About Gerard Cok

People nowadays take their bartending presentation as seriously as a graduate school chemistry exam.
As the boundaries of culinary expression are pushed wider with every exotic new taste sensation, mixology is bound to follow suit. Breakthroughs in molecular gastronomy – cooking with an advanced scientific edge – have propagated interesting scientific advancements in the art of the beverage.
In turn, the tools with which bartenders fashion and serve their concoctions have begun looking less like standard kitchenware and more like industrial equipment. What technology in particular has found its way out of the laboratory and behind the bar?

“Going centrifugal is for the frugal as well.”

Chilly disposition
Liquid nitrogen has become quite a versatile material to cocktail creation, far beyond simply chilling glasses. As the Chicago Tribune recently reported, a nitrogen bath can freeze ingredients so severely, light application of a mortar and pestle can reduce these accouterments to a fine dust.
Beyond merely refining mint leaves to a perfect mixing state, utilizing liquid nitrogen can also help mixologists control the oxidation levels of the drinks they serve, which factors into precise taste profiles. The chemical also emits a smart-looking mist when exposed to the open air.
However playful it may appear in the pub, liquid nitrogen is not a toy. Keeping this chemical on site requires a business to maintain proper containment techniques, not to mention attentive supervision and training.
Revolution in drinking
The centrifuge, a staple in the medical community, has also found its place amid the mixologist’s arsenal. The device’s carousel has the power to spin substances so quickly that individual molecular components within can be separated.
As seasoned Boston bartender Todd Maul pointed out to Thermo Scientific, breaking down ingredients into two or more different states is more than just a fancy filtering process. Going centrifugal is for the frugal as well. By obtaining sediment from spinning his bar’s fruit juices, Maul was able to circumnavigate his produce’s short shelf life and retain twice the product for just the cost of the machine.
- See more at: http://mediaroom.marlinfinance.com/food-service-equipment/molecular-gastronomy-puts-science-on-tap/#sthash.5AQ3diLz.dpuf

Tending bar in the 21st century involves much more than a martini shaker. – See more at: http://mediaroom.marlinfinance.com/food-service-equipment/molecular-gastronomy-puts-science-on-tap/#sthash.5AQ3diLz.dpuf

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On Thursday, 19 March 2015, all around the world, restaurants will offer more than 1300 dinners to celebrate France’s gastronomy by inviting the public to share a “French dinner”.

In Ghana, the restaurant Bread&Wine in Osu, Accra, has been selected by an international selection committee of famous chefs, chaired by Alain Ducasse. Other members of the committee are, among others, Paul Bocuse (France), Raymond Blanc (United Kingdom), Thomas Keller (United States), Kiyomi Mikuni (Japan), Paul Pairet (China) and Nadia Santini (Italy). The Menu’s price is at the discretion of the restaurant and 5% of the proceeds of the restaurant will be given to a the NGO « Smiles for Christmas », for a project to build a library in the “Royal See Orphanage” of Kasua.

To mark the event, the Ambassador of France to Ghana will host a special private gastronomic diner at the Residence of France. High-level guests from politics, business, cultural and press life in Ghana will attend the prestigious dinner.

Bread&Wine and the Embassy of France will offer a “French-style” menu in with a traditional French aperitif, a cold starter, a hot starter, fish or shellfish, meat or poultry, a French cheese (or cheeseboard), a chocolate dessert. French wines and digestifs will highlight culinary traditions and cultures.

It will be the occasion to render homage to a vibrant, open and innovative cuisine, and share values of pleasure, respect for good food, and for the planet. The Goût de / Good France initiative is being organized by Alain Ducasse, famous French Chef, and by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development.

During the project’s presentation, Laurent Fabius, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, said: “France’s heritage is its cuisine, its wines, (…). The Gastronomic meal of the French has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 2010, but it is a heritage that should not simply be contemplated, glorified and savoured; it is a heritage that should be built upon and showcased.” In the words of Alain Ducasse: “French cuisine is the interpreter of a cuisine that has evolved towards lightness in harmony with its environment… The common point of this event is generosity, sharing and the love of what is beautiful and tastes good. It will be a delightful interlude and an opportunity to celebrate French cuisine worldwide.”

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De sterrenchef volgt Jeroen Meus op als de nieuwe Beer & Gastronomy Ambassador, een titel die gaat naar een bekende persoonlijkheid die zich het voorbije jaar heeft onderscheiden door zijn bijdrage aan de promotie van bier en gastronomie.

