Sunday, April 26, 2009

Can we PLEASE stop covering this crap now??????

Please watch the video..... Thanks to for the link.

Did you notice the following things....

1) Herve This says 'did you hear that?' Yeah, dude, it's the sound of a fork hitting a plate. Happens all the time when you're eating REAL FOOD. Quite a breakthrough.

2) The 'if I wasn't on camera, I'd be spitting this out' look on the reporters face. She actually looked like she might throw up. AWESOME!!! Yea for molecular gastronomy!!!!!

Seriously folks. Can we stop caring about chefs who play with their chemistry sets and create 'synthetic food'? This isn't the next culinary step, as much as the food press would like to think it is. I've had my share of cold/lukewarm, geleed, ultra-manipulated, tweezer plated(who thought of this gem????) food. It's not restorative. It's not. It's gimmickry at best. The smell of a lamb loin searing perfectly in a pan is sexy. Tomatoes so fresh and warm that you can still smell the plant is sexy. Plating a cod sperm gelee on top of an absinthe 'pillow' with tweezers and then inserting the 'flavors of mulch' is NOT. Get over it and get back to real food and real artistry. This artistry is in the pan and in the day to day. Not in the chemicals.


Michael said...

Thanks for saying this. I'm just an eater, but I have no desire to eat food that's not real food, thank you very much. I'm not a luddite by any means, but the food I make and the food I want to eat in restaurants does not involve molecular gastronomy or the use of high-tech tools, liquid nitrogen, et.

Beau said...

Preach on, Brother Little. Can't figure out why anyone would be so proud of such a ridiculous accomplishment, or why the media would be so giddy about reporting it. Hopefully normal, sane people realize that a chemist shouldn't be "playing around" and creating their food in a lab.

Go do something worthwhile guys, like curing cancer. Leave the food production to Ma Nature.

Anonymous said...

WTF? this looks like some road salt, along with something that came out of a 10-month-old kid (brown) and out of a Canada goose (green).

kirchartfour said...

sorta bitching too much about this. I say that it is always nice to see chefs coming out with something new. it tastes? who cares? >>I'm personally not a fan of 'special egg yolk mayonnaises' but for the sake of conveniences where it may apply, that stuff is good at what it's needed for, right?

besides that, Pierre Gagnier's mind crushes all that 'farm to table', 'local', 'seasonal', 'sustainable', 'simple/rustic' bullshit that one might say a whole lot of people are waxing poetic about. He's already passed 'go'.

As a proponent of gastronomy in that I cook professionally; I like seeing this.
Not exactly hypothetical anymore but: Imagine being the soul restaurant that can serve vegans 'aoili' that is emulsified w/o egg yolk. Pastries w/o gluten that actually taste good and have supple texture. That's good right?

Chef Andrew Little said...


Thank you for your comments. I'd like to address a few of them.

1. As for my 'bitchiness''ve entered MY playground. If you don't like it(and you're sure not to by the end of this commentary) PLEASE don't read my blog anymore.

2. No CHEF of any talent or ability creates a dish and doesn't care how it tastes. This comment simply shows your immaturity and lack of focus.(Your quote: 'how it tastes? who cares?')

3. I was not discussing 'special substitutions' in my post.(i.e. gluten free) I was discussing my disdain for creating food out of chemicals for the goal of 'play'. You should read more for content. This shows your lack of attention to detail.

4. As for your great love of Pierre Gagnaire....If you had really studied his genius, you'd be able to spell his name........CORRECTLY. Spell it with me G-A-G-N-A-I-R-E. Again, attention to detail. Just as an aside; I own and have read ALL of Gagnaire's books, as well as, ALL of Herve This' writing on the subject of molecular gastronomy.(his term, not mine) I respect their genius, but do not subscribe to it. You should take a lesson from that.

5. I can only assume that you've never held a chicken in your hands while it was still bleeding out from the neck. Never scalded the feathers. Never heard a rabbit scream or taken vegetables from seed to the plate. I can also assume that you don't take pleasure in the feeling of warm dirt on your hands, hooking a turtle and cleaning it or finding a a bunch of chervil that popped up along a country road. This is my life. This is what I do and I WILL NOT have you attempt to marginalize it by using every buzz word that you could manage to use correctly to prove your point. You see, the food, as I work with it, has an identity and a story that people can relate to. It's about FLAVOR,(I care how my food tastes) not a laboratory or synthetics. You could certainly retort that I am marginalizing a fad of cooking that you hold dear. I am. I feel this fad has gotten out of control and while certainly interesting when practiced by a few, it's not actually food for food's sake. It's some type of performance art. The rub here is that I'm not doing it on your blog. Again, if you don't like the playground, leave.

6. You don't see the art in cooking with sustainable foodstuffs. You don't see the genius in it. You don't see the creativity in it. You scoff at terrior. Get yourself to Hanover, PA and your dinner is on me. Any time. Please be aware that I am making you an offer of a free dinner for two(2). You will be seated at a table of six(6). Your dining companions will be Beau Ramsburg, Kathy Glahn, Heather Sheppard Lunn and Tim Brown. I think they could shed some light on exactly what 'passing go' is all about.

7. I appreciate that you are a 'proponent of gastronomy'. I study gastronomy, as well. However the difference between you and me is that I don't hide behind the term and use it as an excuse to not care if the food tastes good 'for the sake of gastronomy'. I embrace it. Each day, I push harder to refine what we are currently doing and search for different ways to make what we currently do better. However, I do that within the boundaries of using sustainable foodstuffs that have been handcrafted by people who are my friends and who provide the backbone for The Sheppard Mansion.

