Who do you buy your food from?
The times, they are a-changing in the restaurant industry. I've noticed a sharp increase in what I call the omnivore effect...people who read Omnivore's Dilemma and simply said, freak the fuck out. Example: Waitress A comes to the window on Saturday night and says: "I have a guest that's asking if the lamb is local, if it's from California, if we buy it from a farm, and if we do buy it from a farm, what the farm's name is."
I'm surprised they didn't just ask what the lamb's name was.
This is Jerry. His rack is a little shy on meat, but tender as hell. (Picture from statesinn.com...thanks guys)
People have "food allergies"...and while im sympathetic to my nephew, who has celiac, I am not sympathetic to the guest that has an allergy to shrimp, but is ok with "just a little" shrimp stock in their cioppino. If you don't like a particular food, just say so.
I may want to know where my food comes from...but im not going to demand to know before I order. Sad that something supposedly as enjoyable as eating out might someday come with a checklist:
- Is it organic?
- Is it local?
- Is it sustainable?
- Is it in season?
- Does the farm it came from have a really cute name?
- If it isn't local, did they use bio diesel to get it here?
- Was the container it came in recyclable?
Work.Rachel said something interesting to me the other night. "You're lucky. You get to experiment all the time..." It was something I knew, but hadn't really thought about much recently. I am lucky. I do get to experiment. And it really made me think about exactly why this point in my development as a chef is going to end up being so important. Thursday night saw me struggling with genuvisco j...constantly gelling and melting and checking notes. And in the end, it was experimenting...but under pressure, and during a dinner service. I doubt the guys at dow chemical are ever given a two hour window to develop their formulas.
It would be nice to get be like Ferran Adria and experiment and develop new techniques six months out of the year, but sadly, freedom like that will not be very likely in my lifetime, unless my lucky lotto numbers end up paying off.
Another Rachel interaction was the age old argument of food as art. The catalyst was the new foie.
I've had this conversation many, many times...and the conclusion always seems to be that yes, cooking has artistic elements to it...but as Rachel said, is not "high art." I say that cooking is simply a craft. I can teach you how to cook. I can teach you how to plate. I cannot teach you how to dance, or sing, or paint. Does plate presentation take a certain eye? Sure. So does carpentry...which for the most part, is craft. I can say that a guy like Grant Achatz kind of confuses my argument though.
The Round Up.
- Really cool post about controlling water over at tasting menu.
- More hydrocolloid porn here.
- Ideas In Food. Enough said.
- Hottest pepper ever?
- Need a unique garnish? Food102 has got you covered.
- Saturday night. It went just fine.
- A waitress asks Justin why I hate her. He tells her "Get over it. He hates everyone."
- Dinner Tuesdays. Joey, booze, and way too much food.
- Brazilian Blue Bottle Coffee
- Not setting my clock back an hour, so when I wake up in a daze, I freak out and jump out of bed, thinking i've slept in.
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