Knife + Pen

The Forgotten

In Uncategorized on April 6, 2010 at 8:09 am

Recently we were at a food festival, and the chef who was doing the demo placed a single carrot in a pan. We watched, the carrot, expecting it to transform into carrot origami, or for it to not really be a carrot but actually a new molecular type of chili con queso  (clearly only some of us were hoping for this.)

Trancelike our eyes glazed over as he poked at the unpeeled carrot with a hairy finger, like a kid with a stick and dead bird. He then gingerly sprinkled it with orange, spritzed it with fresh sprig things, blanked the carrot with butter and then finally sorcerer like sprayed the entire orange cone with ground spices. He poked it some more, and then spastically turned the carrot over repeatedly in its own juices.  It was both excruciating and mesmerizing.  We were all ready to lull ourselves into a post lunch nap when his eyes lit up, he grabbed the microphone from his lapel and screamed, “I am nursing this carrot like a baby! So long ignored! I cherish it!”

He was by far our favorite and a serious crowd pleaser once the French people understood what he was saying, by way of translation. Although a passionate exchange between a man and his carrot is something that supersedes words.

While the most dramatic, Christian F. Puglisi, a Danish chef was one of many who were on a mission to elevate what is usually considered ordinary, waste or worthy of being dumped ingredients into fine dining, simply by practicing the same technique on say a broccoli stem as they would a truffle.  Does this translate into real kitchens? Would people pay non-monopoly money to be served a fifty-year-old cured onion, stored in a salt cave and presented on a swinging trapeze?

With that said, this chef left the conference center with a truckload of groupies and a girlfriend who could have passed for a fembot.

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