vendredi 17 octobre 2008


What do you call this particular type of pumpkin ?
if anybody knows, please tell me !!

of molecular cooking

Just a few things come to mind following a short portrait of Ferran Adria
Having had the "privilege" of dining at El Bulli a couple of years back, i must admit that it may well have have been the best meal of my life. If it wasn't, then it certainly was the most incredible dining experience.
Adria and his co-deconstructers have certainly achieved one thing : to propulse and establish gastronomy to the same artistic heights as painting, music...
They have certainly "intellectualised" food by decomposing and recomposing the physical aspects of the products, and yet keeping the taste of the product intact as our reference; why should carrot soup be orange and siped from a spoon ? when it could be frothed and just melt in the mouth... why not inhale something before eating something else just to enhance the taste of it ?
The effect is a little similar to cubism i find. Deconstruct to rebuild after.
He brings emotion out of our senses. What's crazier than eating frozen parmasan froth accompanied by red berry muesli ? the savoury coolness and softness of the froth, the crunchiness, aspect mixed with the sweet and sour of the berries... awesome
Having said that, one can't help wondering if such a meal was good or not, as the only reference we have are our taste buds, and most of the (35 in my case) dishes can be eaten almost anywhere. But the deconstruction of the products destabalises the eater to such an extent that he really needs the have the tastes in his gustative memory to appreciate what he is eating.
So one question pops to mind: does one need a gustative education before even thinking of entering such a place ? is this just become a new playgroung for the intellectual elite to distance itself a little more from the "people" ? it this also a new playground for the rich who can affor tanks of liquid nitrogen to cook their gambas at precisely -257 °F ?
It seems weird that molecular cuisine has reached into such scientific detail that one could imagine robots preparing the dishes in the very near future... that would be a great way to mass produce this excellence the the "people" !

mercredi 15 octobre 2008


Thierry Marx is one hell of a chef. One of the co-founders of molecular gastronomy, he is to me, one of the few chefs that has really managed to impose the far eastern relationship with food into our european way of thinking. I spent the morning with him during a prensentation of different dishes, and during those 3 hours he showed, explained and defended the whole concept of "molecular cooking".
Despite all the bla blas and hooraahs or booings about deconstructive gastronomy, one MUST remember that these chefs know their food like nobody else. Mr. Marx has travelled the world, especially in the far east to get to "know" his food, and the foundation of his cooking lies in a few simple dogmas, that comme straight out of common sense; respect of the product, freshness of the product, and never (or nearly never) exposing his food to high temperatures. Most of his dishes are cooked a low tempreatures to keep them tender.

Well hidden is his philantropic side that is so predictable when you hear him talk, and yet so discreet as he never imposes this facet. He works intensly on creating different diets in assisting cancer relief programms. He also has many dicovery workshops aimed to help parents and children have a more stable and varied diet.

Why can't all my mornings be as great as this ?

let's talk about spice

This is my 3 spice powder.
composed of : rock salt, Sitchuan pepper and Star aniseed.
Pan roast every thing for a few seconds, or until you get the fragrances all over the room, then crush them all together.
And it keeps for along time.
As for the proportions, as usual play by nose and tongue.
You can use it for so many things; rub it on raw duck/pork then either roast or grill or even steam the meats.
Then you can dip the cooked slices into the mix as you're eating. Changes from soya sace or what ever !

mercredi 1 octobre 2008

speed of life

It's amazing how life can just zip by so fast. One minute you're a teenager, the next, you've just passed 40 and wonder what the fuck you're doing in the world.
Unfortunately, we live in a time and age where the most time consuming activity we have is WORK. Some of us, if not most, of even bring some of it home. It's so ubiquitious in time and space that finding other things to do necessitates sometimes so much energy that I could easily resign myself to living the rest of my life in a hammock... but with family, in laws, friends and my appetite to feed, the hammock must sadly wait.
So I come to the point of my rant.
Our curiosity for new products, new ways of cooking, new associations must be and remain our passion, our drive, and in my case, my therapy...

So being (as usual) having been caught by time, and having six people waiting for diner when i got home, checke the fridge. Lots of Chianti... a buch of fading basil.
So you chop up the basil as finely as possible, mix it with enough garlic to give you a killer breath for 3 days, as much parmasan you can grate between two glasses of wine, and a good 3 soupspoons of your best olive oil per person. Black pepper by the ton and a sprinkle of salt. Make your spag al dente.
[My friend A-M [ak!] always told me that pasta puts you in a good mood. How right she was]
Mix, serve, laugh, enjoy.