Noma in the 50’s…It looks like spagetti so we call it spoguti……and penicillin pudding or an elm tree on rye

This super funny sketch from the 50’s has a knew-it-all-along effect or creeping determinism of how our food would evolve as in Noma, Mugaritz or Elbulli. 

etc. etc there are so many examples I could add to this post , but what I am so fascinated about is the on point humor generated purely from this comedic geniuses imagination in this sketch from the 1950’s about what is really the reality of our gastronomic experience now. I love all this so this post is out of pure love for everyone I mention in this post hope it wil make you smile  🙂

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Every so often there comes a man……

Sen no Rikyū (千利休?, 1522 – April 21, 1591, also known simply as Sen Rikyū), is considered the historical figure with the most profound influence on chanoyu, the Japanese “Way of Tea”, particularly the tradition of wabi-cha. He was also the first to emphasize several key aspects of the ceremony, including rustic simplicity, directness of approach and honesty of self. Originating from the Edo Period and the Muromachi Period, these aspects of the tea ceremony persist. Rikyū is known by many names; for convenience this article will refer to him as Rikyū throughout.

Every so often there comes a man that is able to see the universe in a totally unique way.

Who’s vision upsets the very foundations of the world as we know it.

Someone that longs to grasp the hidden design of the underlying principals of nature.

To look for the harmony in ones ideas and creation but not only in nature but in the world of man.

We all surely can think of many people who we could describe as living this through out History and in every department from Science to politicians to philosophers, painters religious figures, chefs, architects and ordinary people etc.

This being the basic force behind this kind of person, is on who searches for true meaning and relevance of ones own existence, for people who feel and think beyond the superficial and the appearance of things.

Naturally the ideas such a man would in essence reflect exactly that.

Looking to man’s ambitions are misleading the true creative seeker.

There is a need for true internal realness and realization being fully alive and radiating.

The longing for this authentic experience and realisation is making sense of ones life itself.

Nature is the balance in mans life holding answers on any subject imaginable of what we seek so deeply.

Nature on all levels hold a wealth that surpasses any human conception and only in the true balance do I feel is any meaning truly realised.

These kind of people who come along every so often are able to say: hang on a moment and redirect our delusions to perhaps, point at what is essential that – which makes us true human beings.

Pointing to humanity,  the perfect essence of anything divine and natural in man, is for some the only thing worth living for.

Anything other then exactly that is scratching on a surface.

It is due to such men and woman we have many light barers in this world throughout the history of man -that help us not to feel mad or bad for feeling, seeking and questioning.

From many angles they help us put relevance and security into the steps we take through the unknown.

Values make a hart, love gives us the vision and anything driven by this gives us meaning and purpose.

How can man exist without it?

How can we accept that modern achievement and goals giving us the right to walk over someone else?

What kind of strange values are acceptable in the name of getting were you want to be in life?

Survival of the strongest is indeed how it is in a jungle however I have seen that  in a jungle and when  in the face of danger even in animals will stand up and protect and defend there loved ones.

Animals dont kill to upset and hurt someone premeditated like humans do! They kill to eat and only take what they need and at one point they also will be eaten.

Morals and hart is not necessarily a religious reference however a humanistic one.

Ideas and creativity for me personally – can also have souls, spirit  and essence potentially transcending this illumination of humanity and brilliance – so much so that this is what I look for myself.

This is my holistic overview and I strive for this kind of concepts in anything that I design or would like my creations to reflect.

It is not easy as you have to really craft this and design it well, it may be more of a process of seeing the connection between things, an insight – recognising the profound design that nature offers to us to experience through becoming still and filled with humility. Your manifestation of it is only a limited point of view however this can significantly help others to feel and become closer to this perception and feeling.

Certain things in life do definitely help me to see things.

As in Japanese tea ceremony all the external ways you may observe and seeming very cultural and ritualistic perhaps even old teaches hugely profoundness as it was designed to help to cultivate peace and humanity through the art of drinking tea.

This is very closely also pointing to the phenomena of the magical relation of humility between man and nature very clearly resembled in the tea ceremony cup making process were man makes something from the element of earth then the glace becoming a force that can never be repeated in the same way and the most enigmatic part of manifestation of the collaboration between man and nature.

The most sophisticated thing I have ever sen is exactly this the relation between man and nature united though love harmony and humility.

That is surely worth striving for.

