Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Warm oil poached Salmon with Finnan Hadie Foam
The Castine Inn
I've been thinking a lot about food today and restaurants/meals that have changed my thinking and direction of my culinary life and interests. After much rumination (he he) they are:
1) L' Arpege ~ Paris, France
Far and away the best experience of food/service/wine I have had. They never missed a beat here. I learned so much just watching the floor staff in this Parisian favorite. At least three people proofed each plate that was placed (as I saw). Gracious, extraordinary dishes and presentations. The dish I remember most was a golden greenish clear garden broth that exploded with flavor. Allain Passard concentrates on vegetables, but not exclusively. They laugh here at the newly American idea of 'Farm to Table', why would you do it any other way? Thank you Tom.
2)The Castine Inn
We all have mentors. Tom Gutow was most definitely one of my mine when it comes to food. We met in Maine when he was a wine account and later became a friend and a fellow food/wine laboratory compatriot and employer. We had Willl Goldfarb on pastry (who later produced some of the most interesting deserts on the New York scene)
Tom was doing some of the best food I have seen anywhere. I fondly remember menu meetings every week when we would taste new dishes and break out wines for the tasting menus. We had the likes of Elliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch at Four Seasn farm available!! We were truly impassioned, it was inspirational! It is now gone in that incarnation but what happened there launched careers and is still inspiring foodies.
3) Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Dan Barber is still the leading proponent of connecting people with their food sources.
I have never seen more attention to detail with food and service at any restaurant. There is no menu here only seasonal ingredients. The staff is more informed than any property I have encountered. Tom is a sommelier extraordinaire as well. The lesson that I learned here was: 'Every bite of food you put into your mouth is an environmental act' and I will never forget it!
I must be hungry ...