Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Fabienne, Jan 31, 2005.
Yeh, I feel the same way impolyt, and I do agree that it can go a bit too avant garde for my taste.
I won't defend hovering potatoes on a stick, but I do think a large part of why people dine at nice restaurants is to not only taste a great meal, but to have a full experience. One that dazzles the senses, both through taste and vision. It isn't every day that you will eat food presented as it is in places like The French Laundry or Per Se, or eat a salad of radishes that looks like mine. But that's the point. It's what makes it special.
Fish Burrito from Rubio's. Its been a long time.
you're on your own now, buddy...
It's like watching a movie and becoming distracted by the CGI to the point where you stop thinking about the plot and suddenly start wondering how the director made some effect that contributes absolutely nothing to the film but proof that the director is good with CGI. Or it's like reading a book and thinking "Wow, this author has tremendous vocabulary!" when he uses some needlessly obscure adjective that is way outside the lexicon of the reader and a redundant version of one already within it. It's just stupid.
This is potato soup at Alinea. The bowl used is made of wax. They make these wax bowls and discard them. You pull the stick out thru the side of the bowl and everything on the stick falls into the soup and then you have a bite or two. There are different textures and items are of different temperatures in this dish. The presentation helps control the textures and temperatures and when they all come together the contrasts of texture and temperatures is quite something for something that is really pretty simple but conceptually complex. The plating/presentation here is more than just an aesthetic. The process to combine ingredients and doing it just before you eat it is what makes the dish work. It was innovative, but essential to get the effect and experience the chef wants you to have. It was delicious as well.
It's pretty awkward, not to mention that the same thing could've been accomplished without a wax bowl or a stick to make shit levitate above your soup. Along the same lines as the discussion above, it's the food equivalent of dumb runway hats.
sh you seem to forget the adage that we eat first with our eyes. a good chef kind of has to make a visually appealing plate, its been done for a long long time now. also i think you may be missing the point about well-plated foods. you're kind of seeing the trees but not the forest as it were.
For something as fleeting as a bowl of soup or a salad, there is only so much that can be done to make it a better plate of food before it becomes contrived spectacle and I simply look at it and see a victim of creative ego. I'm not saying it isn't pretty or indicative of genius as an isolated object in a vacuum. It is. I'm just saying the process of dining is ultimately holistic, and anything that diverts my attention from eating the food or socializing to simply coveting the food for some unnecessary reason is going to sour the experience. I really wouldn't enjoy eating dinner in such a hysterical atmosphere and no matter how slick a person is, taking photos of salads is just as hysterical as taking photos of the Mona Lisa with 80 tourists. If I were a really talented chef, I wouldn't let my restaurant become a peep show for culinary pornographers and I'd start by not suspending potatoes from the air.
No, this really misses the point, and unlike SH, I think spending a moderate time on making something look nice is worth it. I also think there is a difference between cataloguing what you are doing and setting up your tripod in a restaurant, but whatever. I do think that you tend to miss some of the broader points with food, as evidenced with this post.
I agree with both Matt and SH. In fact, I'll copy/paste sentences together: Spending a moderate time on making something look nice is worth it, but there is only so much that can be done to make it a better plate of food before it becomes contrived spectacle and I simply look at it and see a victim of creative ego.
So what you've just said is because a dining experience with emphasis on the aesthetic value of the dish (which you admit is a key component to a good meal) isn't something you enjoy, it lacks intrinsic value. OK.
Separate names with a comma.