The chef anthropologist
I have a confession to make. I am internally conflicted. Not a conflict of character or some moral dilemma, although there are aspects of that to my confliction. My conflict resides in an obsessive fascination with molecular gastronomy, while simultaneously disdaining it.
I read articles and watch videos about Grant Achatz and Ferran Adria in excess, and I am always seeking to try restaurants that are pushing the envelope and offering unique taster menus that I can try. Yet, there is a fundamental issue I have with most of the basic tenets of this kind of culinary artistry, particularly as it pertains to what I do and how I have defined myself as a chef.
Much of my interest and education in cooking has revolved around being true to culture. Finding spices, ingredients and techniques that somehow represent a group of people and bringing them to my little corner of the world. Food as education. Food as cultural exchange. Generally this food tends to be more rustic, simplistic, yet elegant and always focused upon the ingredients being utilized. I have sought out farmers whom I have built a relationship with to provide me with the fresh ingredients that are the basis of my cuisine. Meat, eggs, vegetables, spices, all the necessary components of my culinary artist’s palate, so to speak.
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