What a shame we destroy so much of life in our constant lust for profits never creating good designs.

We design in a way that we neglect many parts only making the design serve profit then causing things like pollution  However a very good designer will create a design that even thinks of those things making what ever design benefit everyone completely with out damaging.

for example:

“‘From Cardboard to Caviar’ is a pretty unusual fish farming project but it’s a textbook example of ‘Cradle to Cradle’. The project gets cardboard packaging waste from stores and restaurants, shreds it and sells it to stables as horse bedding. Once the horse bedding needs replaced, it is collected and feed to worms in a composting pit. When the worms are all fattened up, they are fed to the sturgeons who will produce caviar. Then, the caviar is then sold back to the restaurants where the cardboard was collected from.”

This is how nature works it is a recycling nature so why we do not design the same way?

As a chef we often just do what the industry does and coming out of that box immediately causes concerns to investors etc.

It is alway anticipated that a significant amount of pollution and damage as a byproduct of our business is acceptable as is hurting some people.

I dont believe either is necessary at all.

No matter what… to continuously stive to help the world in any way even if it seems impossible is definitely worth living for.

Hounsai Daisosho 15th generation grandmaster (Sen no Rikyū)
A native of New York, Milgrim first visited Japan in 1977 as a college student and traveled throughout the country, researching ceramics and Japanese culture. After receiving a degree in Fine Arts and Japanese Studies from Antioch College, Milgrim returned to Japan in 1979 on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship and simultaneously began a dedicated study of both Japanese pottery and the Japanese tea ceremony. He entered an apprenticeship with Iwabuchi Shigeya, Master Potter in Kyoto while also studying at the headquarters of the Urasenke Tradition.
A tea house – designed for the art of drinking tea  peace on earth and becoming a better person. 

A japanese tea ceremony cup reflecting the perfect harmony between man and nature with great dignity and humility. This represents a collaboration between nature and man. The glace can never be anticipated of premeditated and just gazing  into this cup it reflects a kind of enigma. Specially when you are in japan in such a teahouse surrounded by a japanese garden and you hold this precious green tea and cup in your hands made by someone who dedicates his life to making the tea for people to experience profound  humanity sharing appreciation and humility. This proves that we can design everything much better and beneficial for life itself!

The fragrant smell from this artfully crafted green tea matcha and the effect on the spirit and mind this experience has  is extremely refined that probably poetry would be more suitable to describe such an event. However it is an example of how great a design can be when created with so much insight and consideration.
Suigetsu (Intoxicated by the Moon)
created by Sen no Rikyu

It is truly a cultural thing like this that contain something even bigger then culture itself and it will be a gift to those that are jet not born and in a world that is declining. Maybe we will all realise that greater designs may safe our world if not maybe these things in the japanese tea culture will at least be the memorie of what it once was and how to connect no matter what in the here in now? I hope we manage to take care of our world as those jet to come deserve to also enjoy it as we once did.

The characters wa kei sei jaku as written by Dr. Genshitsu Sen, fifteenth-generation Grand Master of the Urasenke Tradition of Chanoyu.
The Philosophy of Chado
The underlying philosophy of Tea evolved from Zen Buddhism. Zen is the Japanese counterpart of the Chinese word chan, which is a translation of the Sanskrit word dhyana, meaning the meditation that leads to deep spiritual insight. Both Tea and Zen emphasize a way of training body and mind in awareness that has potential to become a rigorous spiritual discipline. Urasenke founder, Sen Rikyu (1522-1591) summarized the principles of the discipline of Tea into four concepts: wa, kei, sei, and jaku.

