Short BIO

Miller, Mark Charles was born on February 25, 1949 in Gardner, Massachusetts, United States. Son of John Charles and Marie Jeanette (Hebert) Miller.

Education

Bachelor, University of California, Berkeley, l970; postgraduate in anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, 1972-1973.

Career

Chef, Chez Panisse, Berkeley, l975-79; chef, owner, Fourth Street Grill, Berkeley, l979-85; chef, owner, manager, Santa Fe Bar and Grill, Berkeley, l980-8l; executive chef, partner, Red Sage Restaurant, Washington, since 1991. Board directors New England Culinary Academy, Montpelier, Vermont, l985. Member Executive Board Symposium on American Cuisine, Louisville, l988.

Recipes by Mark Miller

Mark Miller’s Southwest Barbacoa Brisket

Mark Miller’s Citrus Salmon with Piñon Pesto

Chef Mark Miller on food as the ultimate intellectual exploration

welcome to this installment of
conversations with Tyler today the guest
is Mark Miller who is one of the most
extraordinary food minds of our
generation it’s hard to even summarize
what Mark has done I think of Mark as
the modern founder of southwestern
cuisine he’s well known for having been
the driving force behind opening coyote
cafe which transformed the Santa Fe
dining scene in Washington DC where we
are now in the Panda gourmet restaurant
well mark is best known for red sage a
Southwestern restaurant that was one of
DCs best for a long time
mark has written numerous books on food
on salsas on chili he has the very best
book on tacos if you’ve ever seen a
famous poster of all those Chili’s the
Chili’s poster well mark did that marks
been connected with a lot of restaurants
he originally studied anthropology at
Berkeley and I think of Mark’s
contribution as synthesizing
anthropology cooking studying food
through books studying food through
practice he’s lived in 20 countries
traveled in over a hundred and he
understands taste and sensation and
context of food its anthropological
setting combined with all this fantastic
real world experience and on top of all
that mark has been a food consultant for
more companies than I can name that’s
just my very brief introduction to mark
and it doesn’t begin to do him justice
we’ll start the conversation in a moment
as our questioner for today’s segment we
also have with us Megan McArdle of
Bloomberg view Megan is a long-standing
friend of mine in addition to her
writing on politics and economics Megan
was arguably the first very first
economics blogger and she is deeply
involved in the food world Megan to me
each year writes the single best guide
to kitchen equipment what is new out
each year anyway we’ll start by chatting
with mark and then Megan will come in
with some questions so food worlds I’m
very interested in how you think about
food worlds and this contrast between
the food worlds of China Japan Tokyo and
South Korea you told me you thought Saul
had
most interesting and creative food world
live those three and tell us why you
think that I’ve been traveling to all
three countries for approximately 40
years or more so I’ve really seen them
transform themselves and I’ve also seen
how they adapt and how they acculturate
other international influences so I’ve
been in going to Japan since I was a
student at Berkeley for you know since
1969 was my first trip every night in
China since the 70s soul is the one that
I know the least but I’ve been following
it for about 15 years
recently in in May I went to the the big
Soul Food Show were actually ate a
hundred food products I had never had
before which is interesting but the
other thing that it happened was was I
realized that Seoul had moved in terms
of its transformation of plasticity and
creativity there’s a restaurant called
mingles that every single dish was
incorporating in China Korean
ingredients but in a very creative
modern way and they were not afraid to
move their food outside of the
traditional more vortex of what was seen
as Korean food and they were using
Korean ingredients in a new way that was
authenticating a cuisine now in Japan
for instance and they were doing Pizza
they’re doing coffee they were doing
very good pizza that’s almost as good as
you’d find for instance in Italy in
Japan when you go to eat pizza whether
it’s Neapolitan either in Tokyo or Kyoto
you find that they get to a certain
level of the form of it but the flavor
and the Gestalt and the aesthetic they
can’t quite get at it they’re there they
remain Japanese you know they’re there
homogeneity of Japanese culture as its
strengths it’s also its weakness in
China I maybe I’ve been going there and
work I’ve seen some date of one of the
big companies that had seven thousand
restaurants we’re seeing that the that
they’re using Western restaurants in
order to create and a sense of modernity
and identity whether they’ll really use
it for their own personal things right
now there is no other alternative that’s
social space that’s open from children
through you know going out through
celebrations of weddings and the Western
brands or the markers for special so
Korea though I was surprised that first
of all they’ve moved so quickly and I
was the last time I was there was four
and a half years ago I would have
thought to get to this level would have
taken them 20 years plus the level of
Italian coffee Pizza modern Korean
French was all exactly where we would be
in the United States what will get to
Japan and China but more in Korea the
alley food in Seoul and the rest of
Korea seemed so good to me
so if I walk down a back alley there
will be 20 different places I want to
eat most of them will be outstanding it
might for instance be some of the best
fried chicken in the world that I would
agree but what’s the structure of the
food world in Seoul and other parts of
South Korea that have given rise to that
well I think that what has happened it’s
sort of like Samsung versus Sony if you
actually look at those technological
giants which one has been able to
maintain and innovate and for some
reason you know Sony lost its way we
remember when Sony was the innovative
you know center of electronics and yet
today it’s Samsung I mean not given that
the last one that came out but basically
I think the Koreans or forced out of
their comfort zone because they have
North Korea on their border they have
China to compete with are being
aggressive and they have the finesse of
Japan so their context of competition we
just in their own in their own backyard
is such that it makes them that they
can’t be in there Japan is staying alone
it’s in its own comfort zone it’s gonna
stay there China wants to move and be
global but it’s a big stretch so you
think Japan in a way has painted itself
into a corner of perfection there’s less
you can have very very good French food
in Tokyo arguably better than Paris
won’t ever be getting any better but
it’ll be the same French food that would
have eaten in Paris in 1980 or you can
have a quite good Mexican Molay in Tokyo
I found or Singapore or laksa you can
have in Tokyo and the person who makes
it might have studied in Singapore for
five or six years he’ll come back with
the perfected recipe but there’s no
other connection to that food world in
Mexico if we look at for instance part
of Mexican food like when Rika Kozma in
New York is embracing modern Mexican
and yet doesn’t want to learn you know
ancient traditional Mexican and yet it’s
moving beyond its roots and it’s
becoming Mexican whereas Mexico before
was trapped in looking at Spain looking
at the US and looking at other identity
systems to validate its own some food
supply and it I give a good example
mezcal my good friend Ron Cooper at a
Delma gay that’s the company 20 years
ago that Mexicans would not drink Miss
Cal because it was associated with
peasant Mexican and today when you go to
Mexico say the only thing you can drink
is Miss Cal because people want to be
Mexican and it’s trendy even in
Washington DC and chocho in Korea so the
other Korea was always in Japan’s shadow
and they were basically beaten down and
defensive and I think right now they’re
not so we just had a dialogue with
fuchsia Dunlop who’s written on Chinese
cooking the food world in China now how
do you see it is it getting better
getting worse is it headed to become
large corporations as an America making
a lot of soulless food or is it still on
the way up that’s a difficult question
because restaurants that I know in
fuchsia knows like Jessie which is an
old restaurant and Shanghai I was there
recently and I’ve been going to that
same restaurant for 20 years from when
it had four tables by one family now
they have a multiple but still the what
fuchsia talked about though is going to
stop them is the level of status of
someone joining a cooking profession Din
Tai Fung the dumplings have gone down so
what’s happening now is even though they
have this great tradition of cooking the
the workforce is either coming straight
from the countryside without being
trained the restaurants are making a lot
of money because the people who are
going there don’t have trained palates
and so they just open up and be better
so a traditional restaurant that takes a
lot of training and motor and to go into
that it’s you’re not going to find the
workforce so I think that they’re going
to go through a period right now of
probably I would call mediocrity but
this is the low status of cooking in
China in some ways protect them so it
