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Bill Spohn

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The Rise and Fall of French Cuisine

by Bill Spohn » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:05 pm

Interesting article in the Guardian - I particularly liked the quote on not trusting a skinny chef:

https://www.theguardian.com/food/2019/j ... SApp_Other

Fernand Point famously held that in order to master a dish you must cook it 100 times. He was as fastidious as he was fat. “Look at the chef,” he advised. “If he is thin, you will probably dine poorly.”

The article is lengthy and well thought out and worth the time of any serious foodie to read.
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Rahsaan

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Re: The Rise and Fall of French Cuisine

by Rahsaan » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:47 am

Thanks, indeed an interesting read. I'm often hesitant to engage in generalizations about 'French restaurants' because there are so many, at so many different levels, doing lots of different things. People form opinions based on their own limited circuits, which may or may not correspond to any broader reality (and which is often quite nuanced).

That said, two reactions to his quip: "But often it felt as if France was borrowing from other food cultures..."

One is that France has always done that. The whole point of French food is to imperially take from others and in the process make things better with the French techniques and adjustments.

But another is that in our globalized world, it is very likely that national differences in cuisines are being reduced. Not just in France but all over. I've actually done some research on French food culture in supermarkets and school lunches, and there you see a fair amount of maintenance of tradition. But in the cutting-edge cheffy restaurants it is plausible that things are converging internationally.
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Bill Spohn

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Re: The Rise and Fall of French Cuisine

by Bill Spohn » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:51 am

I agree - forward looking chefs today are trying anything they think may work.

Of course when the French do that and like the result, they are prone to claiming that it was part of French cuisine all along :twisted:
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Dale Williams

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Re: The Rise and Fall of French Cuisine

by Dale Williams » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:02 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:I - I particularly liked the quote on not trusting a skinny chef:
.


OK Bill I'll eat at restaurants by Ripert, Marcus Samuelsson, Keller.

You get Paula Deen, Batali (I actually love his food, but a bit offputting these days), Emeril

Boulud, Nobu, Morimoto, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Ducasse are closer to skinny than fat, but we'll leave them off

It was a good article. I unfortunately haven't been to France but 3 times this century, so can't really comment on actual french food scene.
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: The Rise and Fall of French Cuisine

by Jeff Grossman » Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:22 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:Interesting article in the Guardian - I particularly liked the quote on not trusting a skinny chef:

https://www.theguardian.com/food/2019/j ... SApp_Other

Fernand Point famously held that in order to master a dish you must cook it 100 times. He was as fastidious as he was fat. “Look at the chef,” he advised. “If he is thin, you will probably dine poorly.”

The article is lengthy and well thought out and worth the time of any serious foodie to read.

Thanks, Bill. Best thought was right towards the end:
Maybe we are now surrounded by so much variety and plenty that we have lost our ability to be amazed by food in the way my parents once were. Maybe what [we] think we remember about the glories of the French restaurant – because nostalgia is really a false memory, the longing for something that never really existed – is not really the meal, but the unexpected pleasure of the meal, the discovery of deliciousness. À la recherche du temps perdu; the ability to be surprised by something we eat is a mouthful of madeleine that is long gone.
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: The Rise and Fall of French Cuisine

by Jeff Grossman » Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:25 pm

Dale Williams wrote:
Bill Spohn wrote:I - I particularly liked the quote on not trusting a skinny chef:
.


OK Bill I'll eat at restaurants by Ripert, Marcus Samuelsson, Keller.

You get Paula Deen, Batali (I actually love his food, but a bit offputting these days), Emeril

Boulud, Nobu, Morimoto, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Ducasse are closer to skinny than fat, but we'll leave them off

It was a good article. I unfortunately haven't been to France but 3 times this century, so can't really comment on actual french food scene.

Grant Achatz (2018 photo):
https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/I4QTZT_PtlWYpPfIT6hhxX3DbeI=/0x0:2000x1286/920x613/filters:focal(840x483:1160x803):format(webp)/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62370327/grant_achatz.0.jpg

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