First of all, I would like to introduce my own notion and definition of why a place should be classified as amazing, common or ok (or even sometime without interest). I’ll maybe upset some of you in this definition, or it may sound very posh, but you’ll quickly understand that for me….this is just an appreciation dictated by love and education.
Let’s be honest, some people will be amazed by simple food, simple quality products and just cooked meat and fried potatoes. And don’t get me wrong here…I love this. But…….
………I tell you straight on, this is not how I can define someone who will be in the best place to calibrate, and benchmark a good chef from a bad chef.
I had the chance of being educated in the respect of really good quality product. Back in the 24 years spent in the Tournesol, I use to go with my father to Rungis – France sometime, very early in the morning (3 am) to enjoy the fish market “la Criée” or the meat market with odours and disgusting inside animals and blood spread everywhere. And the quality of touching the products, the smell of a fresh melon from Cavaillon, the sweetness of a Gariguette strawberry, the skin of a Olivette tomato from Nice, or the earth flavor of freshly harvested “morille” mushroom. Nothing can replace the experiences and give you more than an advantage to judge and appreciate cooking. Once we came back from shopping I use to spend time with the head chef, watching and learning about the rules of a restaurant running and the preparation of most of the courses.
I learnt a lot, I tasted a lot and I listen a lot (and put on weight a lot)
And among anything else, this is what is making the biggest difference in here, and the reason why I seriously think (and load of my friends as well) that I should share this judgment with you. Not just only from a simple tasting point of view, but as well from a technical point of view, to describe the way some people, hidden in a kitchen can, by using their hands every day, make some food “diamonds” and serve it to you for your best pleasure.
I want to share how difficult it is to get to this level and why a restaurant deserve this mark better than an other. Why some places sound to me over-rated while some are not appreciated to their right level.
Everyone got their own appreciation. Mine is linked mainly to the difficulty, the creation and the “slap in the face” you’ll receive, more from the “surprise” you’ll receive than the bill itself when you feel all those flavors melting into your mouth. I think I’ve got naturally this capacity to forget the price (which can be outrageous sometime, I concede) just because what you just receive just made you happy. Each time in this moment is a new experience, each moment a revolution, each second is a step to paradise.
When some association of various ingredients, which at first glance seems just as we usually say “is not catholic” but will be revealed to your as the perfect ace, this is what I call a strong and serious “adresse”. But be careful, and don’t get me wrong here. I’m not just promoting the “new fusion” food only or any as known as “cuisine nouvelle”. I’m supporting creation and surprise i.e. I would even more grant the perfection of a real traditional recipe as the best of achievement in cooking. Because for me tradition means beauty of being surprise by the result and just of being surprise that you have in the plate what you expect from this traditional “gem”. In few words, let’s applause the main course prepare “like it should be” i.e. simply reaching the perfection.
This is the way I feel food, this is the way I love food….when this is “overwhelming you to the point of no return”