Wa Wa (harmony)
This word connotes a feeling of oneness with nature and people. At a tea gathering, harmony plays between host and guest, guest and guest, mood and season, the food served and the utensils used. Sensitivity to the changing rhythms of the seasons, and harmony with these changes are once source of ever deepening pleasure in the practice of Tea. The unpredictable nature of weather is an integral part of a tea gathering and is not to be shut out, ignored, or considered inconvenient. This harmony with nature quietly leads one to an understanding of the evanescence of all things and the unchanging in the changing.
Kei Kei (respect)
Respect results naturally from a feeling of gratitude. Respect is extended not only to the other people with whom one interacts but also to one’s daily life, and even to inanimate objects, such as utensils as a product of human effort or whatever has come into existence. The etiquette observed in the tearoom helps a student of Tea to learn to apply the principle of kei. To the uninitiated what may appear at first as excessively strict and formal is in actuality a means of incorporating, internalizing the spirit of respect. The hospitality of the host, the concern of the guests for each other and the host, and the careful handling of the utensils exemplify this respect.
Sei Sei (purity)
Cleanliness and orderliness, in both the physical and spiritual sense, are a very important part of the study of Tea. Rikyu must have learned the importance of simple acts of cleaning in his study of Zen. Even the most mundane acts—washing dishes or cleaning floors—are the seeds of enlightenment. In the words of a man of eighth-century China, “How wondrous this, how mysterious! I carry fuel, I draw water.” When the host cleans the tea utensils, he or she is simultaneously purifying heart and mind through total concentration on this task. The guests, before entering the tearoom, pass along a garden path and rinse their hands and wash out their mouths at the low stone water-basin, thereby purifying themselves of the “dust” of the everyday world outside the tearoom. Sei also implies simplification, that is, the elimination of all unnecessary elements. The appearance of the garden path and tearoom are examples of this kind of simplicity.
Jaku Jaku (tranquility)
It is often remarked in the practice of Tea that, although a person can work towards attaining the first three principles, the last cannot be attained by direct effort. However through a constant practice of harmony, respect and purity, a person whose heart inclines towards Tea is prepared to approach the utter stillness and silence of jaku. This tranquility is far from a dreamy psychological state. Instead it is the dynamic force of one’s innermost being that infuses the practice of Tea and gives significance to the tea gathering, similar to the words of one of Sen Rikyu’s predecessors, “be heart’s master, not heart mastered.”

The understanding of earthen ware, poetry, plates and vessels for kaiseki is something Westerners are not really used to unless they have had some direct experience or study of this unique appreciation.

This is imbedded deeply in the culture of japan. To understand this one has to really go to japan and learn about this and see how a certain japanese person or someone with same feelings in the hart holds a piece of ceramic and watch them how they see and experience this.

One needs to be in that environment and moment.

I find japanese culture really has showen me how to appreciate and take care in my work and in my life. I was working in Ryugin and some of the plates were 100ds of years old and there might only be a set of 4. We wash them all by hand taking care as if it were a real baby.

In a sequence of high kaiseki it is a wonderful experience when the chef presents his special plates that fit the moment and season. You eat and taste in a completely different way.

It is very humbling and precious and one is filled with great respect and humility as well as gratitude.

A feeling and understanding we really do not have at all in Western culture we almost never really see the plate as anything in particular as Japanese culture does.

These vessels for the tea ceremony hold illumination and enigma. They have a presence which is also the very thing which is the essence of keiseki.

Alone the complete hart and intention of the potter is incredible so there is a linage from nature, to maker to chef or tea master to customer that is so significant and transmitting the highest of humanity and nature in the here and now.

New Peruvian Japanese Fusion Restaurant Barcelona…by Ferran

When ever there is a japanese restaurant opening anywere in the world, especially Ferran’s….I am SUPER interested!!!!

Japanese cuisine is my life and my passion. I am probably more a japanese restaurant then a person.

I am constantly investigating and learning. I could not have any better occupation as this truly keeps me learned.

The realms of japanese food culture is imbedded in art, philosophy, spirituality, poetry, culture, architecture, poetry  porcelain,methods, techniques,nature, …the facets are diverse, devine and so incredibly refined enough to keep minds busy for century’s to come.

For me the fascination for japanese cuisine and culture, the history the imagination and passion  will never ever fade.

I am definitely not alone with these feelings, as japan ignites many chefs to find new ways in there culinary search for evolution, aiding in many new investigations making japan ever more relevant for all chefs of all generations and nationalities.

Japan century’s ago was hosting a style of eating and cooking philosophy’s that was incredibly futuristic and suitable for modern society to come.

Ferran Adria has always loved Japanese cuisine and now he will open a 30 seater restaurant right next door to Tickets in Barcelona featuring “NIKKEI” which is the peruvian japanese fusion that exists in peru for more then 120 years.

He will focus on certain vegetables carefully selected from Japan and south america for his new menu.