keeps pretensions out of the food world
it means people from lower socioeconomic
backgrounds can become cooks you can
have a grandmother or a grandfather
being a cook you can walk along in
Shanghai and
find a place where they make dumplings
and they simply roll them and no one
there thinks of what they’re doing as an
art but that ultimately enables free
entry and gives people a bit of the
freedom that they don’t have in Tokyo
and thus I would say you should be more
optimistic about food in China
no the dumplings that I used to see on
the streets Tomer again you know I’ve
been going to Shanghai since the 70s
late 70s they were all over the place
now they’re very hard to find and the
Chinese government by you know it’s
afraid of basically health reasons is
now controlling where food is basically
exhibited and where food can be bought
and sold and so a lot of the shops have
moved into some of the department stores
for instance and are there but that
there was to be one amazing bow of made
out of smoked tofu and bitter greens and
mustard and I would just wait for my
next trip to Shanghai and you know for
15 years I would he’d go to the same
place in the French Quarter same corner
and they had the best bow and you know
it’s going on and I you know looked all
over and I can’t even find that bow or I
can’t find a noodle
it was worries they put up my hand with
coins and people would say they didn’t
have money that it lays to go the wet
markets and just look at what other
people were eating and the last time I
could do that was like maybe 15 years
ago I haven’t seen a noodle like a
hundred noodle Stansel in Mexico you can
still see of course yeah but even their
street food is being pushed out of
Mexico City somewhat but you go to a bus
station in Monterrey and you can see 100
the most octopus in the world and we
will get to that but anyway for Asia for
now still let’s say someone comes to you
a Mark Miller he’s been to over a
hundred countries eaten in them for
decades they say I have two weeks to do
a food tour in Asia you should pick for
me three cities what are your selections
I would pick I know I would pick Cheung
well no I would join jazz oh I would
pick touch I would pick Saul for sure so
for sure covered
I would probably I would pick Bangkok
yeah and a toss-up between and I would
pick I would pick Tokyo and you pick
Tokyo yeah so Bangkok say someone’s in
Bangkok they don’t speak Thai they’re
puzzled they don’t know what they’re
doing they don’t have a Thai friend
conceptually how should they think about
finding the best food in Bangkok
go to the you know go to the night where
it gets go to I mean they’re there but
just the food on the street is just
amazing it’s probably the best in the
world on the street and it has the most
varieties the freshest it’s the time
people also are very clean
they’re very there I’ve never been sick
once I’ve been eating food you know on
the street forever the Chuck Chuck Chuck
the largest market in the world has
15,000 boats and probably you can just
spend four hours and eat a hundred
dishes my record in Bangkok one day is
is 14 restaurants in 75 dishes and I
actually ate them all not tasted I
probably spent less than we spend in
Washington one night get a hotel in that
part of Bangkok and just go eat yeah I
would go there are some good books
there’s a street Hawker guide there’s
some good bloggers who are out there
it’s you know I but I would not be
afraid and the thing is is always with
street food is always go so the night
food is the night food the day for the
day food but even some of that has moved
into malls where the Thai people go and
they’ll do a you know a song tongue for
50 cents or a dollar and a half and you
might see a thousand people if a
thousand people are a thousand two high
people are eating there it’s it’s safe
to eat there but I have a bias against
malls when it comes to Southeast Asian
food I can to think malls are worse than
nobody kala lumpur you know they moved
they went through the entire country and
they picked the best street food and put
it into the ball so the people could
experience the best of the entire
country in one place that’s the reason
that people go to the hotel and also
when you go in Singapore
you know the Hyatt and has streets there
actually they have 27 chefs each from
different parts of Singapore running
each station within that within that one
dining room Malaysia or Singapore which
has better food well they’re this
they’re very close so I would say Penang
is really interesting is and I would say
right now though Singapore like Korea is
it’s finally getting out of its out of
its straightjacket I think there’s some
really modern young Korean chefs that
are incorporating Southeast Asian
Singaporean chefs you mean Singaporean
chefs that are they know Chinese food
they have access to the best ingredients
they know western food and they have
their own tradition from you know
Malaysian to the original help me there
the Straits cuisine Paran Ockendon para
not can cuisine which is I think I
always think that those cuisines that
are older and you know if they have
great weavings they have great cuisine
because I always say you know you’re
looking at one mentality if they had a
rich aesthetic tradition I know that
they had really interesting food
so take Indonesia they have great
weaving so yes I was it I lived into a
boat in 1970 but I’m often disappointed
by street food in Indonesia it seems
just the quality standard it’s a bit
like the Philippines there’s no great
dishes like Balinese stuck that has 28
ingredients and it’s amazing yes it’s
amazing dishes it’s art to those temple
foods those festival foods I remember
it’s you know three days at the feasts
of the temple the feast of the coconut
God
coconut goddess there were 127 dishes
made in those three days and then let me
ask you some questions about show me
then no but though with the variety and
richness and we come back here in the
United States you have an we’re gonna
let don’t let me ask you some questions
about Chile’s the area we’ve probably
had the greatest impact of all food
areas so here I have some a lot of
chilies if you look at a lot of food
recipes if you make a Mexican mole a you
will use more mulattos than any other
kind of chili not always but quite
typically say in the Rick Bayless
recipes yeah well why is that what is it
about this Jill well first of all the
way you do it you want you’ve got a
whole but first of all you have to open
them up because 90% of all chilies are
mislabeled yes that’s one of the
problems so that you may whatever it
says on the package made it may not be
true the point is is that mulattos when
you hold them up to the light right like
this see it’s more you see it’s more
purple and more reddish or die do part
of it that is not a mulatto where they
defrauded me
yeah that’s an ancho okay because the
mulatto will be more coffee ish and more
dark tone so what you what a mulatto
will do is actually have those
flavonoids that are coffee and chocolate
and those in a Molay are the undertones
of the wide sort of structure the white
foundation of those flavors that we
really like now the fruit tones and the
capsule Saves of the spicy tones or are
you’re basically accessories the ancho
is always the workhorse because they
care
the most fruit the mulatto carries the
coffee and chocolate which is those more
or less fermented you mommy more complex
sort of flavonoids and then we throw in
some guajillos or our balls to brighten
it all up and get and get it going so if
I make a Mexican mo la with these
fraudulent mulatto chilies what exactly
will go wrong from you’re a super taster
you can tell the difference well what
will be missing well the thing is is
that can I I’m gonna taste this for you
we can all taste it together first of
all whenever you taste the chili you’re
notices of begging here you want to stay
away from the veins always they contain
60% of the capsaicin so you always stay
away from the veins and even if you
can’t see them the other thing is this
is old you know and this is a what’s
called a grade C chili yes it’s as small
and it’s dried in its last year’s crop
so they lose their perfume they’re like
flowers you may lose to you what you end
up is you end up with the capsaicin so
this is a little bit bitter
do you notice okay like bitter tea a
little bit like lapsang souchong there’s
a little bit of that smoky woody
mushrooming flavor
where’s my coffee and chocolate where is
it it’s not here so I can you use this
in your recipe you’ll say it didn’t come
out well you know what you didn’t do you
didn’t taste your ingredients mhm so
you’re not gonna get that wonderful warm
flavors that mulatto is supposed to have
and if I want a real mulatto chili how
do I actually get one given that 90% of
it according to you is fraud well or at
least misleading or someone made it you
need to recognize when just the last
okay the other thing when you buy
Chili’s yes the thickness of the flesh
is the most important thing so all
fruits where the tannins come from skins
seeds and stems so the thicker the flesh
yes the least percentage of tannin and
that’s what Mexicans do they look for
the most pliable they look how thick it
is when you hold up to the light they
can tell how ripe it was before it was
dried how much fruit flavor is gonna be
there hey those are the big premier rows
so when you’re using a MOLLE you’re
