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fusion food

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
What do you guys think about fusion? I went to look at Eos' ( a restaurant in San Francisco) and I saw caesar salad with GINGER. I just couldn't get into it. But then when I go to my fave Vietnamese place, they serve a scrumptious duck soup. The leg is expertly braised, the stock is flavorful and clear, there are fried shallots sprinkled over as garnish...I love that Vietnamese/French style. There's a lot of *fusion* happening here because of all the Asian and Latin American influences, but it just seems forced, awkward, and nasty sounding. Any thoughts?

[This message has been edited by cookM (edited August 29, 2000).]
post #2 of 37
Yep~fusion can be nasty.
I made a shrimp creole arincini....won a Mardi Gras contest...wonderful, but the components went together. I donot like my food overfingered, sometimes the stacking thing is just overplayed with food.
Fusion is not going on too much here anymore.
Probably a good thing.
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post #3 of 37
I never have thought of Vietnamese as fusion.. although it is probably one of the original east/west combinations.

Something different about a cuisine that is formed over many years compaired to someone making a special for the night with truffles, soy, and ginger....the latter being what I refer to as conFusion.
post #4 of 37
i personally dont have a problem with mixtures of cuisines. The major thing to bear in mind, is that, balance rules. If something tastes like s**t, it will taste like s**t.

Unless you take the time to experiment or your background knowledge permits you to know, how are you going to know?
"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
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"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
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post #5 of 37
Fusion can be outstanding if done right, but first the chef needs to really understand the ingredients and techniques of what he is trying to fuse. I hope the days are over where cooks are dousing everything with soy and ginger and calling it fusion, that's not fusion, that's wanna'be. I think everyone should get off the bandwagon, get down to earth, know their ingredients, techniques, where they want to take it and stop trying to be Roy Yamaguchi for the sake of being hip. Fusing flavors and ingredients is great but give the dining public something that has substance and is well grounded.
post #6 of 37
NY TIMES had an interesting dish in Diner's Journal this am...
Bread pudding soaked in coconut milk, on a layer of pineapple bits surrounded in basil syrup, with a sheet of burnt sugar and a scoop of ginger ice cream.
HUMMMM sounds pretty yummy....now what type of basil..Thai??and just throw it in a warm simple syrup?
cooking with all your senses.....
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post #7 of 37
Fusion for the sake of fusion can be ridiculous in hands of someone who doesn't have knowledge of or respect for classic preparations and techniques. And by classic I don't just mean "french". Because we are a Globally-Influenced Restaurant, Many people ask if that means fusion, I say NO WAY! It simply means that the menu is not bound by one type of cuisine, but influenced by many (separate but equal) regions of the world. However we do not mix the cuisines on one plate, but rather present a dish as close to authentic as we can. Now, as far as Vietnamese Cuisine goes (or many others for that matter), we as chefs need to know a little history; Vietnam was a French colony! So I can't help but think that they would be influenced by their colonizers (if that's a word!)

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post #8 of 37
My definition of fusion is taking a dish and adding ingrediants from other cultures...
ie..bread pudding which is Creole and adding Asian ingrediants. Or Shrimp creole arincini which is an Italian classic (fried risotto balls stuffed with mozzerella) and adding New Orleans ingrediants...spicy boiled shrimp, shrimp stock, garlic, peppers, celery, onion to the arborio rice.
Then instead of Marinara make a Creole sauce.
What do you guys think, is this the fusion you know???
cooking with all your senses.....
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post #9 of 37
Too much of anything is not good. It is nice to mix flavours in a dish but too much flavours and you don't know what you're eating. Some ingrdients are best standing on their own.


I went to a cooking demonstration a few weeks ago. The chef was preparing mahi mahi. He reduce the fish to purée and made some kind of quenelle qith spinach and other ingredients. In the end you couldn't even taste the mahi mahi. At 30$ a pound I would have prefer a dish that brought out the flavour of the fish instead of a dish that had so much different things in it you had no idea what you were eating.


Sisi
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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post #10 of 37
Thread Starter 
I agree; that mahi mahi sounds really nasty.
Here's another example of some fusion that I thought sounded nasty!!! A cook friend of mine actually had to do this a couple Christmases ago. Her heart wasn't into it at all, but she had to do it.

...Yorkshire pudding with fish essence...
post #11 of 37
your kidding aren't you?
That is the most aweful thing I have ever heard of
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #12 of 37
LOL Gross! That goes under the gross food thread. What do you serve that with????
Prime Rib with Korean Fish Sauce, What wine would you serve? The one with the cow on the Btl or the one with the fish? (have you guys seen that new line of wines for those that need visual cues)

Has Gray Kunz finished writing his book yet?
Jean Georges' book is great...dried orange dust!

[This message has been edited by shroomgirl (edited September 02, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by shroomgirl (edited September 03, 2000).]
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #13 of 37
Yup the mahi mahi cost around 30$ a pound here in Quebec and that is when it is available. At that price I'll never buy it though.


Sisi
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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post #14 of 37
Thread Starter 
No, I wasn't kidding when I wrote about the Yorkshire pudding with fish essence.
What do you serve it with? A garbage can, as far as I'm concerned.
There should be a smiley (or disgusted!) face projectile vomiting...

[This message has been edited by cookM (edited September 02, 2000).]
post #15 of 37
I have not seen kunz book yet but it should be a great read. P.s watch out how you spell Kunz shroomgirl........lol
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #16 of 37
Fusion is a reflection of our American Heritage, that's what American cuisine is. Look at our people, and our resources.

