About this blog

 

This started out as a place for me to collect my thoughts on a meal, not as a review site but just as a notebook on my thoughts, ideas, inspirations.

18 thoughts on “About this blog

  1. This is by far the best food blog I have viewed, the images you have taken are of amazing quality and this has been a huge inspiration for my dissertation. I am writing my dissertation on multi sensory dining and the future of molecular gastronomy. I was wondering if you had any views on how this style of dining has become a trend and is it here to stay? also how elements could be transfered to the mass market?
    any help would be appreciated
    thanks

    1. Thanks Helena for the kind(but slightly exaggerated :p) words.

      Its hard to answer your question fully, I think MG is so hard to define because it consists of so many different sub sections, this lack of clear definition has given many diners a muddled and inaccurate opinion of what to expect from MG. So much so that chefs have taken a strong disregard towards the term, it sets the diner up for false or unreasonable expectations of a meal(Im sure you know about Blumenthal, Adria, Keller, and Mcgees 2006 letter to The Times on the term)

      I believe we are already starting to see a shift away from “MG” in general, just look at the Pellegrino top 50 list for the last 2 years, the “MG” restaurants seem to be slowly dropping, but I do feel that restaurants that are on the rise, such as Noma, do draw a lot of techniques and ideas commonly used in MG, but the food they put out feels like the emphasis is more about the ingredients and less about the technique; on the other hand, some of the ‘pure MG restaurants’ like Moto, WD 50, El Bulli, can feel like the food is slightly technique driven, and I believe I have read articles that this is the case at El Bulli, but they were always pushing boundaries and you know that if you see something new at El Bulli, you’re probably one of the first few people who might be eating the next ‘big thing’ in the culinary world. On that same note, some of the dishes at El Bulli were not meant to taste good, and were in fact there to evoke discussion and thought on food, some of the dishes at El Bulli were the most memorable Ive had, and not all of them were good. Ideally, where we go from here is to take these techniques and use them intelligently, if there is a logical and practical reason to place a foam on the plate, I say go ahead, but if a restaurant is turning every sauce they have into a foam, just so they can call themselves avant garde, or modernist, or MG, then I really doubt they’ll do very well.

      Elements of MG have already rippled out into the mass market. El Bulli has their own MG starter kit, many companies have followed suit. It has become increasing accessible for the average home cook to find meat glue, to have a sous vide setup in their own home, to buy a smoking gun and so on. I feel that the easiest and quickest way for these “MG related techniques and equipment” to be transferred to the mass market is through cooking shows and celebrity chefs. There seems to be a huge craze for food shows in recent times, for example, sous vide cooking shows up in shows such as Masterchef, Top chef, Heston Blumenthal is probably UK’s most famous chef, and he is a strong advocator of SV cooking, this is such a quickfire way to garner public interest because these shows and celeb chefs have instant access to the average layperson, who would probably never have heard the term Sous Vide if he didn’t turn on his TV. The rules for the home cook are more constrained than they are for a restaurant, its harder to incorporate spherification and foams and olive oil powder into home cooking, where the end game is to alter textures, trust me Ive tried. But some techniques are definitely worth pursuing, such as sous vide(maybe Im biased), where the main goal is to achieve perfectly cooked meat consistently, something Im sure any person who has stepped into the kitchen would be interested in.

  2. Really like your blog since you have so much about sous-vide. I was starting to think I was the only one on WordPress with regular sous-vide postings! I also like your photos and the way you provide all the facts about what you did with clear opinions and pros/cons. Great job!

    1. Hey stefan, I checked out your blog. Lots of interesting sous vide experiments. I love the one with the beef, trying to trigger the calpain enzymes, I’ve read that blumenthal does that for his venison as well(which was the best sous vide piece of meat Ive ever had). I notice you often pre-sear before vacuuming, have you found any difference between pre vs post sear?

      1. The point of searing post sous-vide is to get a crunchy crust on the meat (or crunchy skin on fish), because the crunchiness obtained by searing will disappear when you cook sous-vide. However, the advantage of pre-sear is that the searing (Maillard) flavors can enter more deeply into the meat and there is no chance of overcooking the meat as with post-sear. I also think pre-sear is in many cases more convenient. I will write a bit more about this on my blog.

  3. Amazing blog….. Just stumbled upon…. As a NYC-er they are a dine a dozen…. Love the photos and the unbiased and unpretentious review of Per Se… On a personal note, no any place in NYC for hong kong style noodles with carmalized pork? Keep the posts coming!