Sterrenchef Sergio Herman is door de Academy van Het Biergenootschap der Lage Landen (BGLL) uitgeroepen tot “Beer & Gastronomy Ambassadeur” van 2015. Herman volgt op de erelijst collega-chef Jeroen Meus op. Er wordt van hem verwacht dat hij het komende jaar de Belgische speciaalbieren en met name het gebruik van die bieren in gastronomie verder promoot.

De bekroning van BGLL bestaat sinds 2012 en is telkens bestemd voor een bekende persoonlijkheid die zich het voorbije jaar onderscheiden heeft door “zijn of haar positieve bijdrage aan de promotie van bier en gastronomie”. De laureaten van de voorbije jaren waren Jean Blaute, Joachim Boudens en Jeroen Meus.

Sergio Herman haalde vorig jaar een eerste Michelinster binnen met zijn nieuwe Antwerpse restaurant The Jane en heeft daar heel wat speciaalbieren op de kaart staan. In het bargedeelte van The Jane, de Upper Room Bar, vond vorig jaar bovendien een walking dinner plaats met “beer & food pairing”. “Daar was ontzettend veel belangstelling voor”, zegt Herman. “Bier is vanonder het stof gehaald. Het is nu hip en cool.”

Herman zegt ook als kok “niet meer om bier heen te kunnen” als kwalitatief streekproduct. “De laatste jaren is de interesse voor bier enorm gegroeid. Het is heel mooi om daarop in te spelen en er je gasten mee te verrassen”, vindt hij. “Niet alleen in een gerecht, maar ook als begeleider of waarom niet in cocktails? ” (Belga/DB)

Source: http://weekend.knack.be/lifestyle/culinair/sergio-herman-is-beer-gastronomy-ambassadeur-2015/article-normal-535887.html

Enrico Crippa is part of a comparatively youthful band of Italian chefs pushing the boundaries while simultaneously respecting regional culinary traditions. Born in Carate Brianza to the north of Milan, Crippa’s CV is as carefully considered as his moustache, detailing spells with Ferran Adrià, Michel Bras and Italian maestro Gualtiero Marchesi.

A spell in Japan – he opened a restaurant in Kobe for Marchesi back in 1996 – had a marked impact on Crippa’s cooking style that can still be felt today at his chic and rather feminine restaurant in Alba, the beating heart of Italy’s truffle industry. His more experimental dishes are concerned with purity of concept above all else: high impact but simple seasonal dishes with few overt bells and whistles save the odd bit of on-the-plate trickery. ‘Olives’ are constructed with minced veal and langoustine, while ‘fake pepper’ is deftly fashioned from tuna and anchovy pastes. The more creative side of the menu is balanced by more classic fare such as suckling pig and endives, veal sweetbread and artichoke or Fassona veal tartare.

Piazza Duomo is the result of a collaboration with the Ceretto family, an influential Piedmontese dynasty which produces much of the region’s famed wine and produce. As such, Crippa gets first pick of some spectacular produce: game, woodland mushrooms and, of course, truffles. The optimum time to visit the restaurant is in October and November when the white truffle season is in full swing and Crippa offers a truffle menu of legendary decadence.

Source: http://www.theworlds50best.com/list/1-50-winners/piazza-duomo

Roy Choi recently hinted at opening up a new hotel concept as his next project, during an interview with Esquire

If Roy Choi can start the street food revolution single-handedly, we wonder what he could do for the hotel industry.

Roy Choi has a lot on his plate recently. After announcing last month that he and Daniel Patterson are working on a revolutionary fast food concept, he hinted this week that he may be going into the hotel business. In an interview with Jean Pigozzi on Esquire’s YouTube show, My Friends Call Me Johnny, Roy Choi said that his next big project could be to open a hotel.

So what would a hotel with Roy Choi at the helm look like?

“You know how hotels are separated? If you want luxury you have to go to luxury, if you want value, you go value,” said Choi. “We end up inadvertently separating humanity from each other. Well, I want to blur those lines; I want people to experience the same levels of high and low together. I did it with street food and I can do it with hotels.”

But when asked about the logistics and obstacles of opening up a hotel, or even a chain of hotels, Choi said “I just play dumb. My job in the world is giving out the food.”

This would not be the street food king’s first venture into the hotel industry. Choi opened up Pot inside the Line Hotel in Los Angeles early this spring.

For the latest happenings in the food and drink world, visit our Food News page.

Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi

Source: http://www.thedailymeal.com/news/roy-choi-going-open-hotel-soon/091914

An 18th century castle in the Swiss Alps is the fairytale setting for one of Europe’s most enchanting restaurants, where diners are taken on ‘a journey of the senses’. Suave chef-patron Andreas Caminada weaves culinary magic behind the stove, creating perfectly balanced dishes that explore aromas, textures and flavours with great aplomb.

His refined style of cooking was forged in fine dining restaurants, such as Wirtschaft zum Wiesengrund in Zurich and Bareiss in Germany, where he trained before taking over at Schloss Schauenstein in 2003. Fast-forward to 2010 and Caminada was awarded three Michelin stars at the tender age of 33. The chef’s meteoric rise and undeniable good looks have made him something of a poster boy for Swiss cuisine, but his growing celebrity status has not lessened his commitment to the kitchen. There is creativity and technique in abundance in dishes such as sweet roasted langoustine, lifted by a delicate lime mousse and Amalfi lemon confit, while marinated goose liver is perfectly matched with zesty goats’ cheese and sweet maize in various guises, including ice cream and gazpacho.

The restaurant’s elegant splendour and mountain views all add to what is a very special dining experience, while grape-lovers will enjoy the selection of Swiss wines, which takes in steely chardonnays and supple pinot noirs.

Source: http://www.theworlds50best.com/list/1-50-winners/schloss-schauenstein

Indian food reinvented with modernist techniques

Bridging the culinary divide between East and West is the mission statement of Kolkata-born chef Gaggan Anand, whose Bangkok restaurant has received widespread acclaim for its singular take on Indian cuisine. Housed in a breathtakingly beautiful colonial-style house, the restaurant is divided into a series of characterful private dining rooms, which remain faithful to the building’s past with cane furniture, ceiling fans and simple white-washed walls.

The genteel backdrop belies Gaggan’s adventurous and creative food, which sees him reinterpreting classic Indian dishes with modernist cooking techniques, some of which were garnered during an inspirational internship with the research team of elBulli under the guidance of Ferran Adrià. There is plenty of molecular wizardry on the menu with foams, smokes and liquid nitrogen used to clever effect in humorously named dishes: Green with Envy sees perky green peppercorn chicken kebabs combined with coriander foam. Another signature dish – Chowpati Year 2050 – is a whimsical take on the street- food snack papdi chaat, comprising a spherical yoghurt ‘egg’ on a fried dough chip with herbal foam and tamarind chutney.

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In third place for the second consecutive year, Osteria Francescana continues to fly the flag for a nation that is arguably under-represented on the list. Italians are famously spiky when it comes to people interfering with long-established culinary traditions, yet Massimo Bottura is able to balance the demands of heritage and modernity and has created a restaurant where traditionalists and those seeking something entirely new are both amply catered for.

It’s not hard to identify what people like about the effervescent Bottura’s more avant-garde creations – they’re fun and unapologetically eccentric, yet always underpinned by perfect execution and, most importantly, deliciousness. The menu can now be split into three categories. First up are the traditional dishes from the Emilia-Romagna area that have little or no edgy elements, such as Bottura’s spectacular tortellini with Parmesan sauce and tagliatelle with ragù. Indeed, overseas visitors may notice that a good proportion of the restaurant’s Italian customers will opt for these superior staples.

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Japanese chef Seiji Yamamoto is widely admired for coupling a vivid imagination with a deep respect for tradition and Japanese culinary heritage. His outlook, combined with immense skill and precision, results in the inimitable dishes served at this Tokyo destination, which has been on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for five years now. The 18-seat restaurant’s interior is relatively plain, but the labour-intensive cooking is anything but.

Exquisite food pushing Japanese tradition forward

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Imagine this dipped in chocolate. Go on. (Photo: Adam Gasson)

One of the best things about blogging about chocolate is the chance to share enthusiasm and exchange views and discoveries with people from all over the world (see below, I hope). So it was exciting to meet a bunch of chocolate fans from a particular online grouping last week at a highly sociable demonstration/party/pig-out in a central London kitchen organised by the social media phenomenon Pinterest and Great British Chefs.

The star of the evening was the chocolatier Paul A Young, who has won umpteen national and international awards and recently opened a fourth London shop in Heal’s on Tottenham Court Road.

Young occupies a unique position in the UK chocolate scene because he and his team (now 36 strong) make everything that they sell completely by hand and he doesn’t use any artificial additives or preservatives. He is particularly celebrated for his truffles and caramels – a reflection of the six years he spent as a chef/patissier with Marco Pierre White in MPW’s heyday – but Young also has an encyclopaedic knowledge of chocolate itself, and a passionate concern for the people that grow it.

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