We must reject the notion that standardized cultures are superior to indigenous traditions, and confront the dogmas regarding hygiene and safety that justify this thinking. The diversity of fermented milk products reflects the glorious diversity of culture itself.
Katz, Sandor Ellix (2012-05-15). The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World (p. 183). Chelsea Green Publishing. Kindle Edition.
In 2011 Ferran AdriÃ closed his globally famous restaurant. He has turned it into a food research institute which includes Bullipedia, a project to map all foods and their ingredients
He did it again — taking one of my ideas and turning it into reality! What a great venture, he’s embarking on. What I want to do at some point in my career is more ingredient-oriented but certainly in the same vein as what Ferran Adria is doing with food products from around the world.
On Monday, I recovered from my 80 hour week. The restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
On Tuesday, I woke up to my woman first. I kissed her goodbye to drive home. I took care of some much needed (kcl) knife sharpening, catching up with family, and laundry. Then I went to work (on my day off) to learn how to make speck, shoulder ham, lonzo, lardo, coppa, dry cured salami and pepperoncini as well as fresh sausages. We rendered some lard. We broke down bones for stock. We saved the ears, the cheeks, the jowl, the tenderloins and the skin for use for service.
Then I came home. Three cooks, we came together to braise some cabbage, glaze some baby broccoli with Turkish wild pistachios, sear some venison tenderloins in Daisy’s butter (yes, it’s a single cow butter), and make a sauce from venison scraps, sherry and dried shiitake and wood ear mushrooms. We also found some roasted eggplant puree in the fridge and finished it with some aged asiago. A little bit of merlot and some IPA’s to polish.
No dessert. Just a soothing orange flavored hookah hit.
Then I talked to her again to end the day. The fifteen hour workday felt like a breeze today after that amazing weekend. It’s a pretty good life.
However, this busy schedule means very little time for posts, especially since I have a non-disclosure agreement in place with my employer…
I’m working on some kvass, mustard, nato, and wild fermentation experiment setups but it might take a couple weeks. Bear with me.
Why is it important to have vegetarian selections on our menu?
This was a question on my homework for today for my high volume production class. Here’s my answer:
Vegetables are fantastic. They are versatile, pack tons of flavor, reflect the bounty of the season, have great textural interest, and they are gorgeous to look at. Both nutritious and delicious.
They can show a chef’s finesse and culinary skills more than grilling off a hunk of meat.
Using meat as a main component on a plate is an act that our food system has bought into but not necessarily the right thing. It’s not sustainable and it’s also a modern invention that is not healthy for the individual consumer or our planet.
This question should read: Why do we need so much meat on our menus?
Let’s see what I get in response. I’m pretty sure chefs don’t read our homework anyway.
Bacon, vegetable consumption, childhood obesity, and environmental consciousness
I know I had you at bacon!
As I’m becoming more and more interested in vegetable cookery (as opposed to all the hunks of protein the common foodie lusts after), I feel as though I’m losing touch with the rest of the world. Here is quick article from the Economist that proposes vegetable promoting apps as one solution to the childhood obesity epidemic in the US.
More and more I’m thinking of an omnivorous cuisine where proteins are used as sources of flavor rather than the main event in a dish. A vegetarian diet, whose disposition is one of environmental consciousness, can potentially disregard the what a region has to offer, which in my opinion (I have no empirical proof beyond qualitative data) has more value to the environment than strict adherence to a paradigm that isn’t in touch with the local ecology. If you’re living on a pasture, you’ll be eating grains, vegetables, dairy products, and a small amount of protein in the form of meat. If you live near the shore or on an island, you eat fish.
Of course, if you’re trying to structure a cuisine that revolves around vegetables and uses meat to develop flavor, one of the first ingredients you explore is bacon.
Bacon is often regarded as the gateway meat for vegetarians, as though the goal is to convince vegeterians to eat more meat and not omnivores to eat less meat. This NPR/Salt article makes this point and the reference is all over the web as well.
I look at it a little differently. I think bacon is the gateway vegetable. It’s a way to help people understand how versatile vegetables can be. When was the last time you had brussel sprouts, kale or green beans without bacon? Here are a couple silly vegetable and bacon recipes from bacontoday — I’m sure you can find a vegetable you don’t like on its own but would try with bacon.
A WIRED / Food Network data summary (no statistical methodology was applied) of 49,733 recipes and 906,539 comments put out that recipes with bacon in them get better rating over recipes that don’t.
Maybe we could cook vegetables with bacon for kids to help fight obesity. I’m serious, you don’t have to use a whole pork belly to put flavor into vegetables. An ounce of bacon can give flavor to 6 oz of vegetables. Bacon or not, children won’t eat vegetables unless parents know how to cook them. The long term solution is not to throw more apps to the problem but to reconnect with the farmer, the land and the ritual of cooking and feeding our families, and sharing a meal with them.