier. I imagine folks were sharpening the guillotine. Now they've been canonized.

Simone said...

I have tagged you in a blog chain, here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.