Thursday, February 25, 2010


Yeah, I'm a loser. I haven't been able to put up a "real" blog post in a few weeks, and it looks like it will be a few more until I have another chance. Cornell is kicking my ass.

I've been thinking about religion a lot these past couple days. Specifically, how to articulate the idea that music has always been my "religion." I still can't.

The best I can do is tell you to listen. Take thirty minutes out of your day. Go on iTunes and buy The Dharma at Big Sur by John Adams (its a buck, maybe two). Turn off your phone, close the door, ensure you won't be disturbed. Put your headphones on and listen.

I have no idea what you or anyone else will feel after listening to this piece. But, I can say that it is the closest thing to a religious experience that I've ever had.

Finally, because every post should at least attempt to relate to food, I found the image below. This is Tony's BLT served at Tony's I-75 Restaurant. It is 1 pound of bacon.

I love bacon, but that is wrong. So very, very, deliciously wrong.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Odds and Ends

Below are some random thoughts I've had recently.

Yes, this is another cop out. The post I intended to do on a surge in restaurants making sodas in house was going to require much more research than I have time for. Next week. I promise.


-What is a meal? Does a restaurant have an obligation to provide someone a meal? Is providing an "experience" enough? Are patrons to a restaurant "diners," "guests," or "customers"?

-What is the relationship between architecture and food? Beyond appearance (color, height, shape) a chef must consider function. Should buildings get away with having more aesthetic appeal than practical use? When constructing a dish, where does the balance lie between structure and how the dish will be eaten? Like ornamentation on a facade, are caramel domes, drops of sauce, pinches of this, or a paintbrush of that add anything to the overall product?

-Does the way dishes are currently served do them justice? Should restaurants/waiters try and do more to explain how a dish came to be? What spark of inspiration led a chef to combine X, Y and Z? Should the cooks do more of the serving?

-What is the relationship between the building that houses a restaurant and the restaurant itself? Whether the French Laundry in California (which resides in what used to be a French laundromat) or Eleven Madison Park in Manhattan (housed in the old Metropolitan Life Building) does a restaurant (or should it) try and reflect its setting?

-I've also been trying to figure out what kind of stand alone structure could combine food, art, architecture, sculpture, music, dance, literature, journalism, theater and the internet. I'm still working on it.

Eleven Madison Park

The French Laundry

Thursday, February 11, 2010


It's late. This post is a bit of a cop out.

Valentine's Day is coming up, so I figured a post on chocolate was appropriate.

Enjoy, and indulge in some great chocolate this weekend.

This video does a fantastic job at explaining the process of making chocolate, from bean to bar.

Contemporary Chocolate Desserts:

Chocolate| blueberry, tobacco, maple

Soft Chocolate| peppermint ice cream, black cardamom, toffee

Chocolate Cremoso| sea salt, olive oil, sourdough crostini, expresso parfait

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Serving Pieces

Below are images of non-traditional serving pieces.

The "Hot Potato/Cold Potato" dish from Alinea. Cold potato soup is served in a paraffin wax bowl. Suspended above is a metal pin containing parmesan cheese, chive, a hot sphere of yukon gold potato cooked in butter, and a slice of truffle. The pin is removed, the ingredients fall into the soup, and the dish is "shot."

A "spider" on which several bites of food are served.

Bacon wheel.

A metal clip holding a raspberry transparency

A cylindrical plastic tube. Inside is a dessert made of Bubble Yum flavored tapioca, hibiscus gel, and creme fraiche. The dish is meant to be "slurped."

A bowl with a small notch for the fork. Inside the bowl is a sauce/soup. The intention is for the dinner to dip whatever is on the fork into the sauce.

Plastic serving piece with metal pin.

Another version of a "spider." This time the food is removed (a cinnamon stick plays the part of handle).

A stone container filled with sauce into which the dish is placed.

Dish served on a pin.

Guitar pick.

A hole was drilled on the right side for aromatics to be inserted.

A "bottomless" bowl. There is nothing in the bowl, which has no bottom. Once the spoon is removed, the diner realizes the bottom of the bowl is actually the table below.

Dish is served on a burnt log.

Dish is served on a pillow that is filled with scented air. As the diner eats the dish, the pillow slowly deflates, releasing the scent around the table.

Doing away with a serving piece altogether. The chef comes to the diners table and unrolls a silicone sheet across it. The dish is plated directly onto the silicone mat. After finishing, the mat is folded up and removed from the table.