10/16/2007

10-16-07 - 1

Food trends that need to stop now :

Deconstructing. There's a reason why all these classic dishes are "constructed". When you put various ingredients together you create a composed bite which is balanced, the flavors meld, that's what cooking is all about. The real truth is that "deconstructing" is easier for the "fancy" restaurant line-cooking style where they can pre-do a bunch of work and then toss things together on a plate at the end. Deconstructed food is sort of like a minimalist modern art painting - it's a brain-stimulating thing to see once in your life, to make you think about the form, but you ONLY NEED TO SEE IT ONCE.

"Surprising" accent flavors. Chili in chocolate. Lavender in oatmeal. Ginger in hamburger. Yes, yes, it's very surprising and amusing that these strange accents taste okay in places we might not expect. OKAY NOW STOP IT. When I get chocolate, I want a rich deep chocolate taste. If you can do something clever with your cooking to enhance the chocolate experience, that's great, but that takes skill and lots of practice and most people don't do it. Just randomly tossing in green tea or hibiscus or whatever flavor of the month is not well crafted food. Maybe back in like 1970 somebody made a trio of creme brulee's each with a surprising accent flavor and that was cool, but IT'S OVER. Too often this is just a way of taking a poor dish and punching it up, used by chefs who want to make something "gourmet" but are unable to improve the basic quality and taste of the dish.

Other retarded food trends are the super high vertical stack (hello, it looks silly and it just falls apart when I try to eat), the sauce paintings on the plate (meh, this isn't bad, but it's just not hip), foam, the seared scallop (the trend that will not die), and the deluxe versions of ordinary foods like burgers and grilled cheese.

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