How do you build flavors? We are not building dishes. We are looking at expressions of flavor. Tastes, experiences, beliefs and impressions often guide our process. A visual aesthetic is essential to the assemblage of delicious. In fact, without an aesthetic driving our approach cooking is inherently simple. Weaving taste and beauty together is both inspiring and difficult. Striving to do this is essential in the refinement of cooking.
In working with flavors very often ingredients that look beautiful together also taste great and harmonize. We were working on the development of a lemongrass sabayon and started bringing components together. The first was the lemongrass. We knew we wanted something lighter so we reached for coconut water rather than coconut milk. To balance these two base flavors we added Thai basil and lime juice. The acidity brought the rich flavors of the coconut together and accented the floral notes of the lemongrass. The basil filled in the blanks.
The ingredients look beautiful together in their raw state. Their clarity and pristine qualitly set the stage for the dynamic tastes of the end result: lemongrass sabayon.