Brokedinner's 4 Ideas influencing progressive cookery

Kareem Roberts

Kareem Roberts

Other 7th June 2018
Kareem Roberts

Brokedinner's 4 Ideas influencing progressive cookery

Brokedinner presents : 4 Ideas influencing progressive cookery

Warning : Opinion piece following

Modern cooking has always been a polarizing subject. In one breath it inspires innovation and entices mystery. We wonder what is on the horizon of our potential. At the same time it can leave a bit of disdain on the palettes of pundits who question its novelty versus practicality.

To be fair it is very difficult to pinpoint and pigeonhole a class of cooking into a definitive term and if so, modern is somewhat unfair. This is clearly an opinionated piece so please do not label this a dogma but I see a fundamental difference between Progressive cooking and Modern cooking. Modern is indicative of an era and progressive is much more in the now. Having made that distinction I would like to focus very much on the NOW and give you

Brokedinner’s 4 Ideas in progressive cooking

1. Minimalism
Okay, haute cuisine has always leaned towards being on the smaller side of the portion sizes but minimalism shares several identities. In this capacity I am referring to the visual minimalism. While not so long ago presentation was intricate and almost architectural now it is very much the contrary. There are not only less elements on the plate but less manipulation of the ingredients involved. Quality of produce has never had as integral to dish composition as it is now

2. Earth
Maybe it is the effect of the vegolution. Or maybe the farm to table movement has assimilated into the status quo of refined dining. Either way, if there was a general FEEL for the median contemporary dish I would definitely say that it feels very earthy. Environmentally speaking it makes logical sense for our crafts to display the underlying awareness that is rightfully rampant colloquially but often ignored. Also, look at the way we are decorating our plates. We went from delicately placed microwave.herbs to heaps of leaves and often TWIGS AND STEMS on the plate. I am sure there is a message somewhere in there...we just have to dig through the shrubbery.

3. Rise of the fish
At least is is here in England. Fun fact : England, as influential as it may be, is still an island. In the pursuit of coveted accolades elite chefs understand that food needs to make sense based on its surrounding environment. The chefs that are shaping the future of fine dining HERE are really honing in on the overlooked offers of our encompassing seas and believe it or not, they are doing very little to the ingredient itself before it arrives in front of the diner. Still skeptical? Well, one restaurant was awarded 3 Michelin stars last year in the UK. Just one. What do they serve? Raw fish. Google it.

4. Scandinavia
10 years ago while everyone was still caught up in the molecular gastronomy phase Ferran Adria was THE MAN. While his justifies reverence is still there, his copycats have found a new source of ‘inspiration’. Welcome to the era of viking food. Are you familiar with Faaviken? If not then YOU MUST be aware of Noma and its mythical spearhead Rene Redzepi. These are the guys who made foraging the IT thing when it was still cool. Dry aging for 6 months, hand churned raw and often intentionally split creams, dried mosses, lactofermented (insert SUPERregional berry here), and a plethora of cures and preserves using updated recipes from Norse winters centuries ago. These are SOME of the techniques these guys made trendy. While I don't know.what Magnus is doing in his VERY remote location, I do know that Rene has relaunched his culinary breeding ground of innovation(and norovirus...sorry, i just had to lol) with a strong focus on Seafood. Hmm…

That is the thing about progression. It is in constant flux. It is more like running water than a body of it and often very difficult to transfix. I do not know if it is easier to be progressive if you are in tune with EVERYTHING or if you do the opposite, block it all out and create it ex nihilo. The one thing I do now is that progress is internally driven, or it needs to be in order to be sustainable. So often do we see chefs make a grand splash and then fail to follow up and/or evolve. I do not claim to know much about being progressive myself, but I do know something about progressive chefs. They are not comfortable and regardless of how cutting edge the chef or his techniques may be, GOOD FOOD will always be the NOW thing to do.

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