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[SEA] Avante-Garde Food Fest 1/29


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#1 sparrowsfall

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 03:33 AM

With some trepidation, I've agreed to Abra's suggestion that I host the avante-garde cooking party that Rocky dreamed up over in another thread. No trepidation about hosting, just that the host is so not avante-garde. (Okay if I make beef stew?)

Seriously, this sounds like serious fun. How does January 27, 28, or 29 sound?

Steve
"Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon." —Dalai Lama

#2 rockdoggydog

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 04:55 AM

Glory be! A whole unmolested and unscheduled weekend. Just say when.

Rocky
You are my Solberg, my Petter Solberg, you make me happy when skies are gray, through ice and gravel, flat out you travel, please keep (insert foe here) away .... Song of the Petter Solberg Fan Club

Dum vivimus, vivamus.
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#3 TamIam

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 06:05 AM

I don't know how to cook avant-garde. Can you do it without a bubble-ator?
Oil and potatoes both grow underground so french fries may have eventually invented themselves had they not been invented. -- J. Esther

#4 tighe

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 06:18 AM

(Okay if I make beef stew?)

Absolutely, but only if its deconstructed and the beef is in form of foam, the potatoes are pureed and carrot juice is sprayed onto the diners' tongues with an atomizer after each bite.... :rolleyes:

I'd love to participate, but we'll have to see if we can work something out with the munchkin for the evening. I even know what I want to make....

Edited to add: to do this right, I think everyone has to be willing to take the risk of making something truly foul. Just my opinon.
It may have been Camelot for Jack and Jacqueline
But on the Che Guevara highway filling up with gasoline
Fidel Castro's brother spies a rich lady who's crying
Over luxury's dissapointment
So he walks over and he's trying
To sympathize with her, but thinks that he should warn her
That the Thirld World is just around the corner

#5 rockdoggydog

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 06:33 AM

Edited to add: to do this right, I think everyone has to be willing to take the risk of making something truly foul. Just my opinon.

Perhaps we should have a theme ingredient then, like :rolleyes: Natto! :blush:

Rocky
You are my Solberg, my Petter Solberg, you make me happy when skies are gray, through ice and gravel, flat out you travel, please keep (insert foe here) away .... Song of the Petter Solberg Fan Club

Dum vivimus, vivamus.
NW Vivant

#6 white lotus

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 08:10 AM

Hey, I like natto (fermented soy beans)...! I could make spagetti with natto/ume (pickled plum) sauce. That's what Rocky would call contemporary Japanese diner food.
:rolleyes: wl

#7 Guest_Abra_*

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 04:30 PM

Woohoo, any of those days works for us, so I vote for the 28th. Original creations only, right? Are we going to try to choose courses, or is it just a free-for-all?

I'm not sure about the "foul" part. Isn't the avant-garde thing (not that I'm the least bit clued in) supposed to be about surprisingly good albeit weird combinations and techniques?

#8 tighe

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 04:33 PM

Woohoo, any of those days works for us, so I vote for the 28th.  Original creations only, right?  Are we going to try to choose courses, or is it just a free-for-all?

I'm not sure about the "foul" part.  Isn't the avant-garde thing (not that I'm the least bit clued in) supposed to be about surprisingly good albeit weird combinations and techniques?

Look, I'm not saying that anyone should set out to intentionally make something foul tasting, but isn't it clear that for chefs like Adria, Dufresne, Gagnaire, etc. great taste isn't goal #1? They try crazy, interesting shit and let the results fall where they may.
It may have been Camelot for Jack and Jacqueline
But on the Che Guevara highway filling up with gasoline
Fidel Castro's brother spies a rich lady who's crying
Over luxury's dissapointment
So he walks over and he's trying
To sympathize with her, but thinks that he should warn her
That the Thirld World is just around the corner

#9 Lauren

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 05:19 PM

...for chefs like Adria, Dufresne, Gagnaire, etc. great taste isn't goal #1? They try crazy, interesting shit and let the results fall where they may.

See, I don't get this. I mean, if great taste isn't your #1 goal, what is?

Avante-Garde food confuses me. I feel like a bumpkin.
Transmogrified by smoke and salt

You deserve a triumphant mouthful of meat........Lily to Marshall as he searches for the best burger in NY on HIMYM

#10 tighe

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 06:07 PM

...for chefs like Adria, Dufresne, Gagnaire, etc. great taste isn't goal #1?  They try crazy, interesting shit and let the results fall where they may.

