I worked under a chef during a very intensive time while in culinary school that used to demand we question everything we made for quality and taste. His favorite barking was, “Is this Fusion or Confusion?!” Half the time our specials needed that question. The rest of the time we made amazing food!
That statement of question remains the same through my menu writing and dish creation. It is one among many actually, that keep me balanced in my creative culinary process.
Last night we pushed that limit a little here at home. It verged on “confusion” and yet the flavors danced. Southern collards and carrots, Miso roasted heirloom potatoes, Hawaiian pineapple tomato, a little romanesco and fennel, a little garlic and some alchemy. Jana and I were shoulder to shoulder at the cutting boards and then at the stove. We each created different pieces of the dishes and then mixed then up in our monk bowls.
Beautiful! and it was wonderfully tasteful!
I highly recommend playing with ingredients and cuisines of the world. As you look around the cuisines of the world, you notice very quickly that there are serious commonalities along latitudinal belts. Cilantro is used all over the world, for example.
Ingredients like these are the keys to successful fusion. They become the bridges on which we traverse the culinary traditions of the globe. A Mojon de Cilantro of Spanish cuisine can perfectly accompany an Grilled bisteca in Argentina, Fajitas in Mexico, Baked fish in Morocco, Or Red Lentil and Rice Cakes in India!
So, the next time you are at the market and see something beautiful, bring it home and do a little research on all the different places around the world that use that ingredient. How creative can you get with your one ingredient!!
Put a littile love into it and it will certainly be fusion instead of confusion!!