really reincorporating fresh fruit
complex tones into it this the people in
it the chilies the last thing they’re
looking for is heat that’s the last
thing they’re looking for now two other
chilies here’s they and also they notice
it’s still bitter on the palate yes like
yeah and it tastes a little bit like the
fruit leather that’s kind of stale this
one claims to be an ancho but we’re
happy to
here you’re a revisionist take on it
this is bigger for one figure yeah and
it’s a little bit darker it’s got that
really dark dark dark almost black
blackish-brown look well you need to
hold them up to the light because that
tells you so that’s that’s read like an
ancho okay it’s pretty even inside
there’s no mold
okay get one moldy chilli right out of
40 it’ll run them away okay a lot of
people don’t look for them and when you
rehydrate them you taste or so this one
you the leather again should taste like
a fruit leather don’t think choice see
the where we’re talking about with
fuchsia the paradigm and what you have
in your head when you go after the taste
is what you will taste if you think
chilies and go for heat you shouldn’t
you need to think fruit leather which
fruit which ones do you get tell me the
fruits you get let’s spice you not which
fruits oh it’s interesting um the cherry
Apple blackberry blueberry it’s it’s
like a maybe maybe Apple maybe cherry
not blueberry not blackberry no but I
mean it comes it’s definitely like
cherry it’s actually black cherry or
sour cherry yep and it has little bits
of what it is in this and there is this
blackberry current cassis cassis almost
like the French cassis flavor at the
bottom the point is is that when you
work with ingredients I don’t care if
it’s chilli coriander I have four
different coriander’s from Indians of
this or kyumin’s the when you cook an
ethnic food a poor chef and I work well
my what they’re doing is they’re
controlling their palate it may look
like those ingredients are not important
they’re not expensive right but they’re
very very important first and that’s why
this is not a bad ancho I would say
b-plus okay and here’s supposedly
apatheia tell us the difference well
this is a way there should be longer for
one thing okay so us and it should be
really get those black currant black
fruits blackberry when you again think
black fruits if this just an ancho have
I brought you three packages of ancho’s
actually baby means that’s well that’s
what it is
that’s what it is so everywhere a little
thicker they are really wide then yeah a
little bit
this was the second one was the best one
second one was the best most fruitful
row spoke tones freshest unless tannic
but you don’t want like a bitter wine or
a bitter you don’t want tannins and
what’s your economic theory of why these
different Chili’s get mixed up and
they’re all ancho’s or like there’s
notice the amount of liquorice though
the amount of black liquids in this one
the reason is is that the wholesalers
basically part of it is that run a lot
of times by non Mexicans even if they’re
run by Mexicans they only know the
chiles that they grow up in their region
like I’m teaching at a seminar in Mexico
City at the end of the month yes and I
can literally take out chilies and hand
them to Mexicans that don’t know what
they are even though they’re from
another area of Mexico how many
different kinds of chilies do you know I
once had a collection of about 250 in my
garage but they’re not there some of
them were the same like our balls
interesting story so I was traveling
around Bhutan yes and I was going from
town to town they have the chili book
this book with me yes and there’s
there’s this myth in Bhutan that chilies
come from Bhutan and Chile look there it
is and so I would show them that they’re
not from Bhutan or what they are they
started tasting them then the next
village I would go in everybody was
waiting for me all the kids in the chefs
they were saying are you can I see the
chilli book we know they’re really
chilies outside of Bhutan – they’re
chilies the rest of the world can you
tell us about chiles and every town I
went to is the same thing but here the
whole culture grows up with this history
that they actually have had joys of
course this the Portuguese brought them
into Thailand and they migrated through
the trade routes into into Bhutan and
that’s how they got there there and
there only the Cayenne varieties or only
the our bowls and so forth they don’t
have any of these chilies even if you
grow these chilies for instance let’s
say you grow these chili in Washington
DC it won’t have the right flavor
because it won’t have the right
ultraviolet which has to be grown in the
mountains above four or five thousand
feet and it doesn’t have an alkaline
volcanic soil that needs to be in the
central MEC central valley of Mexico
makes the best I’m chosen pasilla is in
the world and when you go to the market
some Louise that one village in that one
place makes the best particular in what
state is that in state of Mexico in
Mexico it’s amazing though that they
know their chilies now there’s a debate
in Mexico right now you probably know
about this that China is exporting
cheaper chilies too many
but some of the Mexicans don’t like this
how will that play itself at what’s good
I know they don’t know the flavor
profile part of it is they they
basically are undercutting the market so
you see them in Oaxaca there are on
shows there I can tell they’re very very
bitter
they’re very alkaline ish they don’t
have a good flavor and but people are
buying them because of economics you
know necessity or that they don’t really
know the difference so but when I work
in Sweden with the spice companies I’m
not allowed to buy Mexican choice which
really offends me because of the micro
levels of bacteria that are on them and
they’re not radiated so we can only use
in Europe for instance radiated things
they have to come from Peru we don’t buy
from Chile but we buy from Peru but all
my sauces I then have to adapt because I
don’t get great I’m chose a great
mulatos but you can adapt now here’s the
jalapeno pepper very popular in the
United States I can even go into a giant
or Safeway supermarket and they will
have these they seem to my untutored
palate to at least be serviceable why is
the jalapeno so popular in the United
States it’s probably because basically
it’s the Chile of northern Mexico where
most of the migrants workers come from
and it was part of the tex-mex tradition
it’s very simple you can use it fresh
mostly just right away it doesn’t
require you can you know cut it up use
it in the soul you know soul so for us
because you burn the blender you can
cook it and eggs you it’s it’s a very
Chilean zoo it has for me a lot of
flavor that is more akin to the green
bell pepper with eat
I prefer poblanos which I think they’re
richer and the poblano as you know is
the predecessor you have one right here
yes yes the poblano in this is actually
where the bell peppers come you know if
it was a Chilean when you go down but
this has much more depth it doesn’t
taste like green pepper it’s not gaseous
and it has what I call real green chili
flavor there’s only two in the world
that have New Mexico yeah the true green
chile grown at high altitudes grow if
you grow it at low altitudes it’s the
Anaheim this one again grows in Mexico
roasted I think it’s supreme now
interesting no one is my favorite no in
China they don’t use it they don’t grow
it and even when I seen in the markets
in China I went through China
with the chef once yes and we bought the
chilies and we would roast them and
actually put him into giant we took over
the restaurant cuz I got tired of eating
the food that there was so we were
actually near kashgar or something and
they couldn’t believe of the flavor of a
roasted chili that was clean without
washing and then strips of it put in a
stir fried lamb dish and how actually
good it was here’s a habanero splendid
orange color what’s this good for
nothing
isn’t it too hot well it’s big which
which is which but moans me that it
might not be the right one so well let’s
get the good smell so okay the habaneros
in this JCAP I’m the tropical family yes
you want to use it for its tropical tone
so what you do is you open it carefully
then caps and hit your nose here you
don’t actually have to touch it it’ll
you can feel it right there you should
know the heat of everyone go easily
across the nose now here though you get
a wonderful orange mango papaya scent
now this roasted and with the seeds and
the veins taken out we do sing the heat
by 60% it’s still gonna be hot because I
have 20% left in the flesh is going to
actually round out and pull up all that
beautiful tropical aromatic and that
will make that pineapple or salsa or
jerk that’ll make it wonderful you smell
the tropical is don’t don’t touch where
it is but just smell and think orange
mango fruit pineapple it’s amazing
what’s the most underrated chilli in the
world most underrated chilli in the
world I would probably say the poblano a
lot of yeah I can do a hundred dishes I
can do 100 salsas with this one chili
how about from Peru the Yahoo llamo do
that might be wonderful cortos and I
yeah they’re slowly and what makes them
special well they don’t have the depth
and complexity that you know they’re
more jungle a which the chilies don’t
like high nighttime temperatures I’m
like cool nighttime temperatures the
rocoto with when you have a terror dito
