Award Winning Author of the Gourmand World cookbook Award Book series The Basic Art of Italian Cooking-Celebrity Chef- Maria Liberati shares a book review. For more foodie dish and recipes go to The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm BLOG at www.marialiberati.com.
Guest editor: Chris Manganaro
Without experimentation, food would not exist as it is today. By combining two or more unlike flavors or textures, people were able to create significant recipes. Everyone can think of a food they love which others find strange. Each amalgamation of ingredients may not make sense to everyone, but if it tastes good, you can’t argue with taste, can you? It all depends upon the result.
Grant Achatz is a well-known chef whose book Life, On the Line highlights his life and the creation of his restaurant Alinea. Alinea represents an experimental take on food, something that is even more out there than the combinations that we know and love. He passionately creates dishes using all sorts of different mediums, not only taste but smell as well. Some of the dishes described in the book use flowers and other fragrances in order to work with the palette of the diner. He even has to have several pieces of equipment designed just to serve his food in the best way possible. It is all rather extraordinary.
Of course, with such unique ideas and execution there are always people who will not understand. Achatz had to deal with quite a few people who could not fathom what he was trying to accomplish. The reader may also have some issues understanding as well, but overall they will find themselves convinced to some extent by the end of the book even if they never get the chance to eat at Alinea or eat a seventeen course, four hour meal in their lives. It is understandable that something like this would be difficult to make everyone appreciate. It is abstract and not everyone can deal with abstraction even if it tastes amazing.
What Achatz has done and what all people do by experimenting is important. No matter what adversity is faced, we always need to try and create new things in order to advance. The progressive cuisine that Achatz creates for Alinea is a revolution for the taste buds. So, next time someone says that something you mixed together is weird or gross, make sure they taste it first and if they like it, make sure to point out that they can’t argue with what works.
Published in: Cooking