Wednesday, May 11

Food Infinitum

Sometimes I feel like there's so many issues to talk, to tell, to show, but then I end up doing nothing. So, I was watching the telly yesterday, which incidently is the 1 week anniversary of us hooking up the satellite TV in the apartment. Until now, I'm more worried of how to pay the bills rather than enjoy the 35 or more channels. And like Maran posted, 'so many channels, nothing to watch'.

And so, 7 days of totally mindless shows, nothing exciting, not even on Discovery, or National Geographics. The only good news is probably when Liverpool advanced to the finals of the CL on ESPN but then again, it was on TV3 (a terrestrial tv station) as well.

And then yesterday, at approximately 10pm (local time) I tuned into the Travel & Living channel and I discovered this show!. It was hosted by super chef, and my favorite Anthony Bourdain. The 1 hour program's detailed the eccentric chef named Ferran Adria, who according to popular words, is 'the most controversial and imitated chef in the world'. Hes the master chef, and owner of the El-Bulli restaurant. The restaurant itself is considered to be the best in the world. And, listen to this, each day, only about 50+ customers are allowed, and EACH will have their own chefs!. And a meal full course will last about 5 hours!. If anyone watched the show, they would understand why. The Time Magazine article describes it as 'not really a conventional meal but a series of 25 to 30 small courses, some no more than a bite-size morsel or slurp.'

Ferran Adria is a food scientist. But Tony Bourdain, at the start of the show, said food should be art and not science. Food science means introducing artificiality into food and its production. Food art is using natural ingredients and cooking it. It soon changed when he went into Ferran's LAB . His kitchen, his lab, his experiments. Its really amazing. He and his collaborators, including his brother has came up with a complete database, including Hieroglyphs! (middle picture), for food chemicals and food products. Tasting his creations, he even demonstrates how the same cooked food tastes different to different person. And this mystery man even made it to the covers of the TIME magazine with his famous carrot foam (3rd picture above). And he has hundreds of more innovations. He even hired an industrial designer to design his servings. he dabbles with tastes, temperatures!, and even acoustic. His ice cream disappears in the mouth. Literally!. Tony was amazed!. Is he a genius? He might be. He doesn't use artificial substitutes. He mixes, and experiments. He is definitely the chef from future.

Here are more reviews and interviews of Ferran by Adrian Searle from Guardian Unlimited, Ferrans much sought after cook book elBulli1998-2002 .

And why all this? Because I love food, and this guy, he treats food like its gold. And it took me on a philosophical ride. Why does half of the world face famine, eat only one meal a day, while the other half eats all they want? Why Asian foods have variety but no character? More questions, more thought, I will have a food column once my website is done. Till then, enjoy the links, read. Because there is a 100% chance of us, anyone who reads this, will never eat something cooked by Ferran. Its Exclusive. And this must be the first time anyone read about Ferran on a blog in this side of the world!.

-Gp 2005-

* I hate math, but I came up of some crazy calculations. Just say, they show yesterday was watched by 30 million people around the world, and its repeated 3 times in a month with 3 million unique audiences every time. So there would be 39 million people who now knows who Ferran Adria is. And probably another 30 millions knows him either from his books, his restaurant, his cooking tours. So that makes 69 million. But then only 10 person would know him when they read my blog, and another maybe 1 million would have read his reviews online and went to his website. So the point, television still rules. Internet has a long way to go. And now does it justify the satellite at my apartment? I still don't know. (by the way, I like the number 3, hence...)


Maran said...

What so special about the food? Nothing can beat two idly with fish curry or hot tosai with sambar Mmm Mmmmm! ;-)

Ghost Particle said...

OK! But thats like life food man. We get idly thosai everyday. But this guy, is weird, i dont know how to describe it. Hes like inventing the microchip equivalent of foods.


Ravi said...

Hi GP.. very happy to know that you're more or less hooked onto Discovery 'Travel and Living' channel. Been receiving the same clearly on our TV as well and boy, do I love the shows or what? Was watching one y'day about Rome, the best toilets in the world and today, about 6 overweight folks who are told to slim down, in a contest between themselves. Its really fun, this channel, just tailor made, for me! :)


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