Lately I'm sensing a trend that is slowly coalescing around us. People are starting to associate us with a narrow focus on scientific ingredients and techniques. This particular pigeonhole has surrounded us several times in the last few weeks and I'd like to take a moment to clarify our approach to cooking. I'm the first to admit that we like to experiment and to play in the kitchen. It's the backbone of our philosophy, creativity in the kitchen. There is an underlying foundation to our improvisational outlook and that is the quest to create amazing food. Food that excites the palate and the eye, that teases the senses and makes you want to come back for yet another bite. Food that leaves you staring at an empty plate wishing for just a bit more. This cuisine can be innovative and modern, it can also be creative and very rustic. It depends upon the ingredients available, our mood, our guests, the season, the weather, and a myriad range of ever-changing variables too fleeting to detail here.
We love the range of new ideas and ingredients that constantly pass through our horizon. Like many chefs we use them to improve our food and calibrate textures and flavors to our specifications. Never forget that they are a means to an end and not the reason for cooking. There are many chefs who use them to spectacular effect because they suit their individual styles. Things like sous vide cookery, transglutaminase, and hydrocolloids can be found in a surprising number of kitchens, where they play a supporting role and are simply used to help focus that particular chef's personal vision of their food.
For whatever reason science in the kitchen is now either revered of villified, according to personal philosophies. Instead it should simply be acknowledged and accepted as useful information for any kitchen. New ideas, cooking methods and ingredients are simply building blocks to help us understand how things happen and to improve our culinary abilities. They are not a world unto themselves.
As chefs, we should not underestimate how much we can learn by asking questions and trying new things, nor should we feel obligated to focus solely on the cutting edge. Our points of view are ever-evolving as is our culinary style. Science is an important part of what we do, although it's not everything. There is great pleasure to be found in simplicity and science can help us to achieve that. In the end it comes down to flavor, texture and presentation. It comes down to beauty on the plate that will be pure enough to last from the moment you smell it coming towards you to the lingering effects of satisfaction and comfort at the end of your meal. That's our philosophy and that's what we strive for with every dish we create.