• Saturday, July 15, 2006

    Adrià, Bloise and Steel - Innovation & Reflection

    Recently, I had the pleasure of eating at Wish, a restaurant in Miami's South Beach. Later, I was fortunate to steal a few moments of the executive chef's time for an interview you can read on Suite101.

    Some call Michael Bloise a "rising star." Reading the list of awards and noting all the acclaim he's earned, I'm inclined to drop the "rising". When we were talking about food and travel, one of his comments struck a deep chord in me. He states that he is not moved to re-create dishes he's had abroad. Instead, holds the experience of eating new dishes abroad as almost sacred. Rather than recreating them at home, he aims to replicate the feeling he had when eating the new dish or experiencing a new cuisine.

    Food can do more than sustain us, it can transform us. My chat with Chef Bloise reminded me of the excitement I felt viewing the recent Anthony show, I wrote about it here, Bourdain Encounters Adrià, Discovers More.

    Prior to that show, I'd only heard of "El Bulli" as a revered restaurant and an extremely hard table to secure. In the show, we see Bourdain (a well-travelled author, chef, TV host and experienced eater) in awe of familiar tastes, presented in ways that surprised him. This delighted Adrià and was a revelation to me.

    Tanya Wenman Steel, editor of Epicurious.com, notes some new restaurants and chefs who may be following or capitalizing on Adrià's innovation. Check out her post on the New Gastronomy and her thoughts on my comments "New Insights on the New Gastronomy".

    To me, both of these chefs and their work, while different, embody the essential power of food to help us explore three questions:

    • How can food reconnect us with our forgotten selves?

    • How can it be a bridge to our possible selves?

    • How can a meal, by definition - ephemeral, root us in a moment, even while we are consuming/enjoying it?

    This is why I write about eating and cooking. I invite you to join the discussion on Suite101, Epicurious or start one here.

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