Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Deception Exception

I love to play with the eye. It can most often be our biggest deceiver in expectations. We have also trained ourselves to rely on it way too much. The dining experience would be a lot different if the diner were blindfolded, or even had their dinner presented to them with no menu and no description as to what they are eating. Being comfortable with familiarity only makes sense, but why not trust a chef? Omakase in Japanese restaurants translates to "it's up to you" (the "you" referring to the chef). Most likely, we wouldn't be able to understand the chef composing on the spot, so we just accept and hopefully enjoy.

The dish above is a very simple setting of watermelon radish with arugula tossed in olive oil and fig white balsamic. I love how the radish, thinly sliced, resembles a well-marbled piece of high quality beef. It'd be great to make a carpaccio of said radish with kobe or wagyu looking identical and never being sure of which you're going to bite in to. Surprise is an element of progression in contemporary cuisine. Let us never be prepared.

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