Nikkei is a term usually used for Japanese people who migrate:

The Japanese migration, and its individual members known as nikkei (日系), are Japanese emigrants from Japan and their descendants that reside in a foreign country. Emigration from Japan first happened and was recorded as early as the 12th century to the Philippines, but did not become a mass phenomenon until the Meiji Era, when Japanese began to go to North America, beginning in 1897 with 35 emigrants to Mexico; and later Latin America, beginning in 1899 with 790 emigrants to Peru. There was also significant emigration to the territories of the Empire of Japan during the colonial period; however, most such emigrants repatriated to Japan after the end of World War II in Asia.

According to the Association of Nikkei and Japanese Abroad, there are about 2.5 million nikkei living in their adopted countries. The largest of these foreign communities are in Brazil, the United States, and the Philippines. Descendants of emigrants from the Meiji Era still hold recognizable communities in those countries, forming separate ethnic groups from Japanese peoples in Japan.

Nobu also is a global Nikkai and his first place to migrate was Peru about 35 years ago:

Most famous and pioneering Peruvian/ Japanese fusion Chef  NOBU MATSUHISA has 42 japanese Peruvian fusion restaurants worldwide.

Nobu in Peru

Here is a short comment from Nobu as to how he migrated to Peru:

When Nobu was 24 he was working in Tokyo at Matsuai restaurant were he met a “Nikkei” from Peru:

“At Matsuei I met a Peruvian of Japanese descent who used to stop in for sushi about twice a year. One day – I was about 24 – he asked me quite seriously if I would consider moving with him to Peru to open a sushi restaurant. It was a dream come true, and I agreed at once. My father was a lumber merchant who died when I was seven. Whenever I felt sad, I used to stare at a photograph of him taken on the Pacific island of Palau, where he had once traveled to buy lumber. I wanted to be like my father. Staring at the photo I knew that I too would go overseas some day.

Lima was the perfect town for a sushi chef. With the Pacific Ocean nearby, fresh fish was never in short supply. And at the time – about 35 years ago – there were only three or four other Japanese restaurants in town. Yet Mitsubishi and many other big Japanese corporations had invested in Peru, so there were plenty of Japanese businessmen looking for good sushi.

I was a 49% stakeholder in the restaurant, but I had to do everything. Just as I had done during my apprentice days in Japan, I opened and cleaned the restaurant, put together the menus and made basic sauces. Back then you couldn’t jog down to the corner store to buy fish paste or other specialized Japanese ingredients, so I created everything from scratch, through trial and error. A lot of what I experimented with in Peru became part of my repertoire later on.”

The rest is history leading Nobu to be the most successful japanese chef world wide.

Peruvian and japanese fusion is still an exiting cuisine prospect and there is so much room for more investigations and developments.

I always felt it is important to refresh and reignite the work that Nobu has set such high bars for.

With the current peruvian/ south american global wave it is now of course the best opportunity to work with this wonderful and exiting concept of peruvian “Nikkei” cuisine.

The atmosphere of peruvian japanese food is very fun and upbeat suitable for the multicultural social, fashionistas and foodies alike.

Traditional Japanese is much more serious and demands a lot of deep knowledge, understanding and training apart form many other factores that are not easy to master or be respected for if you yourself are not from japan.

Upon many restaurants world wide copying Nobus style and menu has left a kind of confused in many people’s understanding of what real japanese food is.

To date there are not many japanese restaurants that are really japanese. Mostly the concepts get modified and customised for europeans.

Traditional Japanese food is perhaps difficult to convey in fast moving western societies so far from japan as it would require a lot of elements that are not readily available. As well there are required setting and atmospheres that  are important. In my experience staffing that have the skills required and the cultural education for example as tea ceremony “Cha Keiseki” and so on is not easy to employ.

I do feel it is not impossible however it takes a dedication and disciplin to establish that is incredibly intense and requires financial considerations.

It is so specific that many shy away from this prospect as heavy criticism follows by the japanese themselves.

In Kyoto having visited many masters, they rarely say about the other that they are great ( they dont say anything bad it is in the posture and look ). There is a kind of view of each other that is very hard to describe. Lets say there is a lot of pride which I do not condem, I understand the mentality and respect it to however it can be very hard.

Ferran Adria claims that Japanese Cuisine has had the biggest influence on his cooking career.

All over spain many  great chefs like Quique-Dacosta, Dani Garcia, Joan Roca and many more, all have a special place in there hart and influences from japanese techniques and ingredients in there menu’s.

