What did you eat last night for dinner?

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Fabienne, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. mordecai

    mordecai Immoderator

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    Yes. I look like Dan Barber.
     
  2. mgm9128

    mgm9128 Senior member

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    My point was that if you are going to go to a place like Daniel, and haven't been before, then you should experience what they are known for, and do best (modern French cuisine). They are not known for vegetarian tasting menus.

    On a second or third trip, go ahead and try the vegetarian menu, if you please.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  3. SField

    SField Senior member

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    He's saying in a very nice way that you're still quite a culinary troglodyte. If I think of every great chef I have worked for and with, I know that all of them are most inspired by vegetables. I also know that every last one of them would give a very solid "wtf" to your statements, if they didn't know that you're a young, clueless man who is asking questions with a genuine desire to learn.

    I don't think any less of you, but I think your whole thought process toward food is still a little... mid western, and requires quite a paradigm shift. You see, a real chef doesn't exactly have a hierarchy of products. They might prefer certain things, but no one whose opinion on food that I respect would think of vegetables as a sort of second fiddle to anything. Any vegetable innately possesses as much potential as any protein, and perhaps even more because one can apply far more technical processes with most vegetables than one can with meat.

    Your association of what is "delicious" is still, in my opinion, too focused on meat and fish, probably owing to the fact that your parents were not terribly adventurous eaters (as you've admitted.) The simple fact is that "delicious" can be anything. I regard the warm winter salad at Spiaggia (maybe my favorite dish there) with the same relish and anticipation as I do the potato wrapped haddock at Daniel or the thai duck Satay at Graham Elliot. I think you've got to get rid of this artificial hierarchy in which proteins are the real reason for getting up in the morning, so to speak, and vegetables are sort of the chores that go along with it. I know that's oversimplifying it, but the very fact that an 8 course tasting menu of vegetables is so strange to you, and the fact that you're defending such an asinine idea so vehemently with as little experience that you have is very telling about your attitude towards food.

    Again, I think you like to be direct in your correspondance and even though it pisses some people off, I know that you really are just trying to learn. And I really want to reiterate that in fact, I'd be doubly interested in seeing what Bouloud would do with vegetables. Believe me, I have every confidence in saying that in the last 15 years, my fine dining habits have probably only been matched by Michelin guide inspectors. Where do I find the least amount of deviation from your *, ** and *** restaurants, and even the bib gourmand recommendations? The meat. Where does the real difference start to show between a great bib gourmand recommendation and a ***? To me besides the most obvious things such as presentation and service etc... vegetables.

    You're throwing away the largest part of the color possibilities, and you're choosing to paint with just a few shades of 2 primary colors. It's a shame and I hope you'll re-examine your stance.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  4. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    Exactly. The two best dishes I've ever had I enjoyed last month in France. Not my pics, but they were:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The amount of flavor was just astounding.
     
  5. SField

    SField Senior member

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    It requires a paradigm shift. Anything can be delicious. It doesn't have to be earthy and dense, as meat and fish are, relatively speaking. It's just a mindset and once you can divorce yourself from this sort of crutch that requires a heavy protein, you're better off. As far as food for enjoyment is concerned, it's all really about flavor, and vegetables can do that just as well and (in my opinion,) better than meat.
     
  6. SField

    SField Senior member

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    Very glad you were able to go. Have had some of my best there too. Have you done a veg tasting at Savoy?
     
  7. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    I've not. I have eaten there several times, and had some of their more famous vegetable dishes, but never a whole menu. Is it worth doing? I plan on going back next time we are in Paris.

    It's fair to say that the famous Bras dish is what changed *** cooking w/r/t vegetables, no?
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  8. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    SField's my new bro. :fonz:
    mgm, you're a baby. a talented baby, but still a baby. i admire your eagerness to learn, but you drive me crazy by your needing to learn by argumentation. when people who have been cooking longer than you've been alive tell you something, maybe the best recourse is to try it and see rather than to debate them.
     
  9. SField

    SField Senior member

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    Yes, in a way, because Robuchon's approach was more elevating provencal ideas without really re-inventing them. Bras took a more refined approach, although his background is just as humble as Robuchon's. I mean, it's mainly owing to Robuchon, Ducasse and Bras that French food is what it is now. Sometimes influences are more obvious than others (because Bras is the least famous of the three, owing to the fact that he possesses a fraction of the ego and a different kind of ambition), but their styles were the basic driving force behind the expansion of vegetable cookery. Robuchon was in particular very inspired in Japan where they've always paid a lot of attention to them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  10. mordecai

    mordecai Immoderator

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    I wonder if the Japanese feel about French vegetable tasting menus the way you do about Alice Waters.
     
  11. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    Thanks.
     
  12. SField

    SField Senior member

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    Kindly take a look at the number of French michelin restaurants in Toyko for the answer to that question. Make no mistake, Japanese cuisine is at the level that it is at now because of the French, and they know and celebrate it.
     
  13. mordecai

    mordecai Immoderator

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    I'll take your word for it. Your comment about Robuchon just made me think of the Impressionists, obsessed with resolving the dilemma of composition in Western art after being exposed to Japanese prints (not that this was by any means the only factor)by artists that never experienced that dilemma in the first place.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  14. SField

    SField Senior member

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    Well.. I mean there's a veritable feast of western material venerating Japanese culture and art, but to be honest I think Meiji and thereafter Japan more than reciprocated with the biggest franco/anglo/italian obsession one could ever imagine.
     
  15. mordecai

    mordecai Immoderator

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    Oh, completely. Exhibit A, Streetwear & Denim.
     

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