though i mean you’ve got to be in
there’s a VJ heaven when you were just
down to Lima and I go there all the time
those Chile’s though when you make dried
sauces out of them they don’t they don’t
have a marriage of complexity like the
Mexico Mexicans
kind of like when you’re bali and you’re
looking at a weaving from 1900 that’s a
triple
and the complexity that a Pernod / this
is just what Mexicans attain with their
sauces you know the pre-columbian
Peruvians have every single method of
weaving and yet the Mexicans the reason
I’m attracted so much to Mexican food is
that they literally have probably the
most complex uses of spices and chilies
in the world no question nobody in
Mexico where’s the best region to eat I
would say I would still say the three
regions that I like Puebla yes I’ll be
there in two weeks I think Rob was
underrated I like the the Molay Verdes
in the morning and the Millea Rios of
the of the seven modes that moly
Amarillo is there is better then will
Hakka people talk about Walker
well Hakka is good but not in the city
of Locke a little over eight it’s you
you have to get outside the place that
has the Paseo de Baca the great smoked
chili the best smoked chili in the world
smoked for three days with seven
different hardwoods requires nine hours
in a Landrover to get to that village so
you have that chili is is being still
made by one village and the entire world
nobody makes it they won’t show it to
anybody even though aunty Kennedy has
not seen it we’ve all been to the
village so you still have products today
in Mexico that are actually not only
they world class they don’t exist
anywhere else in the world then the
Chinese could never duplicate it never
so let’s say you can pick not a city but
one village in Mexico and I’m going to
send you there for a week and all you
can do is eat which village do you pick
in the old days I would have said Merida
but not anymore I I would still say I
like Puebla or today Puebla yeah that
era and you take on pre-hispanic Mexican
cuisine so it has a lot of insects it
has fried worms
it has mosquito larvae and those were as
you know they cleaned that the canals
they actually got rid of the diseases
that way the most interesting thing
though you know what it’s about it is we
actually went to the museum yes and
looked at the pre-columbian metate s
that we’ve done for the Nixtamal yes and
guess what what they were never washed
they were never washed well I guess so
they all they when you
tamal corn right it because you actually
it becomes more nutritional because you
free up all the amino acids yes
so the Italians have polenta they got
pellagra yes yes so but what happens is
people talk about how fat Mexicans are
how pre-diabetic the reason is is that
they are using a post-industrial diet
that wasn’t probiotics where put back in
so traditionally the metaphase were
never washed they had levels of
probiotics in there that were put back
in and the women from the texture inside
the tortillas would use wild grasses
that actually contain the largest amount
of wild yeast so the reason you look
previous to 1925 in Mexico there’s no
diabetes is the probiotic and
digestibility one of the reasons is of
the masa itself so let’s say we send you
back but there’s also the flavor changes
I was up in the mountains yes with the
woman and I had the best party I’ve ever
in my life yeah then I couldn’t figure
out why she was getting this flavor you
had a 500 year old farm
the reason was what he what happens when
he used probiotics and yogurt and ice
cream and you changed the flavonoids yes
so essentially not only was it about
health she was making a more complex
flavor an interesting dish now the
reason that I study what I go to
villages for is to study those
perceptional patterns of how and why are
they getting more complex flavors they
don’t buy things on Amazon go to the
store or go to Whole Foods you know they
are actually using their body as this is
this window of opportunity to create
complexity so I send you back to central
Mexico in the middle of the 18th century
hey how good is the food and B how
recognizably is like 1750 let’s say now
recognizably is it like in your opinion
what we would get in the outskirts of
Oaxaca today or near Puebla or in
Guerrero well it depends what class
you’re let’s say that there you know
whether you’re in a ranch in northern
Mexico that’s money yeah I would say
it’s probably very similar to it except
for the step for masa
you know Maseca intervention in 1925
after the Revolution because the
government wanted to control the food
supply and that’s why tortillas are so
cheap that was the same thing in France
when you go to France today why buy gets
of the price they are so but the food in
terms of the you know
what the Spanish brought was pigs they
brought obviously pigs sheep you know
the beef unfortunately it ruined the the
the ecosystem of the pre Colombians
which was not depend on routing animals
the same thing they did in the Caribbean
as you know right for trade Europe could
not grow its own food Europe and if you
take Columbus leaving 30% of the people
were starving to death without warfare
if you throw in warfare in the end of
the 915 century where 50% of people were
been dead in New York today why can I
not get good New Mexican green chile had
a restaurant can’t they just put it on a
plane and fly it over doop I would pay
twice the price they dude it’s not good
why is this the king well as maybe it’s
not roasted then correct like maybe
they’re using it you know you need a
fire roaster it needs to be done within
the same time than its picked and it
comes at the end of the season in terms
of the the best time is at the end of
August now there is a chili that’s even
better which is called the chili pasado
which is the red chili because it’s from
New Mexico where the green turns red the
researchers right okay that chili before
it gets dried it’s actually fire roasted
and then peeled and then dry that chili
is sublime it’s called chili Posada now
we’re losing even in New Mexico or
Mexico that tradition came up from
Mexico’s north and Monterey what I’m
afraid of is we’re beginning to lose
those the palate and those ingredients
that though when you talk about its
historical dish what I always think is
so when we look at masa which chef ever
told you that you must put the
probiotics back into a lot of ever told
me that a lot of chefs in New York are
talking about organic corn but they’re
not talking about really resurrecting
the complexity of the flavor of the
native people you know why because they
don’t go to the villages they don’t eat
there and they don’t use their brain to
think about how are these people
achieving that level of complexity
they’re not shopping for it chefs are
shoppers today here’s a piece of purple
corn I bought it in the United States
but as you know in Mexico there are many
colors of corn it’s vastly superior to
even good corn we get in this country
what’s the future of corn is the future
of corn that the varieties from Mexico
somehow will be replicated spread
evolved and innovated upon or is the
future of corn a kind of monoculture
where most of it is boring a few strains
of it
tastes good but are not really that
interesting and the different colors of
corn in Mexico eventually disappear I
did the corn posters after the chili and
and there are 8862 varieties of corn and
you know all of them I don’t know but
they’re there written there in the
University of Seattle in the Jean
whatever though you know the point is is
that as I think that corn has allowed
the America North American Indians grew
400 so corn even in the United States
before the winter wheat we always ate
corn bread corn was a big part of our
culture not just for ethanol yes but I I
think as soon as we I think because of
what’s happening in the United States
about natural I think that once people
put their palates and really queue them
up and they can tell the difference in
varieties is when we’re gonna get much
more varietal sort of differentiation in
the market if I give you six varieties
of corn and I tell you eat them and you
can’t tell the difference then you
probably are not unwilling to pay for
them if I gave you six varieties of red
wine one is a Bordeaux from the first
grow that one is basically from Trader
Joe’s and you can’t tell the difference
well you probably don’t but this happens
that a lot of people can’t tell the
difference with wine but we still market
the different strands maybe people are
fooled or it’s a placebo effect but
people are interested in change today
and what’s happening in that place in
time so let’s say that the 400 varieties
of Native American corn come back to the
North America yeah let’s say that you’re
in Portland there might be varieties
that can only grow important that only
grow in Maine only grow in New Mexico
the point is is that corn you will
probably like like for instance the
micro brewery industry we talked about
that in Portland if if a community wants
to engage its food culture on the
community local level it can be amazing
Portland is four hundred beers why can’t
they have 3040 varieties of corn just in
Portland it’ll come
there’ll be a corn restaurant in
Portland it’ll say you know what we are
not growing the corn that everybody else
has we do this and we have recipes from
all these cultures that use corn from
the Andes to Mexico and we’re going to
