My couch just became an infinitely cooler hangout spot. I’m kicking back with the inaugural copy of Lucky Peach, a quarterly publication backed by Momofuku’sDavid Chang and writer Peter Meehan. Dude and dudettes … this puppy is da bang.
You see, each episode (aka issue) is dedicated to a particular topic. Thankfully for me (and someone else I know), the debut is all about ramen. Like issues to come, the topic is explored through travelogues, essays, artwork, pictures, rants, interviews … and thankfully … RECIPES!!!!
People – I hate paper, it’s archaic and wasteful. This however is not paper; it is art. Buy this art! Buy it now!!!! You can’t get the first issue on subscription, but you can buy the issue or subscribe here!!!
While the James Beard Award may carry more notability around these parts, the Michelin Guide is in fact the real deal. Early this morning, the famed guidebook (and tire manufacturer), released their ratings for 2011. Of particular note to us in the Dirty, Sotohiro Kosugi garnered a second star for his well regarded New York Citysushi bar. This is an astounding accomplishment, and with restaurants like Wylie Dufresne’s wd~50 sitting below Soto, you can tell this is an impressive heap to climb. While Bibendum is all smiles today, this serves as another twist to the gut for those of us her in Atlanta! If you’re curious to see the whole list, you can see it here!
Top Chef Masters, a spinoff of Bravo TV’s popular Top Chef, is scheduled to premier its second season on April 7, 2010. As these things come and go, networks try to make a big deal of announcing the cast for any upcoming season of a reality TV show.
After several months of rumors, the lid was popped on this can just a short while ago. For comedic relief, I’ve included a little screen shot of a search I did on the topic. Notice how the first four search results all said “Exclusive.” HA! Okay, useless eye candy shot and all that good stuff after the jump!
When you strip away the fame and the talent, Wylie Dufresne is really just another boy with his toys. Of course, it just so happens that Wylie is talented, famous, and really good with his toys. Recently, the techies behind Gizmodo took a scamper down to wd~50 in New York City to visit Sir Dufresne.
Dufresne was nice enough to bring the guys back into the kitchen to talk a little bit about liquid nitrogen and to demonstrate how he prepares cookie-covered ice cream balls. In addition, Adam Frucci has a series of videos he’ll get up this week. In the meantime, here’s the transcript from the video as the sound recording wasn’t ideal:
What’s getting a lot of sway right now with urban chefs is liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen, much the same way you can a use hot oil to fry things at 375 degrees, with liquid nitrogen you can freeze things at about minus 275 degrees. And you know, people get excited because it’s so cold that when it’s exposed to the air it turns into a gas, which is a very Hollywood or rock and roll sort of thing.
[Pastry chef Alex] takes more or less sort of a cookie, he would kill me if I said this, but not all that far off from sort of an Oreo cookie, purees it, adds some fat to it, purees it into a liquid phase. Then they take ice cream, milk flavored ice cream. They pipe the milk ice cream into a bowl of liquid nitrogen. So it gets super frozen and from there they drop it into the liquid cookie and they roll it after that in cookie crumbs. And what happens is the ice cream is so cold it instantly sets a shell, even though its in a liquid, on the outside and then they can scoop it out and roll it in some crumbs. And then you get, you know, whatever they call those Dibs or Dabs that you get at the movies. This is a much better, much more high end version.
If you are a fan of molecular cooks, you might want to check out my post on the Art of Deconstructed Food. I wrote it many moons ago, when I was just getting started. It’s still one of my favorite posts to date.
Whenever anyone peers at their first deconstructed dish, ears perk, brows furrow, nostrils swell, and something unusual happens. Deconstructed food seems to elicit one of several reactions in newcomers. Sometimes that person is intrigued; other times, they are baffled. There are a multitude of in-betweens; but, one thing seems universally true: people react to the sight.
Culinary traditionalists mock things like deconstructed lasagna; meanwhile, fans of molecular gastronomy embrace the food of Wylie Dufresne with fervor. I tend to find solace on both ends of the spectrum. Food, like everything else in life, has the ability to morph. At times, eating should be fun and playful; other times, the endeavor should be restrained and precise. Yes, well-executed classic interpretations are a necessity. However, just because you have steak+cheese+bread does not mean you have a cheesesteak.