Friday, February 5, 2010

The Dada of French Cuisine

While we're on food, Adam Gopnik, who's one of my very favorite writers, took the phrase you often quote about art and applied it to food. Here it is, from the April 28–May 5, 1997 issue of The New Yorker:
Escoffier's formula for food was, in essence, the same as Jasper Johns's formula for Dada art: take something; do something to it; then do something else to it. It was cooking that rested, above all, on the idea of the master sauce: a lump of protein was cooked in a pan, and what was left behind in the pan was "deglazed" with wine or stock, ornamented with butter or cream, and then poured back over the lump of protein.
Regarding the too-much-butter problem you mention: perhaps at some point Escoffier would have discovered the French equivalent of ricotta in place of buerre.

*I'm still reading then purging old magazines; perhaps I should use them for papier maché

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