This article is subdivided into 9 pages of short-to-medium length, and I believe each worth covering individually.
Fusion of Centuries
Here we find a brief overview of the article, which basically covers the resurrection of historical ingredients and recipes. There is a note at the end of this page about how fine-dining was once equivalent only “foodietype” stuffs, but that now, comfort food with twists are making their way into the fine-dining scene. Also, a comment, which I would like to hear everyone else’s take on: Chef Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch Public House in Atlanta states that, “There is no longer high art and low art, but at the same time, there are many more layers, more hands and more techniques being employed, which elevates what we are doing from home cooking.” I have no argument with the layers, hands, techniques, and subsequent elevation, but would you agree with the eliminated distinction between high and low art?
There is an exciting interest in combining what is considered ‘older’ or ‘more traditional’ with new kitchen chemistry. Consider this dish: Steaks from Duroc pigs, de-boned, rubbed, cold-smoked, cooked sous-vide for 24 hours, then grilled with barbecue sauce that is made with elderberries that Chef Josh Galliano at Monarch in St. Louis forages for himself.
Brief notes on utilizing what were “once thought pointless greenery,” such as sweet potato greens, and pickled nasturtium seed pods.
Battling Flavor Sterotypes
Chef’s are prioritizing older and more traditional foods over overdone classics with a tourist-food taint to them. One example is Chef Stephen Stryjewski at Cochon in New Orleans; he doesn’t serve blackened fish at all, and instead, one of the highlighted dishes is deep-fried rabbit livers – which are apparently very traditional in the South, but no one serves such a thing in restauraunts – on toast, “with mint/parsley dressing, sherry vinegar, and pepper jelly.”
The Next Frontier
The second sentence on this page was perhaps the most intriguing in this entire article; it states that a certain chef is cultivating ingredients that were indigenous to pre-Civil-War Charleston and incorporating those ingredients in his menu today. At the end of this page is a note which will sound very familiar to all of us from Advanced Asian Cookery last quarter; a chef cautions against going “so authentic with a dish or preparation that it becomes inaccessible to your guests.”
Chefs are paying attention to what immigrant populations are eating and experimenting to meet their preferences. The highlighted blend is that of Asian and Southern styles, something about which I am incredibly curious and anxious to experience at some point.
“Bloom where you are planted,” they say. Chefs bring their heritage into their cooking. One chef states, “I just happen to be a New York Jew with French culinary training who cooks with Southern inflection and California attitude in Philadelphia.” Consider pecan-sage waffles served with crispy duck confit, peaches, maple bourbon jus, and braised red cabbage.
Fun with History
This page discusses chefs’ attempts to reinterpret classic dishes, moving away from French or European food, and rediscovering the true roots of American cooking and being proud of them.
America Eats, Past and Present
Chef Jose Andres’ of America Eats Tavern seeks to respect while reinterpreting historic American dishes, and the recipes and stories behind each dish are printed on the menu. R&D Chef Robyn Stern, who works with Andres, talks about ketchup, and how originally, it was a liquidy, tart, spicy sauce, with a great many varieties available. The Tavern offers seven of those early versions of ketchup.