Archive | Avant-Garde Cuisine RSS feed for this section

An Eleven Madison Park tribute, take 2

It’s always nice when a happy confluence makes it convenient to participate in several great activities in a short period. Such was the case on my recent trip to Ottawa. My husband wanted to go in order to do some research and celebrate his birthday, I wanted to go for dinner at Atelier (especially in […]

Read more
Carrot flan

Gelling basics: Gelatin

Gelling may well be one of my favourite transformational techniques. Controlling texture is always an important part of food, and gelling agents offer you the useful ability to turn liquids into solids. Essentially, gelling happens when you dissolve an ingredient into the liquid that you want to gel, and it combines in a network of […]

Read more
Piquillo paper

Piquillo paper

One of my favourite components from last weekend’s dinner party was the piquillo paper from the octopus dish in VOLT ink. The first time I saw this technique of taking a puree, dehydrating it as a sheet, then punching holes in it to add some visual texture was during my very first stage at Marc […]

Read more
EMP Roulade

Eleven Madison Park: A tribute dinner

When I said I would be cooking out of the Eleven Madison Park cookbook “soon,” I neglected to mention that it would be as part of another “tribute” dinner, this time hosted by chef Murray Wilson of Atelier. Murray’s affinity for “EMP” dates back to 2008, when he dined there. That meal, and a subsequent […]

Read more
Red velvet sponge 3

Red velvet carpet: Microwave sponge cake

Another one from the “I’ve been meaning to try” files, this time prompted in part by a recipe in the latest issue of Lucky Peach. Microwave sponge cakes, pioneered by Albert Adrià, had a brief surge of popularity a few years ago, before retreating back to the relative obscurity of “just another pastry technique.” There […]

Read more
Aerated chocolate

Vacuum-set foams: Aerated chocolate

It’s funny sometimes, the things that give me the impetus to move projects off of my “to do” list and drive me into the kitchen. In this case, it was Halloween. After trick-or-treating was over, our basket of treats held a few leftover Aero bars, which I had always thought my husband disliked. When I […]

Read more
Plating consomme

Melón con jamón 2005

(Part 1 is here.) I have never eaten at el Bulli. My request for a table during the 2009 season was met with a response of, “The demand that we have received at the first moment has again surpassed our limited possibilities for one season and we regret not to be able to full fill […]

Read more

A tribute to el Bulli at Atelier

In the middle of service, there was a brief moment of panic. The fifth course, a simple mix of raw rhubarb, brown sugar and black pepper, had just been served to the first two tables. But somewhere between the kitchen and the servers, there was a miscommunication: the dish had been portioned out one per […]

Read more
Melon balls

Behind the scenes at Atelier’s el Bulli tribute dinner

I’m just back from Ottawa, where I was lucky enough to be able to take part in Atelier Restaurant’s el Bulli tribute dinner, where 20 courses of food prepared using Ferran Adrià’s recipes were served to 20 lucky guests. I wasn’t one of those guests, though; this time, I had hands-on involvement in the kitchen. […]

Read more

The torch passes

I would be remiss in allowing to pass unremarked the end of the famous elBulli in its incarnation as a restaurant: its final service was this past Saturday night. Although I sadly never had the opportunity to dine at the restaurant, which was ranked number 1 in the world for 5 of the past 10 […]

Read more