Thursday, November 19, 2009
Culinary arts: my new world
It has the inviting smell of roasting veal bones, the hiss of sweating shallots, the pale yellow of hollandaise sauce. It is a world of creamy soups that come about as if by magic from seemingly disparate pieces.
My new world is knife blades that rapid-cut carrots and onions, leeks and celery. It is is framed in gleaming, sterile-looking stainless steel.
It is butter that's clarified, pepper that's white, sauce that's deliciously brown.
My new world has a language all its own -- "umami" and mise en place, onion piquet and cartouche, velouté and demi-glace.
This new world tugs the imagination out of one's soul and turns it into a new reality, of flavors and seasonings, all evoking even more imagination that in turn brings more new realities in what is literally becoming a delicious cycle.
(Photo shows the "hotline" -- row of stovetops dominating the center of our kitchen classroom.)