Many of you are probably wondering where I got the name for this blog from?
Well, I have always enjoyed visiting food stores and markets and searching unusual ingredients that I can use to add excitement and great interest to my cooking. Anyway, about ten years ago I was seriously thinking about a term to describe my style of cooking and I realised that I was using a great variety of produce from all over the globe and so I came up with this name, EXPERIMENTAL FOOD FROM THE GLOBAL VILLAGE.
A recently added chef friend at Facebook asked me to describe my style and this is the answer that I came up with........
OK, so I would describe my style as experimental/avant garde as I have always had an interest in creating unusual combinations of flavours and textures. I you have checked out the blog you will have seen a list of some extremely experimental and daring dishes that I was doing back in the 1990s' but they were the dishes that customers ordered the most. Another point is that food is not only about taste and texture, there is also a psychological element to it. If a dish is stunningly presented then your brain starts think , 'wow, this is going to taste good'! Like I also mentioned, it is about creating different elements and components so that each mouthful offers something different in terms of flavour, taste and texture. With a Pizza or a bowl of Pasta, you know what it tastes like after a few mouthfuls and your brain kind of gets bored with the repetitiveness of the food. Hope that explains things?
I also added this.........Also, there three basics things that you need to think about. Ingredients, flavour combinations and techniques!
This leads me onto something that another Chef friend at Facebook asked me.....What would be my vision of modern Italian cuisine?
Well first off you probably need some inspiration. In this day and age, with the vast information source that is the Internet, finding such inspiration is very easy to do....it is all done with a few clicks.
One of the things that I find with the vast majority of so called Italian restaurants in the UK is that the food is so generic and there is no real variety. Also, if you do some serious research into Italian food, you will find that much of what these restaurant serve has very little to do with the genuine article. So on to the inspiration part.
I recently added Scarpetta, an Italian restaurant in New York to my list of friend's and here is a link to their menu......Scarpetta....New York
Now, having viewed that menu, when was the last time that you went to an Italian restaurant in the UK and had food like that? It just doesn't happen. To me that menu is full of vision and excitement.
I also recently signed up to the Indie Food Network and added a place called Novita, also in New York to my list of friends there and this is the link to their menu.....Novita
Again it is a menu full of excitement, vision and fantastic flavour combinations.
Another thing that can easily be done is to search for great products that originate from Italy and to make use of them and here are a couple of UK suppliers that deal in authentic Italian products that you never see used at your local Italian.
. One such company is Ciborio and this is a link to their PDF catalogue of fresh produce......Ciborio Fresh Produce!!!
Also check out their PDF provisions list here.....Ciborio Provisions....
The list has some unusual varieties of pasta that could add a unique selling point to any menu. One suggestion would be Seared Tuna Loin, Squid Ink Spaghetti, Pink Grapefruit and ginger sauce, Chargrilled spring onions.
Not authentically Italian but the Italians love yo use lemon and so all I am doing is replacing that with the pink grapefruit. Italian cuisine also heavily features onions and so I'm just using spring onions in place of the more usual varieties.
Another supplier that is well worth taking a look at is The Cheese Cellar, as they offer a great range of Italian Cheeses that a rarely, if, ever seen on Italian restaurant menus in the UK. Take a look at their PDF here.....The Cheese Cellar speciality cheese!
Also worth taking a look at is the PDF of Speciality products form a company called Dell Ami.....The Cheese Cellar Dell ami products
And finally, also from the Cheese Cellar is this PDF of speciality foods......The Cheese cellar....speciality products!!! Again, this has a fabulous range of great products.
There are other great suppliers of authentic Italian produce that can be found and all this requires is an hour or so searching the web. So now that you have some inspiration and sources of great products all that you have to do is apply alot of imagination and creativity and you can come up with something that is unique, exciting and innovative.
The finally thing that needs to be applied is technique and this can be in the form of using the latest kitchen technology ( see previous posts for further information on this )! Then there is the application techniques and methods developed by chefs such as Ferran Adria or Grant Achatz. This very easily done as all you need to do is go on google and type in the search terms 'Ferran Adria Recipes' or 'El Bulli Recipes' and you will find a wealth of information on the subject that you can then apply to your own cooking.
Thanks for your time and interest and until next time.....Happy cooking!