The internet is a tool. It allows information to move quickly, for ideas to evolve, and for techniques to be shared. I can remember hearing, well reading, about an ingenious technique of Andoni Luis Aduriz of restaurant Mugaritz. He was freezing and thawing watermelon in order to dehydrate it while keeping the flesh moist. The idea bounced around our minds for some time and we never thought to try it, until we did. Andoni's execution created a carpaccio which looked like meat, had a unique texture and was playful in that it was nothing like meat save for it's appearance.
We were revisting a watermelon salad and figured why not try freezing and thawing the watermelon. We cut relatively thick slices of watermelon, seasoned them with salt and cayenne, vacuum sealed to compress the fruit, and then froze and thawed the slabs of fruit. The first freezing and thawing produced a ton of syneresis. The cell walls of the watermelon were ruptured and the water leaked out in generous amounts. We repeated the process several more times and the fruit soon took on the appearance of sliced slabs of tuna. We had cut the watermelon too thick for carpaccio and stumbled into an exciting variation based on the process. We sliced the slabs into strips and the watermelon now looked like the tuna ribbons served at Jean Georges. If we were going to borrow, we might as well tap more than one source. The technique of one, the aesthetic of another, together they allowed for something we find original. We dressed the watermelon ribbons with celery leaves, olive oil and grapefruit juice. We complement the toothsome ribbons with watermelon poached shallots, a celery sheet, and honey infused grapefruit. Inspirations come from everywhere and meld to form something new in our kitchen.