Back in July, it was announced that Ferran Adria was teaming up with brother and business partnerAlbert Adria to open a Japanese restaurant in Barcelona. Details about the venture had been scarce until now.

In an interview with Peruvian publication El Comercio, Ferran said he was excited about returning to the kitchen. He explained the restaurant was Albert’s idea and will accomodate only 30 diners. The yet-to-be-named restaurant will feature Nikkei cuisine, a style of cooking native to Peru which blends Peurvian and Japanese ingredients and techniques.

When asked if he intended to reinvent fusion, Ferran insisted the restaurant will be strictly a blend of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine but with one exception: ”We want to incorporate – something that doesn’t exist in the Japanese or Peruvian cooking – working with vegetables.”

As for Nikkei cuisine, Ferran is passionate about bringing it to the international spotlight. ”In Japan, if you talk about Nikkei, they don’t know what it is, it’s incredible…The best part of Nikkei cooking is that it allows you to be more free…this type of cuisine is still being built and there is a long way to go, and this is fantastic,” he said.

Opening a Nikkei restaurant may seem odd at first but Ferran has been a fan of Japanese food for a longtime. The chef recently acknowledged  Japanese food influenced his last 10 years at elBulli, which was named the world’s best restaurant a whopping five times.

Ferran and Albert also plan to open a Mexican restaurant in Barcelona, all while keeping busy with the elBulli Foundation projects.

The news isn’t much of a surprise, given that the brothers have made several moves in the past year that suggest a desire for expansion: first there was Tickets and 41 Degrees, then the Mexican project, then a store, then a cocktail bar in London, and now this.

Not to mention their fascination with Japanese food, which became a major influence on the cooking at elBulli in the restaurant’s last decade. In an Eater interview last year, for instance, Ferran noted, “I didn’t go to Asia until 2002, when I went to China, Thailand, and Japan. And you could say that in the last five or six years, Japan has been and continues to be a major influence on my cooking.”

(Info in this article is from eater and fine dining lovers and link below for el comercio:

http://elcomercio.pe/gastronomia/1473137/noticia-ferran-adri-y-gaston-acurio-dejan-huella-solidaria-g9-japon

Ferran will bring a very upbeat and exiting experience to Barcelona also it will be very fantastic for all the world to see his new creations of his 2 biggest passions Japan and Peru.

I really cant wait 🙂

Nikkei cuisine is no stranger to Barcelona, and while the world awaits the new restaurant of Ferran and you want to try some Nikkei in Barcelona right now you can go here:

Komomoto, a decidedly hip, casual restaurant; nestled in Barcelona’s trendy El Born district.

Sleek, architectural interiors are given a stylish informal edge by a wall of hipster photographs and illustrations, industrial dangling lightbulbs and Ingo Maurer‘s post-it note chandeliers. The food too follows this line of slick modernity fused with offbeat cool with ceviches,  sushi – the wild salmon with chipotle sauce maki rolls etc – and lick-lipping noodles all impressing. Stylish, innovative and ideally located for some serious bar-hopping.

Dont forget to go to Tickets and 41 degrees, they are not Nikkei but really fantastic!!!

I had an amazing evening and Albert had some japanese fusion dishes that day which vere really fabulous. If you’re going to Barcelona book…it’s a must!!!!!

BOOK IN ADVANCE!!!!!

I love Tickets

I will write a separate article of TICKETS soon……

Laurent Grant…..L2o

Laurent Gras (born May 3, 1965 in Antibes, France) is a French-born chef currently living and working in the United States.

Gras’ career began in his native France where he worked at several top Michelin-rated establishments, including: Lucas Carton, where he was chef de partie under Alain Senderens; Restaurant Guy Savoy, where he was chef de cuisine; Hotel de Paris Monaco, where he was chef de cuisine under Alain Ducasse; and Restaurant Alain Ducasse Paris, where he was the opening chef de cuisine.

Gras’ American debut was in 1997 at Peacock Alley in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where, as Executive Chef, he received a three star review from Ruth Reichl of the New York Times.[1] He spent four successful years there before moving to San Francisco, where he was named the Executive Chef of the Fifth Floor. His work at the Fifth Floor was received with critical accolades including San Francisco Magazine’s Chef of the Year and Best New Restaurant 2002, Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef 2002,[2] and he was featured on the cover of Gourmet Magazine in 2003.[3]

Gras opened his first restaurant in Chicago, L2O, in May 2008. In March 2009, L2O was nominated for a James_Beard_Foundation award for “Best New Restaurant” and named to GAYOT.com’s list of the Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. in 2010 and 3 michelin stars.

