07 December 2008

...as I aimlessly research chefs in a deft procrastination attempt,

I keep finding little morsels of enlightenment that make the procrastination completely worthwhile.

Allow me to introduce him. He is Graham Elliot Bowles, and he deserves his own Wikipedia page. Known for his chef-dom at Chicago restaurant Avenues in the Peninsula, he also presides over the eponymous graham elliot, where he upholds his reputation for serving unexpected things that tickle one's palate and seduce one's imagination.

As a high school senior, I haven't had the good fortune to dabble in his gastronomical ventures, so I'm relying on Frank Bruni's NY Times review to do the trick:
"Mr. Bowles has been known to serve crushed Altoids instead of mint jelly with lamb and to present diners with lollipops of foie gras encrusted with Pop Rocks. His cooking typifies another facet of this cuisine: the way it recruits junk food into the service of fancier dishes or creates highbrow versions of lowbrow classics.
'Why not go to the store and get the curiously strong mint?" Mr. Bowles said in a telephone interview, going on to reject "that horribly boring quote, 'I love to use farm-fresh products and local ingredients and European technique.''"

Irreverence and innovation, as anyone knows, are two surefire ways to win my heart.
Below, a deconstructed Caesar salad from graham elliot:
I like that the crouton is standing there like this immovable monument amid the frivolous ruffles of lettuce and anchovy.

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