Saturday, 22 May 2010

Viewing of a Chefs' Soul...Sick Bags Optional

Food is an experience!  It can define a moment in time.  It can inspire, invoke emotion and and cause Families to debate the human lottery of who will be peeling the spuds for Christmas dinner!

When eating out, I always try and find a dish that is either new to me or that I haven't tasted with the accompaniments that the Chef has prepared the dish with.  I don't go for the 'norm'...I don't opt for the usual and accomplished dishes of a Chef.  I try to route out the weaknesses!   The dishes that jump out at you like a taunted Lobster without claw bands...those are the ones I choose.  Sometimes pretentious and usually worded on the menu like some dolled up Chavette on smack, lolling over her baseball capped boyfriend of the week, these 'creations' are the epitomy of a Chef's playfulness.  It shows the Chef for who he is.  Laid bare for all as nine times out of ten it will not be an Escoffier classic or a Careme masterpiece.  It is his soul, plated, for all to see.

Chefs pride themselves on their being classic dishes or known combinations.  Tarte au Citroen, Coq au Vin, Beouf Bourginion...the true test comes when a Chef tries to marry flavours that are not the 'norm' or have been discredited before as a 'no go' zone.

Is it better to plump for the regular and everyday dishes?  Play safe with the cooked through and well done plates of normality?  

NO!  It is not!  It is time we began to experiment with our taste buds!  Enjoy our food to the fullest.  Explore the divine flavours that our planet has been blessed with and live a little more dangerously.

Picture it.  You see a Menu.  It's in your hand.  You begin to read the dishes from the various sections.  You spot your usual...Soup, Prawn Cocktail, Gammon with Chips and Egg or the inevitable well done Sirloin.  Now, take your time.  Explore and peruse a little further.  Find something that you may have always wanted to try but never had the balls to actually order.  Something new and exciting.  A dish that will light up your taste buds and have them begging you to go further...persuade you to take that next step.

As a Nation we have lost our way when it comes to food.  We are dedicated to Foodie TV programmes and we are completely reliant on 'Celebrity Chefs' and the concoctions they create.  The sale of cook books are at an all time high yet we have forgotten how to cook!  We believe that these people have an insight into our souls and create wondrous dishes that can be re-created at home.  I hate to inform you but this ain't possible most of the time.  

Do you have 62 Chefs working 17 hours a day?  Do you have tens of thousands of pounds worth of high end catering equipment?  Do you buy the best produce that is shipped from all over the known world costing more than the average semi-detached dwelling?

Simple answer please...Anyone?  I will give you the answer...NO!

You must enjoy and play with food...

A great man once said that to use a spoon to taste Mashed Potato was pointless.  He used his hand!  A damn good fistful!  Feeling the texture and tasting the flavour!

So, If you want to, try being 5 years old again.  Play with your food.  Not just with the flavours, go medieval for once and PLAY!!!

Le Chef Grincheux

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love your stories, made me laugh this morning....