8.Please learn the proper usage of terms. I don't know any 'soul' food restaurants that cater to vegans. Being the 'sole' restaurant to do something is in fact interesting, but, again, you've missed the point of my post entirely. It wasn't ever about food substitutions. Again, attention to detail, my friend.

Thank you for your comments. As you can see, I don't agree with any of them and find most of them poorly thought out and executed. Oh yeah, when you come to eat at The Sheppard Mansion please feel free to mention to myself, or Beau Ramsburg, or Kathy Glahn or Scott Robinson that you think eating and cooking 'local', 'sustainable' and 'seasonal' is bullshit. Seriously.

Beau said...


Dude, you have stumbled into the wrong neighborhood, in case you haven't figured that out yet.

You must be some cook, though. Not giving a damn about how the product actually tastes--that's admirable. It's that kind of integrity that leads to long term success. Kind of like the Doctor who doesn't care if the patient gets better, as long as he collects the fee, right? Maybe the mechanic who finds it optional to tighten the lug bolts on the car wheel?

How do I get a rezzie at your shop, my friend? I'm just dying to taste apathy on a plate.

But even better, let's take Chef Little up on his offer. You come on out for the freebie, and see what happens when you have a chef who combines a relentless passion for cooking with all that "local, seasonal, simple/rustic bullshit" that you think you know so much about. I'd even be willing to put up with your ignorance for a couple hours to experience that.

Michael R said...

Little, hats off! It's always a joy to read your blog and witness your passion, wit and sensibility. Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

I was hoping you cook better than you write and spell, but if you don't care how your food tastes, I NEVER want to eat your food. I'll eat the food from the man who "knows his farms and knows his food." That's real food, not some created artificial stuff on a plate.

Anonymous said...

Andy - you sound angry. I like it.

Rich said...

"Opinions are like assholes....everyone's got one"....AND, for the sake
of discussion, here's mine...

Is Andy bitching too much?

Maybe, perhaps it would be instructive if one were to understand the origins of WHY some folks feel this
way about - "chemically created" food....namely the fact that for the last two generations at least - we
have abdicated what and how we eat to the 'food manufacturing industrial complex'
all in the name of "convenience", "progress", "affordability" and our own narcissistic notion that "we deserve to eat what
we want when we want it - i.e.- tomatoes and berries and other things
out of season as well as fruits and vegetables not native to our own
land that require transportation over long distances - just because WE

All along the way - coincidentally - we've gotten fatter...possibly less
healthy, we take more drugs to correct even the slightest ailments,
girls seem to "mature" faster - and get "bigger" in places they didn't
used to and the processed food industry - which relies heavily on the
use of chemicals to survive and make money - has grown exponentially.

This is the face of "progress".....the use of chemicals to "create" food
where none existed before???

Look, I'm all for "intellectual expansion" as much as the next guy, but
it seems to me that Pierre Gagnier's mind isn't really the issue here.....

.This is all about fame and fortune.

Which brings me to the main thrust of my diatribe......"It's All About The PR & Marketing"...

....and at some point - in the "created from chemical, avant garde food movement"....after seeing all this, reading about all this,
tasting the results of all this and thinking about all of this, that
phrase- 'It's All About PR & Marketing"..... and the purely naked reality of what it entails, starts to make
way too much sense because in the end....using methods that FURTHER
remove us from what it is our food is really about....comes off - to me
at least - as pure unadulterated EGO and the subsequent publicity that
is generated by it comes off as just so much needless mental

Again, my opinion.

As to being the "soul restaurant that can serve vegans 'aoili' that is
emulsified w/o egg yolk." is seems to me that if you need
to be the 'sole' chef that "creates" 'aioli' using "chemicals" just to
satisfy Vegans that think they deserve to be able to eat
'aioli'....perhaps they need to rethink the meaning of being who they
are....because making the types of lifestyle choices THEY make...or any
lifestyle choices....usually comes with - like life itself - the need to

Some people just should just not get to eat aioli...oh well. Or pastries
cobbled together with "chemical replacements" for the very things that
make them as desirable as they are in their original incarnation. Oh

Is there room for all of this as an intellectual adjunct to a many spoked
"professional wheel"...absolutely.

But I think that there also needs to be more of a focus - publically -
on the fact that this is a professional exercise- ONLY - that has somehow gone more
mainstream than it should because when things get publicized to the
"masses" like this has, it has a tendency to come off as gospel...which
this movement clearly is not.

We've spent the last 20 years extolling the virtue of having as many
people as possible "get back in touch with" how and where their food
comes from......and how, through the use of chemicals and chemistry, we
have jeopardized our health and our planet.

Legitimizing this methodology as anything more than wannabe artists
looking for their muse as a way to satisfy their own egos instead of
actually FEEDING people food that tastes great and has a story they can
understand and appreciate....seems to me to be the wrong way to go.

BUT...what can I say....I actually CARE about eating great tasting

Paul said...

This is really not all that complicated: It's dopey.

What these guy's are peddling reminds me of the goo they ate in The Matrix...has all the necessary nutrients to sustain life, but hits the eye & palate with all the excitement of that anti-flat Slime you put in your mountain bike tires. Gag me with a pitchfork.

Regardless of its stupidity, and as indicated by Kirchartfour's comments, there will be the nuevo-crowd who buy into the Emperor's New Food with enthusiasm as if they are on the cusp of some 'next wave' greatness...fully blinded by the hyped-up pitch of yet another modern-day snake-oil salesmen. Sorta like the Pet Rock, and as dumb.

Now, where did I put my bag of cheese puffs and pork rinds...