It’s Chef’s Night Off again, and with the schedule I’ve been keeping, I’m going to take advantage of the short post night. Last post I brought up a different view of food and culture… tonight I have another point of view on that same subject. This time, it’s a brief observation on the culture of cooking techniques.
I just got home from yet another event with Nils and Dave… this time a class at DeGustibus Cooking School. Nils and Dave are famous for their high-tech approach to preparing delicious food. Nils is also famous for tubular shaped food, but that’s another story… maybe tomorrow if I don’t come up with something better by then! Anyway, the class tonight was essentially about using familiar and not-so-familiar equipment to create unique spins on familiar dishes. For example, one of the first courses was a Hamine Deviled Egg (see photo) – a simple deviled egg made from eggs that were hard boiled for an hour in a pressure cooker causing a Maliard effect and a change in the sulfur compounds (or something like that). Translation: the egg whites turned mocha brown like dulce de leche and the flavor changed from your basic sulfur-y hard boiled eggs to something much more like chicken livers – a bit gamy in a pleasant way. We served them with salmon roe and chopped chives… they were, as usual, delicious!
I’ve always been a classicist when it comes to cooking, so working with Nils and Dave has been a career-changing experience for me… at first, this was not a good thing, in my eyes. But, I’ve developed a strong appreciation for their passion for quality and deliciousness (a favorite word of all of ours). Sometimes, experiencing other food cultures can simply mean learning a new way to make an old favorite and appreciating the intellect and passion that went into it. The great thing about Nils and Dave (aside from the cra-zazy cocktails?) is that they are always eager to share their their new discoveries and enthusiasm with all.
Again, get off the bus, talk with the “locals”, always be willing to learn something new.