open a corn restaurant based on corn you
know that grows that did grow at one of
my growers in New Mexico everybody when
I first opened the restaurant Santa Fe
can’t
this can’t do this can’t do that regular
you know can’t do anything right well
Elizabeth bury my grower grew 482
varieties of beans without electricity
on land that was essentially the Anasazi
used to use in the fourth century so
these bean pots do we actually know how
many beans or the variety of what a diet
was native cultures friends boas we get
into that but he collected 250 for
salmon recipes a Kwakiutl book where
have been 3000 recipes the average
American housewife does 79 in her
lifetime
so who’s richer and now moved to the
underrated versus overrated segment of
the talk okay you’re free to pass on any
of these but I’ll just shoot out a few
things you tell me if you think they’re
underrated or overrated
the Michelin dining guide overrated now
it’s it’s it’s too status orientated
it’s dated it I I probably I bet you the
average age of the inspectors over 30 I
don’t trust anybody in a company if the
mean age is over 30 and five anymore I
think that they’re out of touch I think
that we’re replaying all director old
themes and I think the Michelin Guide is
about status a reification of a belief
system in a particular food and culture
system that was based on the aristocracy
the fast food restaurant chip Oatley
well they they just got knocked today
their stock just went down understand
you know I think they’re closing their
chop houses which I knew they would they
can’t do that
Chipotle had a grid space it did a lot
of Education they developed Niman ranch
for instance the problem with every big
food company not just a pole a you have
2,000 restaurants you say you’re cooking
the food but the food comes from two
plants for a factory like many ought
that does 200,000 pounds a day so the
public transparency are you actually
cooking the food are you manufacturing
it so I think every big food chain is
probably going to face that this this
this this Gestalt of where if you’re
cooking you can’t be a chain so I think
that I think the era of big food
companies is actually over and a company
like Starbucks used to develop you would
go into a town and you see Starbucks and
it was familiar and now sure now all you
have to do is
like oh I’m in Columbus Ohio coffee oh
this guy is doing Fairtrade interesting
Guatemalan blend oh I’m gonna go there
are you that I’m from you don’t need
brands right you don’t need brands
anymore the consumer used to have brands
as guide and trust today that there are
other ways of developing that we’re in
consumer level 3 this consumers are
defining brands and how brands gets used
I think that the idea of brand is
probably well you’re an economist what
either dated
I agree the idea of brands is in some
ways on the way out you’re a big lover
of the culture of the American West says
a lot of movies about the Old West the
movie High Noon overrated or underrated
no I under 8 its stove I’m very sorry
Cooper is amazing I mean I guess am i
you know I think that those or epics I
think that that’s our mythology of
America all right America and and those
are our heroes those are ours gods from
Zeus you know our gods from Olympus and
we need those we always need something
like that to grow up with otherwise
where we’re left with whatever’s on TV
maybe this is a loaded question but
southwestern cuisine now is it overrated
or underrated it’s not appreciated
so our thunder rated rated because it’s
hard to get the right ingredient it was
yeah it was just too difficult and the
chefs today are not interested you have
to translate three great traditions to
for me to do modern Southwest you have
to know Mexican yes you have to know
Native American yes and you have to know
the history of the European influence on
the Western traditions things like the
cattle drive and those things which is
you have to know all three traditions
and all three ingredients and you I mean
I read I have to read 400 bucks just to
write this book and it took a life
that’s your red sage red state to make
red sage blood but I think that the even
chefs in my own kitchens for instance
could even after 11 years could still
not make some of the sauces after 11
years in the kitchen some of the sauces
have 30 to 40 ingredients and each
ingredient each time has to be tasted
because an eggplant like a good when
you’re when you’re in Japan
yeah why is why does it take 15 years to
be a good 10
because that eggplant in June is tighter
has less water is less bitter than the
one in August where has a different
batter a different temperature so that
20 courses will require that chef to
make exactly over 75 85 decisions for
each meal he does through each week of
the year one less sushi bar go
he knows 19-under is e so if you’re a
good southwest chef yes I don’t think I
don’t you have to know at least 40 or 50
chilies you have to know all your spices
your beans your vegetables you have to
know a game you have to know drying and
roasting they probably you need to have
three or four or 500 recipes under your
belt mm-hmm what’s the most underrated
European cuisine I think I think hungry
I’ve been going to Budapest I think it’s
I I would say right now those Budapest
is on fire I’m having great food great
wine I think it’s amazing the peppers
there too and they love the chili say
have you been to Kailash go to the
chilli museum no I have not it’s amazing
I think that and they’re doing amazing
things and they you know I I would say
right now the London is always exciting
because it’s the most international most
open but I have had some great food I’ve
had eat meals in Budapest for 40 euros
that equal anything in Paris for 400 and
the most overrated cuisine in Europe
right now
ode French cuisine cuisine especially in
the central part of Paris that’s the
more though historically dated sort of
tried and true I think that even a good
finding good friendship be strong I was
in Paris a few you know is difficult I
think that I think that I think that
they’re in they’re in identity crisis I
think that the the French themselves are
like again like the jab with they trying
to reinvent themselves yes but they
don’t want to let go and the younger
chefs the best we waited Bernie which is
the height the hottest restaurant it’s a
Japanese chef who’s lived in Paris he’s
got this gastro modern thing that’s
going on three months and he’s only
serving cocktails no wine
and I took some older French people and
they just couldn’t get it they thought
that it was an abomination they he had
he had taken he wasn’t interested in
French cuisine he was reinterpreting
where French dining in authenticity
in in 2016 so the younger chefs are
concerned with authenticity and the
authenticity of that experience for
their guests is more important than an
authentic technique in recipe where in
the world do diners have the most
advanced exploratory best palate at the
macro level not for one particular thing
us us why do you say that because
they’re just the most they have the
least hang-ups about identity systems
with food there we used to be food
morons right no we were food ignorant
this is what ignorant okay moron means
you can’t learn I think I think we were
and we were intimidated by we were kind
of colonized by the idea of European
culture and in French food Chinese food
and we were I came from french-canadian
and I was told
also as immigrant groups vie for status
and a power within a society they
generally refer to the 1/3 so the
Italians didn’t like the French you know
I lived in Boston
my grandmother she if she saw a piece of
garlic she would have she would have
disowned me you know and I think if your
but the point was I think right now is a
multicultural society and the chefs are
traveling they’re opening and what’s
happening in the media is is that
they’re and because of the immigrant
populations people experience those
level and the younger immigrants that
we’re into our third generation so
Cascio friends since third generation of
Vietnamese in LA we’ve got the big
write-up in New York Times I’ve been
there a couple of times you get other
chefs who are extending their own
traditions you know you talk about
slanted door you talk about Kazem egg in
New York City right what we’re beginning
to understand is what I have fought for
my whole life is ethnic food is as
complex as any expensive French
restaurant can is or often more so now
you teach classes and tasting
appreciation is that college coaching
palette coaching with companies
generally and you try to teach the
executives or the workers or ladies
taught well
we try to teach everybody depends most
importantly if a brand is have a brand
since we will get into branding but
let’s say that I’m working with the
culinary department yes the culinary
Department some culinary what we want to
do is bring the marketing people
we want to bring the consumer research
people and we want to bring in the
culinary people because we want a
lexicon of what is what are we
describing what is the experience we’re
not creating a product we’re creating an
experience and what is the consensus for
what we like and don’t like it what’s
good
so women women have a different palate
than men so if I’m creating if I know
that the objective consumer were jerky
for instance more women reading jerky
women don’t like to chew we know that
okay the point is women also like more
