Archive for August, 2010

RyuGin (Nishiazabu, Tokyo) – Ingredient Extremism

Ryugin the previous year (2008) was memorable – a tour de force of the world’s best ingredients served in a kaiseki meal – but mysterious. The format is challenging enough – a meal of the seasons and traditions, imbued with ritual and symbolism – but the promise, or spectre, of molecular gastronomy further obscures the accessibility of Chef Seiki Yamamoto’s daring synthesis of history.1 Lacking the necessary framework of cultural references to properly assess Yamamoto’s complete vision, it was the ingredients from last year’s meal that persisted and reminded me that obsessiveness is most obsessed in Japan.

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Plum (SF) – Practice Dinner #1

In my last filed Ubuntu review (of an October meal), I mused what Jeremy Fox should cook – vegetables, I had said all along, particularly those dishes created from the Bras or Passard ethos. The creative restrictions at Ubuntu forced/allowed Fox to push the concept of a vegetable-focused menu to Michelin two- and three-star heights at times; and, arguably, placed him among the more important chefs in America.

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