Laurent Grant is a very wonderful Chef and I love how he created L2o. I love his way of working, his appreciation of Kyoto Japan and his gift of reinterpreting this kind of experience in his own way.

Really he did an amazing job. As a chef who is not japanese he did this cuisine proud and deservingly achieved 3 michelin stars.

He created the L2o blog that I was passionately following. This blog was the best chef blog and you was able to follow every single step of the creation of L2o as it was taking shape through this blog. Especially the dish creations.

Unfortunately to soon after the 3rd star was awarded a shock announcement was made that Laurent Gras was going to depart.

I dont know exactly what happened between him and the Richard Melman  owner of L2o however, it may have been that the owner suddenly wanted to implement changes that would have fundamentally changed the essence and work that Laurent had established.

This is what I heard through the grapevine however this story is to familiar to me.

Here is what I found on the net:

“In November 2010, Gras left L2O. In the same month, the newly published Michelin Guide for Chicago gave the restaurant three stars, its top rating. Gras’ departure seemed to many an overnight decision, but he and the owner of acclaimed Chicago restaurant L20, Richard Melman have had disagreements. “I love L2O and am very proud of everything we achieved there. But (owner) Rich Melman and I have always had different points of view on L2O. In July, we talked about changes he wanted to make, and for me, these changes would alter the character of L2O and ultimately make it a different experience. I let him know then that I would be leaving. “

The owner started claiming Laurent Grant to be unreasonable but I dont believe this to be so personally.

I dont believe that if a chef is left to continue his work that he randomly becomes unreasonable.

At first backers/owners dont know what the restaurant will be at all and the more it manifests before there eyes and the successes starts taking shape people start thinking  things and wanting to make decisions that end up destroying the very hart of what the restaurant is.

Ego is like a poison a very big disturbance.

This is always such a shame. You work so hard to create something so unique with so much passion. It is fully your work with the help of many incredible talented people that were handpicked for this job understanding the peoples potentials and what they can bring to this project, however because we chefs usually dont have any money invested in the business we only create, we have not that much say. The backers always can create changes that are really hard to tolerate at times.

Shortly after Laurent Grants departure the restaurant L2o lost 2 stars:

“L20, which lost its famed chef, Laurent Gras, the day after earning its third Michelin star last year, was demoted to one star.” (from another blog)

I really understand this and feel compassion to the chefs. I am not saying Chefs are always right, I can only talk about things that I have experienced in that kind of situation myself and how hard it is.

This kind of talent and Passion being able to  achieve such a beautiful restaurant to such a level is a masterpiece and best left in the hands of the one who loves it and who created it in the first place.

In spain it is so wonderful as most of the chefs are the new generation to take over the parents restaurant and fully are able to do there work without anyone interfering with full support of the family.

El Bulli was not a family story like Joan Roca for example however over the years the entire team in El Bulli fully were able to go to the most incredible and unthinkable possibility of Ferran Adria’s  imagination without a flinch and it all has brought everyone only good.

Business and pure passion is a hard one and I have rarely seen peace with that short of arrangement if it is not based on a fare balance that serves both sides involved.  There has to be a full trust and the battle of the wills must be really clearly eliminated.

I wish that Chefs that are so unique that have great vision and the ability to create something special would be more valued in a business partnership. Here in the UK you would get a small percentage and a good salary in some cases not even such a great salary for creating everything and owning nothing at the end.

You may even get exploited as you are a young and talented chef driven with passion wanting to make your mark on the world.

You would work day and night so intensely especially the first 3 years almost sleeping in the restaurant and then after you get awards, michelin star  etc ….you can be with only your achievements and no money in the bank and incredibly drained.

I am not sure how it works in the USA it may be better for Chef Patrons?

Now L2o is in my humble opinion lost its beautiful soul.

Anyway, Laurent Grant remains a hero to me and many chefs around the globe and I to this day remember every single page of his blog.

He mentioned on one of his blogs the association between fashion and a dish and truly his interpretation was really beautiful. His interest in photography leeds him to finding inspiration for his dishes in many different ways that are truly wonderful.