natural flavors not as much traumatic
flavors as men so once we know this fact
and we bring everybody and we create
Jerky’s we would go through that’s a
different if we have for instance a
hamburger
that’s something something simple sure
six layers of the hamburger is 36
possibilities of eating it so one of the
things like next time you eat a
hamburger right just put it upside down
take your favorite hamburger from your
favorite brand and put it upside down
you’ll see that it eats completely
different all the fat receptors are now
in a different mode it’s almost like
turning something to a mirror and so the
experience and expression of it it’s
completely that people don’t think that
food do everybody I watch people in a
restaurant you know what they do they
eat and they take but they think a glass
of beer or what they were drowning it
out I say what you do is you light up
and set the stage take the beer or wine
first and then use the flavors really
yeah because but people have bad they
have bad taste habits they’re not
trained to taste and what’s another of a
bad taste habit that a lot of Americans
have that you could know attention what
no attention no attention well so I we
make them put it in their mouth right
first of all texture temperature
movement and flavor which one is first
and second always by the semi-automatic
nervous system you have no control over
tell us wait okay first what is texture
anything you put in the mouth second was
temperature so obviously if it’s crunchy
and hard and hot you’re actually you’re
not gonna understand the flavor get
brain is just gonna activate its defense
system is it too hot what is it it’s a
foreign object in my body okay so yeah
I’m gonna be really upset
so am I gonna if the point is is that if
you get it that’s why sushi is kind of
interesting because sushi comes out of
this acceptance in Japan of the body of
and sensual yes and so it’s a movement
into projecting sensual and we’re
getting out but the sensual space of how
we use our body so you should talked
about crunch what’s interesting to me
would be about the psychology of why do
we have that because they choose to do
something and they choose to not do
something else but anyway if you put
something ten seconds in the middle
right then chew because you get the
retro nasal there’s two parts smell
first
first of all smell like an a wine thing
get the right software in your head so
is it a fruit or is it you know is it a
hot dog get the right to for a few
seconds then stop and then the enzymatic
response is ten to fifteen some flavors
take thirty minutes to develop on the
palate completely but I always take ten
seconds and then chart what I’m gonna
ask you yes is it a fast flavor or a
slow flavor okay okay so lemon is fast
okay pork fat is slow is it long or
short okay so for what do you mean long
or short okay a glass of wine can be
very long it can be very short but
raisins we always start with raisins we
take something that people know right so
is a raisin long or short actually it’s
long how many then we go four so it’s
fairly slow it’s fairly long and taste
occurs over time and space
do not use cognitive systems for sensual
perception what you’re doing is
vocabulary is symbolically compressed in
order to be expediate it in terms of the
way we communicate right however it does
not communicate sensual otherwise we’d
have no paintings poetry’s of music
right well once you tell people not to
use words that really throat that you
have to activate other cognitive
perceptual systems so so no words no
we’re its body temperature body
temperature don’t you don’t you minimum
of 15 seconds and then memory is
important what I want you to do then is
taste it the second time because what
you will have missed is that basically
it’s gone by you’re going to fill in you
know when you scan and you read if you
can actually see understand by scanning
the brain scans noun flavors it fills in
complexity you taste the two hundredth
of a second you have two thousand
500 tastebuds each one has 10,000 nerve
endings those two million perceptions
per second your brain is gonna be I have
to figure out where to put them and how
to categorize them unless you have
preset categories and scan really
quickly so memory you panic might let
you do it the second time you will see
that you can fill it in and you’ll be
able to get the richness the complexity
and the length of the flavor but by
telling people taste occurs over time in
space just that sentence is the first
one I always start with you have to move
into that perceptional that way of
thinking about taste it is not immediate
it’s not cognitive it’s not electronic
it’s not oral at a current and the
enzymatic response of the body for
breaking down the flavonoids it takes
time and what people don’t give me it’s
time I don’t give you time that would
give me perceptual time so how much how
much does the keulen airy cutting-edge
depend on context let’s say we took a
mark millar equivalent of fifty years
ago and fed that person not a very young
you but someone your age now fifty years
ago who knew the foods of that time fed
that mark millar
the keulen re cutting edge of today how
much would he be able to appreciate it a
lot a lot a lot yeah I think because the
context of using the body and perceptual
space remains the same okay I may have
changed from Alania from Chez Panisse to
Alania to what you know that we’re
talking about generations of restaurants
I think that chefs or I think that what
culinary art does is it news or ability
to move our perceptual sense of
exploring the world just as a weaving or
painting does if it creates other
realities that we may not have actually
realized that were there but were there
when I talked about chilies I was the
first person now why was I the first
person to write a book that chilies had
flavors they’ve been eating chilies for
5000 years yes I went to Robert Mondavi
we did a seminar and I proved to him
that they were like grapes and that when
you blend chilies in a Molay it took as
much art and complexity as a winemaker
and he was actually shocked but he said
I was correct yes but he had never
thought but he had never tasted it right
so don’t go in with the wrong
perceptional don’t think the chilies are
hot for instance
sometimes I wonder about this your what
in my opinion what is sometimes called a
supertaster you can taste fine
gradations and different flavors and
items a level beyond well how much other
people can even people who might call
themselves foodies right you have some
special sensory ability
well actually this that the term they
can read how with the super taster is
about the number of actual tastebuds
per centimeter on your palate and
actually I am not biologically a super
taster in terms of the number of
receptors that I have I don’t think that
Baron Bernsen you know was one of the
greatest art critics or you know or turn
it actually had extraordinary eyesight
but you’re maybe better than a super
taster it’s at the cognate what I got on
your tongue what I try to do is what
remember the book the shallows came out
I try to do deep tasting like deep
reading are we looking for patterns that
exist within the perceptual space that I
am NOT look that I wasn’t looking for
before so all of taste is about part of
its memory part of its perception part
of its connecting those complexities I
am I would be also interesting enough
I’m a slightly handicapped because I
have a little bit of auditory processing
disorder so what happens is when I was a
child all of the world around me was
categorized in to taste I don’t I don’t
I can hear fine but it creates cognitive
dissonance I can’t drive the car the
point was because I learned that my
brain can actually look at taste and
actually make the world around me
sensible then when I looked at a race
and people weren’t said what do you mean
that there’s more flavors and research
says know pay attention listen listen
carefully if ever listened to our like a
harpsichord is people get they their
attention span is has to be so precise
that it’s a difference of a fortieth of
a second now when you play another
electronic music you don’t develop that
skill set how many different flavors or
kinds of soy sauce can you distinguish
by taste oh I’ve got a panel of forty at
a time I think that I’ve done I’ve had a
kitchen
of up to 70 at a time and you can tell
one from the other
you like saltiness by sweet they’re all
they all have a characteristic profile
of complexities of you mommies as with
my call it may be dark rich tones if you
put ten if you put if you put fifteen
Cabernets in front of me I can still
tell you could do that anybody can do
that so we generally don’t think of sure
you’re a soy sauces as being that
complex so when we taste it we don’t
when we have if I tell you this is an
$800 bottle of wine you turn on your
complexity sort of perceptional scan I
tell you that this is a Mexican taco you
don’t turn it on you already prejudiced
I do but you tell it so soy sauce is to
me or when you’re in Japan the pickle on
the table yeah well tell me within 20
miles of where you grew up and where you
live in the show you at this at the
sushi each great sushi house not Sochi
bars actually blends their own show you
and I can tell not only whether you’re
from Edo but what generation are you
from the 30s the 40s of the 50s of what
generation did you actually grow up to