We have such a diverse make-up of people and product that we will naturally combine a lot of it.

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post #17 of 37
yuck, That mahi sounds disgusting, What cost 30$ a # though sisi? I hope not the mahi!! anyway fusion has become quite the rage and I agree less is more. I think some of the chefs that where successful we're gray Kunz formilly of lespinasse in the St.Regis in Manhattan example Sauted shrimp with marinated spaghetti squash and curry cilentro vinaigrette.it has beets,papaya ,ginger,curry,cilentro ect. But man does it work because he understands and respects all the nuiances of the ingredients I also think that Jean-georges Vongerichten is a pioneer in this type of aproach to cooking, just in his infused oils and fresh vegetable juices you see a abundece of fuision,how about beet juice and caviar with black bass?
sounds funny!! taste great. he was one of the first to do tuna tartare.cod cakes with orenge-basil oil..I quess what im saying there is a place for fusion. but we must know what we are diong to give justest to that cuisine
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #18 of 37
OOOOPPPPSSSS! My apologies.
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post #19 of 37
Please do not beat me with a stick, Fish Sauce, yes that liquid that smells like a homeless mans feet ( If you've ever been in the subway in NYC after hours or AM you KNOW what I'm saying.) When used in the perfect measure adds a special something and it isn't a fishy thing more of a briney thing. I could see it in Yorkshire Pudding.

I remember having a Sage Infused Creme Brulee, it tasted like sausage. Some herbs are best suited for the job they do best.

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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


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post #20 of 37
Here, here!

America certainly is the 'tossed salad' of the world, keeping in mind that moderation is everything.

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

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post #21 of 37
Thread Starter 
No stick beating allowed!!
Really? You can see it in Yorkshire pudding?
It wasn't fish sauce that they put in or over it...Some fumet.
I agree with what you said about herbs. I once had a grapefruit sorbet with basil. Had to order it just to experience it. It was really good.

[This message has been edited by cookM (edited September 03, 2000).]
post #22 of 37
Myself, I have at times substituted fish sauce for salt in dishes in need of depth, or for soy sauce when I don't want the dark color.

I once had a Thai-inspired salad of grapes and apple pieces with a sauce of fish sauce and raw garlic. The grapes were probably ok, but the apple cubes absorbed so much garlicky-fishy flavor as to be inedible.

I don't mind fusion cuisine in principle. In practice, though (around here anyway) we seem to get dishes with inscrutably long lists of ingredients. It's impossible to predict which will predominate in the finished product and which will be undetectible. It seems like a real chef would have the judgement to do his experimentation on his own time, and not on the customers who are paying top dollar. It's a waste for me to pay a premium to be some would-be chef's taste tester.
post #23 of 37
I agree with that taste tester comment. That's where I think some try to fuse to be hep. Like the herb infusions in dessert items, although I don't think of that as fusion, I do think of it as bandwagon material. Dessert should be dessert, I can see basil, mint, perhaps even thyme or pepper contributing to some items, but the chef has got to know what is going on and be in control. The sage creme brulee sounds trendy but I can't picture it being any good. Hey, I'll take the vanilla bean in my creme brulee thank you.
post #24 of 37
Thread Starter 
I would happily give *fusion* a chance. I've been reading Charlie Trotter's books, and I think he does a type of fusion, but it's just well grounded and thought out. I'd never turn down a chance to eat there. I just can't stand that "con"fusion.
post #25 of 37
what i find works well with fusion is your own instinct.

I.e. ive served a grilled perch fillet on stir fried vegetables and egg noodles with a orange and ginger glaze - works well.

Amongst other things i have trialled, is a dessert roulade of couscous with roasted nuts and smoked honey. Works well too.

i personally think that fusion relies on several factors
1) knowledge of methods and ingredients
2) Instinct
3) Knowledge of flavors
"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
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"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
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post #26 of 37

Nick,
Please, what are you binding that cous cous with? I am a pastry chef at a fairly wild restaurant and that sounds like a groovy way to present a cous cous dessert.
Some of my desserts fuse classical desserts with eachother and other cultures.
ie: bananas foster bread pudding with hot buttered rum sauce and fried plantain.
or almond cake topped with taquilla soaked berries and sour cherries (spanish and south of the boarder influences) lest we forget pumpkin creme carmel with cayanne and ancho chile.

PS I need some new ideas and have found some right here at chef talk.
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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post #27 of 37
I have to agree with you CookM Charlie Trotter's style of cuisine doesn't appeal to me either. I think too many flavour is like too little you can't taste anything. I don't care how many time you reintroduce it (his favourite word) you can't taste anything. What can come out of a dessert made with chocolate coffee ginger and orange?


Sisi
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
Reply
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
Reply
post #28 of 37
K.I.S.S.
(keep it simple stupid!)
let the food speak for itsself.
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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post #29 of 37
hamburgers and French fries
belgiun waffles with canadian bacon
French toast with vermont maple syrup
Just relax, enjoy,We all eat (fusion) food almost everyday! we all might have different views on what is really fusion.But guess what? we are all the benifactors of this "con" fused world.
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #30 of 37
Nick~ what are you using to bind your couscous with to make the roulade...
couscous as the roll, nuts and honey as the filling? Having a hard time visualizing this one, more info pls.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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