Unfortunately I could never make it on time to visit L2o and just before he made a shock announcement that he was leaving me and my pastry chef were just looking into how we could go there and even work for him or do a stage.

I found the pictures:

This is a sample of the aesthetic and excellence of Laurent Grant drawing inspiration from John Galliano for Christian Dior runway show 2009. This is a sample of the excellent blog that Laurent was cultivating for L2o at the time :

“If John Galliano gives the tone for spring 2009, color will make winter fade pretty quickly. And we need it here in Chicago. In fashion and art there is always an artist who gives the tone and inspiration for the season. I truly think it affects others working with creativity in other fields. Perfume and fragrance are also very related to the moment and change over the years. Food also, it follows a trend. In the picture below from Galliano’s spring collection, I feel a playful extravagance, the harlequin brings simple and tone of elegance.”

“For me, these pictures represent a moment that has already flown away. As soon as these pieces have been created they are replaced by others for the next season. It is speed to change that a kitchen can follow, but only to the extend that classic food remains the backbone to support the extravagance of the moment. Pierre Gagnaire, an immensely talented chef, said “I hope my customers forgive me for all the mistakes I have made sometimes preparing food.” I like this idea that he is humble to his both his customers and his inspiration at the same time. It is a balance to find between the emotion and the passion of changing food with the right judgment to make it enjoyable and understandable.”  Laurent Grant

His blog was truly a complete pleasure for so many chefs in the industry and we are all exited to hear any news about his new adventures and creative associations.

I can not express fully the multitude of wealth that was coming from his blog. Just briefly it was about ingredients, techniques, step by step composition of the cult dishes he created for L2o, Creative associations, kitchen equipment and much more.

I wish Laurent Grant that all his dreams come true, that he will find the restaurant of his dreams and that he gets every support he deserves.

I recently bought a book “The art of the Restauranteur” and the author mentions that it has been to much attention given to the chefs and not the restauranteurs. I beg to differ and feel that all my favourite restaurants all revolve around the chef work itself. The book is of course interesting and wonderful it is just that point I disagree on firmly. I have mixed feelings about it.

He claims ” Many chefs are extraordinary talented individuals whose food I have great pleasure of eating, a pleasure I hope will continue for many years. But great chefs dont make necessarily great restaurants”

However equally a restauranteur does not necessarily make a great restaurant either.

A great restaurant can come from many different ways of approach. A great chef and an artist in combination with great front of house talent for example, many of my friends created exactly what they want with architects and designers themselves and are incredible.

Chefs that are talented like Laurent Grant need to be fully in the elements of the restaurant without to much interference.

The entire experience flourishes from the hart of the chefs work like a flower. Everything revolves for me around this element.

Personally I can not eat at Alan Yau’s restaurants no matter how beautiful the decor is. I love him for what he creates however there is to many disjointed elements that make the experience lacking in so many way’s.

My favourite restaurant of his would be Princi because it is casual chic and the food is easy and relevant for buzzy soho.

The passion needs to be a thread that is apparent in every single little detail of the entire sequence of events during a course of a meal in order for the restaurant to transcend into an experience forth talking about.

For this of course the chef needs the talent of the front of house management however the talent and uniqueness of the chef is unquestionable the predominant factor for me.

In an ideal world the balance of all elements take there valid position inorder to create the vision to its fullest potential.

I personally think it is better for chefs to have something small but that is yours and you do the best you can without having any problems with partners and owners apart from minor things. Just work at it as best as you can. Nowadays a michelin chef can be in any kind of restaurant it does not have to be a palace costing millions. If your food is good we will all go there no matter  if we have a fancy setting or not. Probably nowadays it may be better to be not so fancy as it is more raw and real as well as relatable.

I understand that the interpretation of a kyoto style restaurant seemingly has to be very unique however there are many ways to present this standard and it can be all generate from the unique people involved rather then from  the quality of the furnishings.

Mugariz is a very good example of what I am trying to say. I dont mean to say it was cheap to set this up, Mugaritz is extremely refined and creatively stimulating on a really high level however it is not because they have extravagant settings. We can learn from the way they are to adjust something that fits to our budget and make it work.

I will always appreciate Laurent Grant and will keep looking out for what he is going to do next.

Laurent Grant recently made a book called My Provence/ available at: http://www.altaeditions.com about $9.99

Dishes inspired from the Cout d’Azure.