actually believe that that was the style
of the show you well if you’re in Kyoto
these people they you know they they
Japan has really been that way because
it is literally those 40 regions are so
maintaining that isolation that you
learn the differences from going from
one to another I can go from I can take
a train of two hours in Japan and cover
more culinary differences than you can
the United States thank you for those
wonderful remarks mark with that I turn
the questioning over to Megan McArdle if
this is a little weird being the only
questioner talk about why you talked
about how women and men’s palates are
different how is their cooking different
I mean I there’s a editor I know now at
eater was it sabor then who said that
that male cookery was all sort of knives
Goths and fire night knives spice and
fire I think was so she put it and if it
often seems like a fair characterization
to me my guy friends really want to load
up the heap they
really yeah I remember having a guy
telling me that like the secret to
really good cooking was just dump cajun
seasoning all over everything
what you know how do outer women cooked
it well I mean you you we’re not gonna
get into developmental theory here but I
character okay I can tell you the you
know the general broad strokes women or
essentially more concerned with internal
experiences they are more motivated to
talk to someone and it’s Jenni room
table and the guy will look at the
television you get four guys the four
women will talk to each other for you
the point is is that they early on
there’s there’s there’s a better
internalization of the phenomenological
world inside the body so they actually
begin to recognize those characteristics
of things that are what I would call
body perception alee so that tends to be
a little bit more subtle it tends to be
a little bit more in time and they don’t
like the transformative process as much
as understanding the the you know this
I’m going out of life but they would
prefer to accept the flavor personality
as is and understand it rather than
change it into something that I do so
like you said if you took that carrot
that pork that kidney and just made it
spicy that’s what guys they want to take
change it and transform it they want to
create something new they want to
actually not allow if you allowed nature
to take its course then you wouldn’t be
cooking you don’t have the heat you know
I’m transforming the spice and so we’re
women except for Lydia Lydia Shire
Boston she’s the only one that I could
never tell women tend to actually
believe that they’re that the
ingredients should be left alone Alice
Waters or that school of cooking and
that you can literally coax natural
ingredients into something that’s
complex and satisfying and sophisticated
and healthy and it’s sustainable it’s
even better but man you know I I believe
that if we go that too far that we’re
not going to learn how to make mole lays
that were not concerned with other black
bean soups I would rather learn how to
make when I lived in Guatemala every
woman the village made black bean soup
not one of those women ever told me you
know
III go to the I go to the market buy
organic black beans so mines better not
what every woman knew how great our
black bean soup was the best woman in
the village she was 37 steps and she
really got me going I traded to her we
peel now women tend to be more focused
and more creative and more subtle it
doesn’t mean that they’re not as rich a
tradition it just means that it’s a
different level of recognition no sense
yes absolutely
mezcal or tequila what I’m teaching
Coppa by del maguey is my favorite
Moscow in the world and when it’s
tequila’s I still go for Silver’s not
these unless you represent in a
margarita you should always use Silver’s
because they don’t have any wood and if
you’re using fruit whether it’s a mango
strawberry anything else that idea of
the gold coin or the upscale that’s just
a marketing ploy to make more money but
it makes makes them more money better it
makes worse margaritas mess call I mean
mezcal go was and is a native tradition
built on extreme attention to nature and
it’s only wild agaves each one of the
palenque’s that ron uses only can
produce 400 cases a year and it’s it’s
totally out of that village in that
tradition and even though those 20
villages are within 100 miles they might
as well be like two continents apart
because there they expressed the whole
world of you put five painters in Paris
in 1900 you get different paintings in
the same building and momart right yeah
your favorite guilty pleasure bad food
oh it’s not a bad food it’s ice cream
ice cream was this God’s gift to to
depression any particular oh I like them
all I haven’t to like cold I have a very
sensitive palate so I won’t eat any hot
soups or teas or things I always eat
cold when I can get it and that’s
preferable that’s that would be my
preferences and if you had to say hot
fudge sundae so I am someone who we
talked about this little earlier I have
never been able to stand the taste of
cooked fish and I have been trying
because it’s good for me and my husband
loves fish but that fishy flavor makes
me gag
how would you advise someone like me and
you know obviously this is a broader
question than just fish is someone who
has something I’m generally pretty
willing to eat almost anything but you
have that one thing or you have a couple
things where you’re desperate to like be
able to tolerate it how do you how do
you go well we talked earlier then I I
don’t need cook fish at night because
the enzymes in your body change and I
only brought theirs from Chalmers but
you actually may be the super taster
because super no super tasters tend to
have and that’s probably the problem
with parents who don’t realize the child
they become very fixated and they like
things that don’t like things because
there’s so powerful sensations for them
children in particular don’t really know
what to do with that category so if they
had something that was green that was
very bitter that’s why they won’t eat
green beans and won’t they associate
then the entire category is something
that they’re going to be defensive of
your question about cook fish would be
have you ever tried like flame broiled
you know sashimi and sushi yeah I can I
get like a seared tuna right that’s
basically raw inside yeah I can totally
eat that it’s when it’s like I cooked
salmon or something no but how far is
like oh do you know how many degrees all
right no well I I’m not I’m not daring
enough to cook my own fish because I
hate flavonoids develop and change over
every two or three degrees that’s why
it’s a misnomer the more you cook meat
it’s gonna get know them live more
livery it’s going to get fish is exactly
the same so what you want to do is get a
piece of fish and find out 1:30 I bet
you the higher on the more objectionable
flavonoids have not developed it’s
cooked 135 it’s cooked it’ll go up five
but I would just go home and do salmon
and halibut I would start with halibut
because it’s has its it could be the
oils it could be a combination of oils
and flavonoids and or we could just you
know make a really spicy fish when we go
to country Mar in Mexico City and just
put red and green chili and throw it on
the grill and I bet you eat it was
wonderful the sous-vide revolution how
do you feel about well I’ve been working
with a long time I work two American
Airlines so these 90s I worked with
who’s the in solutions one of the
it is an amazing technique and it tends
to be overused by chefs who believe that
a perfect texture is preferable to a
more complex uneven now the brain
actually it’s wrong though because the
brain doesn’t know what it is it knows
what it’s not so tea teaching flavor is
not teaching what that ingredient is
it’s teaching what it’s not so if I have
a sous-vide piece of lamb and it’s not
crusted and it’s not browned and there’s
no my yard and then it’s not when you
look at lamb and it has rose a 50% it
will start darker it’ll be more minority
it’ll be cooked what the brain then has
four or five different perceptional
zones to actually understand and
appreciate and differentiate a sous-vide
piece of land that’s pink all the way
through with one texture with no my
earning and no flavor the lamb developed
because it never went high enough will
actually won’t be lamby enough and it’ll
taste like a lamb piece of bubblegum or
a sponge now I don’t
I use interruptive sous-vide so I do a
Chinese squab that I put an intensity I
used to brine it for 48 hours with 14
spices mainly cumin and Chili’s to get
it all the way through the scrub then
roast it and then deep-fry it like the
Chinese I found it by su vida yet they
went in by 24 hours so the fresh was
squab was her then I cook it sous-vide
at a different higher temperature even
after it’s in brine and then I fry it
deep fry it so I find that that what I
call interruptive sous-vide as a
technique which doesn’t which takes the
you get intensity without keep
preserving some freshness so let’s say
that I did scallops and I do them
sous-vide my scallops are cooked for
exactly 18 minutes and with a wine
dinner I want to match the chamomile in
a Sauvignon Blanc well how do I do that
actually I actually put in some fresh
chamomile with the scallops cooking sous
vide and the aromatic profile goes
through I mean a little to start I do
this and that and that some young Blanc
with that is amazing