See, I don't get this. I mean, if great taste isn't your #1 goal, what is?

Avante-Garde food confuses me. I feel like a bumpkin.

I think the closest parallel is art. A lot of art is not designed with the primary goal of being 'beautiful', it designed to provoke a reaction or challenge perceptions and assumptions. Picasso's work is evocative, profound, etc., but I don't think most people would call it beautiful. Now whether you think this is an appropriate approach to cooking is a different question, I'm not sure I do.
It may have been Camelot for Jack and Jacqueline
But on the Che Guevara highway filling up with gasoline
Fidel Castro's brother spies a rich lady who's crying
Over luxury's dissapointment
So he walks over and he's trying
To sympathize with her, but thinks that he should warn her
That the Thirld World is just around the corner

#11 Lauren

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 06:36 PM

Thanks Vince. That's just the nudge I needed to wrap my brain around this.
Transmogrified by smoke and salt

You deserve a triumphant mouthful of meat........Lily to Marshall as he searches for the best burger in NY on HIMYM

#12 Guest_Abra_*

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 08:46 PM

I'm just not capable of making something intentionally that tastes bad. However, I look forward with delight to making something peculiar, discussion-provoking, and freakish! Not really sure I'm capable of that either, but I'm damn sure gonna try.

#13 sparrowsfall

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 11:15 PM

I think the closest parallel is art. A lot of art is not designed with the primary goal of being 'beautiful', it designed to provoke a reaction or challenge perceptions and assumptions. Picasso's work is evocative, profound, etc., but I don't think most people would call it beautiful.

Man, Vince, you took the words right out of my brain! That's *exactly* what I was thinking as I was driving home just now, composing a post for this topic in my head. (I hope you and Pat can make it, btw!)

I'm hearing different levels of...trepidation? uncertainty? doubt? concern? anxiety? panic? hostility? contempt? disgust?...for this approach (including some but not all of the above from yours truly), so what say we take this approach:

Unusual Combinations.

That's definitely one of the hallmarks of what we've been calling avante garde, and it leaves it open for each of us--beautiful/tasty, or just interesting/odd? Or both? Could make for some wacky and fun cooking and eating.

One thing that comes to mind--not all that unusual I guess because I've had it somewhere fairly recently, but still--is Rosemary Ice. A normally savory flavor in a sweet context. Could make a wonderful palette cleanser.

Howzzat sound?

Steve
"Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon." —Dalai Lama

#14 tighe

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 11:25 PM

I really want to emphasize that I'm not endorsing intentionally creating something that tastes bad, but if one wants to get in the 'avant-garde' spirit, you have to shift your paradigm.

For example, when I cook, I would broadly say that my priorities are, in order:

1. Make something delicious
2. Make something that looks good
3. Make something new/different/creative

That list gets turned on its head, literally, by many of the chefs that we're talking about, at least that's my impression. They start from, "hey wouldn't it be interesting to put these flavors and textures together"....maybe it turns out to be something really delicious, maybe it turns out disgusting (black olive gelee at Pierre Gagnaire).

Steve, take that rosemary ice and combine it with a warm soup, now you're talking.... :rolleyes:
It may have been Camelot for Jack and Jacqueline
But on the Che Guevara highway filling up with gasoline
Fidel Castro's brother spies a rich lady who's crying
Over luxury's dissapointment
So he walks over and he's trying
To sympathize with her, but thinks that he should warn her
That the Thirld World is just around the corner

#15 Guest_Abra_*

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 04:23 AM

I was just talking about this with Shel, explaining the principles to him, to the limited extent that I understand them. Vince, I'll bet you're the expert. How about if you enlighten us all a bit so people will feel less trepidation?

I'll start with what I said to Shel. The principles are:

1) unusual combinations
2) unusual presentations
3) unusual containers
4) deconstruction
5) unusual equipment
6) unusual technique

Now, correct me if I'm missing something here, but it seems to me that you get "points" in the chef world when you do any of the above, and you get the most points if you do all of them at once. Is that right?

So we, not being in the chef world, should feel free to employ one, two, or any number of the above elements. For me it will be fun to try to use as many as possible, plus Shel is hot to fabricate some special container or utensil.

I know that everyone won't want to do this one, but I think the people who really get into the playful aspect will make cool stuff, have fun doing so, and we'll all enjoy checking out each other's brain waves. No?