The dining experience is not just about taste anymore. It would seem that the more we dine the more educated ourselves in our own preferences. Whether we would go back for a second visit does not necessarily place taste and price at the top of the list anymore. Morso diners are concerned about value for money. Now that's a humungous one. Did you get what you paid for? How the heck one goes about calculating that really depends on how much weight you give to your pet peeve the non exact sum of pet peeves. Consider that there are some universal things that humor us and piss us off during a dining experience Service, taste, ambiance, decoration, comfort level, proximity to the next table, music, music volume, lighting, prices, feeling full from the meal, menu selection, drinks selection, buzz. These are quite rudimentary.
Today's diner cannot be cheated. You serve a short rib and charge a thousand bucks you will be called out. People like honest food it's a new measure.
Get a diner confused and piss them off. The more you slap on the pate, the more you lose the message you are communicating to the diner which is why Robuchon sticks to his M.O. no more than 4 flavours on the plate you don't become Chef of the Century for nothing! A successful dish is one that has harmony a new measure.
Honesty in your food is not about being rustic or traditional, its not about making good commercial decisions, its about attitude and maturity in the chef's identity. We can make foams and funky ice creams but they have to add to the dish and every layer of flavor needs to bring out the best in the ingredients. If we do things that mask one another, our cleverness is not paying off. All too often you will have eaten a dish and feel like it's a chef saying "look how clever I am" rather than, "doesn't this taste great!?". Harmony is achieved in the profound understanding of taste and the confidence that less is more. We are not born knowing that freeze dried lychees taste great with monkfish liver, we had to have tried and liked it, we had to have tried a whole bunch of other combinations and puked. The days we think we don't need to taste is the day we should stop cooking.
Identity. Who you are, what you stand for. The quest to communicate your passion through your food.
If we are lucky, from time to time, we get to sample delicious insights to the chef's soul. If we are lucky from the amuse you get a feeling that you will be well looked after.
Ladies and gentlemen I present to you the Soulometer. The new dining experience measure.
Honesty and harmony = Soul.
Listening to: Shawn McDonald
Watching: Big Night
Eating: Leen Go
Drinking: Dong Nai Cha