Friday, May 30, 2008

Simplify

I am becoming more and more convinced that one of the most important trends in the future will be doing as little to the food as possible. That all of the great dishes will be the ones that have had the least done to them. It will be the cooks job to present the ingredients he/she has at hand and allow them to speak for themselves. The days of complicated, over worked food will come to an end. The next generation of cooks and those to follow them will take a carrot and let the carrot tell its story. They will take a beautiful grass fed piece of beef and simply cook it, properly. Perfectly grown peaches will be served as they are with little adornment. In past days cooks had to manipulate food. They had to serve heavy sauces. They had to present ingredients in complicated ways because often times the meats, vegetables, fish, fruits, and all else were in poor shape because transportation was slow and refrigeration was poor. Today, and in future generations, cooks have and will have at their disposal the freshest ingredients with which to work. I did an interview the other day concerning the various ways to use fresh cream and summer fruits. Through out the interview the one interviewing me kept wanting me to talk about complicated desserts. He wanted me to give ideas that were difficult. I kept coming back to simple ideas that simply presented the fruits and cream. Finally as the interview was coming to a close he started getting idea. I was trying to tell him that it makes absolutely no sense to do more then we have to with the idea. Why would we want to fold this and that into a mixture and add some of the fruit and then toss some of this into and then cut and shape it a certain way when what we have is already nearly perfect. By the time we cooks get through adding and chopping and cooking the one main ingredient is lost. Why not simply take that beautiful strawberry that we only see for a few very short weeks in June and celebrate it's flavor by only doing the barest necessity in accompaniments. I would rather pair that amazing strawberry with some other near perfect item and call it good. If those who dine with us at the restaurant learn one thing from me it's this: Life is already to complicated to eat complicated food.

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