what is the biggest
stake that people make when they go into
a Southwestern restaurant and sit down
and order they want chips and salsa
that’s a bad mistake explain that well I
mean it’s it’s it’s a phenomenon that
they first of all they get it free
second of all chips are usually done
poorly and then the salsa is usually
done poorly it’s a good excuse to sit
there and drink beers and margaritas
which is you know I don’t need that
excuse but what you’re looking for is is
is something that comes into let’s say
Buffalo we all wheat more Buffalo I was
cooking Buffalo it was difficult to sell
back in the 70s NES we know it’s
healthier we know it is less cholesterol
so and the other thing is you want
intense small portions of food you don’t
want it you know so when you’re looking
at a Southwest menu you want to look for
the sauces the complexity you want to
look for things that would probably take
you that some things have been cured
though like even red sage what was the
first thing that we did we actually did
a carpaccio of while a venison
we had a tartare mixed the venison and
buffalo with sage we made you know that
was on the first menu read sage in 1990
now if you go around the United States
25 years later you don’t find that
anymore
so if you were but no that’s a if
someone came to you this is a game my
family used to play in the car someone
comes to you and says I’m a fairy
you are only gonna be allowed to eat
three foods for the rest of your life
three dishes three specific dishes so
not like tacos but a kind of taco you
don’t worry about nutrition you have to
worry about calories but you have to
pick three foods and those are the only
three foods you can you can ever have
again which three foods certainly
Lobster because I grew up in that part
of the world Nova Scotia cooked in
seaweed you know with butter drawn
butter you know I would say you know my
short dinner which is lobster clams and
you know they’re all they’re all the one
meal they don’t they’re not very
moisturizing you know but Lobster for
sure I would say my second one would be
yes I would boy with something spicy and
I between Thai and Mexican you know it’s
my two favorite spicy cuisines in the
world then I would I would probably say
second sort of you know amazing sort of
taco with great salsas and and right
kind of you know the tortilla the third
thing I might say would be surprisingly
probably just a collective way you know
a five year old cow northern Spain
roasted completely correctly and the
Amami of each piece of meat is better
than any other meat that exists in the
world but there are better richer things
in Japan but that part of northern Spain
is just amazing what part of northern
Spain is that it’s outside of or gross
okay yeah and it’s extension of the
Basque area those are working cattle and
you saw the film on you know the world
world of steak I’m sure and and there’s
one that I like in in Barcelona which
actually has does the espadrilles out of
out of the sea cucumbers dip but I think
that they honesty a French group an
eschewed even though I went to L believe
many times about seven or eight times
still remains cuisine that those are
those we talked about the hand that
fuchsia found we talked about ham in the
Dolomites I think that we we look
culturally for I think they were always
searching for those foods in our
environment that we give us pleasure
that extend the body into that space and
they elongate our perceptional way of
interacting with the world so when
someone talks about three-year-old to
Bugo it’s not that it’s that expensive
and it’s that complex and that’s
interesting that it requires so much of
you to actually perceive it that it you
are more alive you are more there the
ham is more there that sense of presence
is there and I think that’s what great
that’s what a great chef can do you can
stimulate that sense of being there and
we’re losing that the virtual reality
that’s happening we’re losing our sense
of being in presence Korean tacos Korean
tacos I know Roy so that’s not fair I
know Roy personally I think it’s a good
example of what Roy calls authentic food
he grew up in LA Roy Choi is Korean he
is LA which has a lot of Mexican food
and the sense of combining his own
interior reality into a projection on
that plate to me is perfect food what a
chef should always be doing I’m not
Mexican and the reason I created modern
southwestern I think it would be a lie
for me to do a Mexican restaurant
Roberto Santa benna’s it Fonda is a good
friend and a partner – salsa company is
Mexican from Mexico City and does cook
great Mexican food and I think that you
you can learn but you should not co-opt
an entire culture or identity you you
you know you know I was at that I was at
Chez Panisse and I didn’t want to cook
like Alice Waters anymore so I was that
/ – you know it wasn’t much it’s nothing
wrong with Japanese but it wasn’t my
food and I was always arguing about it
sometimes but the point is when a chef
really understands the world and
ingredients it can bring that reality to
his dining public that’s an amazing you
know explosion of creativity and emotion
and theater and it’s wonderful right if
you had to sum up your food if you had
to say if you had there and a couple of
sentences say this is what this is what
my food was and why I needed to go to
yes is when you left Chez Panisse we all
created the main use of Chez Panisse
wasn’t else but even done know as they
have a couple it’s only because I’m one
of my advisors didn’t sign my thesis
anyway I was supposed to be there for
two weeks so I think that my food is a
personal exploration of my own
exploration of the world and I look at
the world through my senses mostly
through taste sometimes smell I’m not a
bad nose and what I’m trying to do is
understand not only the world we live in
but sometimes past cultures I try to
look at pre-columbian weavings I try to
get a list of all the pre-columbian
foods and we see for instance its
central which is a very famous
restaurant Lima today but that
complexity of these juniors and this and
things that grow we’re probably used and
and stimulate the problem is do we
actually have the palette to actually go
back wouldn’t you like to live and I
don’t want to just see a Rembrandt
painting or I loved
you know this I want to actually go back
and eat the food that he was eating in
the markets and the cheese’s and the
things that we’re done because I want to
try to understand where that painting
came from not only the psychology of the
artist so when I read her when I read a
cookbook or I go to a restaurant I’m
trying to understand the person or the
place or the culture fast food so the
dark side well can it be done well it is
done well I mean fast food is done well
in Japan the places I go I eat udon I
walk in it’s being made by hand it costs
$2 I decide what I’m gonna put on top
and I have a bowl and I’ve timed it it’s
18 seconds McDonald’s it’s a lifetime
you know Starbucks Starbucks is 8.4
minutes too long
thanks to Lobot chefs Korea’s Sunday in
a fast food but either you’ve seen these
machines now that they’re gonna have
that’s gonna like dice everything and
it’ll you know won’t need any human
interaction at all what do you think of
that probably they would anybody notice
III I really you know I think fast food
I think that our model in the United
States because of the real estate and
economics of it is completely wrong I
think that a chef should open a
restaurant at 10 seats I think you
should charge $100 and I think you
should make 150 and he should not pay
rent or have X of Labor or have overhead
or cost and what you should do is honor
the tradition of respecting the
individuals so in in Japan they have
this policy of not first customer or
whether you know there’s a policy of not
taking you because they don’t know how
you’re gonna act they don’t know who you
are they don’t know you’re also eating
with you’re not eating with you’re
eating with seven or eight other people
as an ensemble you and you’re not
completely separate so the idea of a
rear of reinstituting cultural and
social space and bonds and honoring the
chef is here and put something down
there’s no waitress there’s no menu the
point is is that that’s the reality of
you and that’s a personal connection
it’s like your mother
the point whether it’s that point to me
is that we have to go back to
understanding that food is very part of
our psychological sense of
face our body sense of space are
pleasurable sense of space our own
cultural identity and if we let other
people take over that buy organic or
this or labels or price then what we’ve
done is given that part of our lives up
and I don’t know that we’re I’m just
saying this there’s 300 noodle places in
Kyoto
nobody charges more than 10 or 12
dollars they’re all really good they’re
all a little bit different and guess who
doesn’t do well chains that charge ten
dollars for noodles that they have to
pay high-end real estate like show you
Chenoa there’s two of them in Kyoto I’ve
been going to Cairo 50 years I’ve never
been I’m never gonna go there’s no
reason to go chains only exist when the
local community doesn’t provide the same
service so in a street food market it’s
accessible so I can eat in Thailand a
quail for 75 cents that same quail in
Washington DC in New York City will cost
me like 1895 Megan mark thank you very
very very much

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