  4. I’d be based in NYC from this december for work purposes and your detailed reviews get me even more excited especially for Per Se. I’d be working @ EMP. I feel that the tippling club in Singapore is rather noteworthy and worth a try, not being biased or anything, having worked there before =)

    1. That’s awesome. Are you working as a chef? Or front of house?

      I’d want to visit NYC sometime in the near future, definitely going to visit EMP when I go, will do wd~50 when I go as well. I was actually more impressed with le bernardin than i was with per Se, I think the food is just more exciting at LB

      1. Haha im in the kitchen mate, currently i run the garde manger back here. Well up and coming restaurants in NYC from my mates working in EMP and Per Se said that Athera is pretty damn amazing. Awarded an immediate 2 stars and open for less than a year? The chef was from Mugaritz, probably the closest noma experience you’ll get in NYC. Well I’ve personally tried only Daniel & Jean George’s when i was much younger. Pretty psyched to at at the King of seafood’s restaurant. Well if Le Bernadin has been awarded more than 10 4 star reviews by the New York Times and been consistently awarded 3 Stars by the Michelin guide since 2004, they must be doing something right, considering the menu has been unchanged for the past 2 decades =)

      2. Haha I had an inkling that you were a chef because some of the produce you work with in your ‘home cooked’ section is pretty Baller stuff. I have a friend that went to athera, he didn’t like it but then again, he doesn’t really get the whole ‘foraging’ concept so im pretty sure he wouldn’t like Noma either. Where else have you worked? And where did you train in culinary school? I want to do something food related but I discovered this too late into my university education

  5. Truth to be told ive never been to culinary school, most of the stuff is self taught. I did a bit of time like 6 months in Le Bistrot Du Sommelier, wonderful place for the most rustic, traditional french bistro food you’ll get in the pore. Well, its never too late to go into the restaurant business haha

    1. That is seriously pretty inspirational. I’ve thought a lot about how I could enter the food industry, going to culinary school first vs trying to get experience in restaurants immediately. From what I understood about the industry, once you have had experience working in a kitchen, it’s not very difficult bouncing around. So you’ve gone from le bistrot to tippling and now to EMP?

  6. We’re planning a vacation to Australia next fall (well, spring overthere) and since we will be flying with Singapore Airlines we might stop for dinner in Singapore. Which restaurant should we go to? Michelin doesn’t give out stars there, but I’m sure if there is anyone who would be able to tell me which restaurants in Singapore are equivalent to three stars, it would be you 🙂 Thanks!

    1. Stephan: there are a number of fine and not so fine places worth exploring. Off the top of my head, iggys is by far the highest rated. I found my meal there to be very underwhelming, I have heard people say that Ignatius(owner of iggys) gets his accolades partly because of his business contacts.

      Andre is a new heavyweight, I would go to Andre because you can’t get a similar meal outside of Singapore.

      Les Amis forms the foundation of French fine dining in Singapore, it’s pricey, but you will probably be assured of a good meal

      Tippling club offers a good degustation menu and this is one of the more ‘modern’ restaurants using molecular techniques

      Waku ghin is worth considering but it is very expensive, nt worth going if you’re going to tetsuya. Guy savoy is worth considering and I might be working in the kitchen by the time you come, so I’ll let you know if the menu is worth coming for closer to the date.

      Other than that, the one place I’d strongly recommend is catalunya, I recently blogged about it, this is not fine dining but it is solid food.

      That being said, I’d only allocate 30-40% of your eating to fine dining or restaurant dining. To get the essence of Singapore food, you will be better off eating the multitude of dishes we have in Singapore ‘hawker centers’

      1. Thanks for your quick and thoughtful response. Perhaps we’ll stick to the “hawker centers” altogether. I remember having the best crab of my life in a huge crab “shack” in Singapore with lots of Chinese people noisily eating delicious buttered crub on long tables.

  7. Are there cook books or certain YouTube videos that you would recommend for someone who’s learning how to cook? Thanks -J

    1. Hi Jules! Sorry for the late reply. I suggest learning the basics off of youtube, theres a Culinary institute of america channel that teaches some very basic techniques, and lots of orhter channels that teach the basic things like searing, blanching, poaching etc. Once you get that down, I would say cookbooks like heston at home, momofuku,flavor pairing have been the most useful to me

  8. URGENT – FROM BLOOMBERG NEWS

    Hi!

    I am a photo editor from Bloomberg.com and we are producing a 2016 Best Dishes story. We are featuring Noma’s radish pie in a seaweed crust. We came across your article with that shows a great image of the dish.

    Would it be possible to have permission to use this image and a high resolution supplied to us ASAP? We will give you proper photo credit.

    Please let us know and thanks so much!
    Evan Ortiz

    Bloomberg Pursuits

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