"Should a cook squander anything, ever?" Thomas Keller
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Changing the Way We Think
I have been salivating uncontrollably over the Modernist Cuisine Series. In a big picture sense, I feel that chefs should constantly try to manipulate the way we think about food. This series illustrates this in a very real time vision. Adding, Subtracting.....adding by subtracting....nothing is ever set in stone. If you look at roasting a red pepper and say, "this is how its done and there is nothing else to discuss" then I'm sorry but I cant work with you my friend. Sure there are rights, wrongs, and in-betweens but one should always allow new thoughts to enter the arena of thought. I remember years ago when I was first asked to roast a red pepper, in all honesty, I didn't even like to eat peppers much less care about the subtleties of cooking them. Brennan was there and I thought I was going to just throwing some chopped peppers in the oven and roasting them that way, but to my everlasting shock I watched Brennan drop a pepper right into the inferno of a lit stove top burner. As I watched the skin blacken I think I had an awakening of sorts, the whole pepper was completely black with shades of carbon gray. "What next?" I asked, the answer was putting said peppers in a bowl and covering it with plastic wrap to complete this cooking process. That was a real big step forward from working at Hooter's(that's right, I was a Hooter's Master Chef). Fast Forward a couple of years later...... I'm reading Rick Bayless, I've had a couple of hard years growing as a chef and I have just started to really understand this world we live in. Skimming through one of his recipes and read over him describing how to roast a pepper, the whole procedure was more involved but the thing that struck me the most is that he suggested covering the pepper with a kitchen towel instead of plastic wrap......? He claimed that plastic wrap would almost certainly overcook the pepper and you know what.......its a bonafide fact. This epiphany only comes from someone who truly understands that you are never done learning......I know that I dont have it all figured out yet, but I wont stop the reinventing myself to get there....gotta scratch up the coin to to get these six volumes, if you didnt know the price tag is around 500 clams.....yikes!