There is no denial that bakers and cooks are different animals.
The line is really blurred in the modern restaurant. However, the dessert menu is not the savory menu, and there is a distinction, no matter how many ingredients they share. The dishes on the regular menu are there to satiate the underlying primal need to feed yourself. It’s a hunger that arises 3 times a day, a need to fill our bellies. And as artistic and creative as we make them, as intellectually stimulating as they are, they do serve the purpose of filling our bellies, quashing our hunger.
Now dessert, these dishes are ordered after this hunger is aleviated. They are chosen to satisfy a different need, one of reward, pleasure. So even if we use the same ingredients, the desserts are created to satisfy the guest on an emotional level. The trend in haute cuisine may be reflecting a use of ingredients that are traditionally used in the dishes that satisfy hunger, but there is a distinct difference in the feel of the dishes. They still elicit the same feelings that a big piece of chocolate cake, or a scoop of ice cream do.
One can take a deeper look and ask why a bell pepper is fair game for a dessert, but not a piece of squid. Will there be a day when squid, clams, beef tounge will cross over to the last course on the menu? Probably not but why? Are we so programed to understand that meats are belly filling nourishment, that they can never be emotionally recieved as the reward that dessert is?
One look at Stupak’s dishes and you know they are desserts. No matter how chock full of chickory, or avocado, bell pepper, or cilantro they are, they still represent to us the reasons we order one more dish, after we are full.
Jack- we look forward to having you!
Kirsten- Thanks for the nice thoughts.]]>
Now, back to your post about number of desserts ordered. As a diner, I would add that we usually order one dessert to share. Usually not for $$ but b/c we are already sated and only want a few bites. Could it help your cause if there were 1/2 portions or bite sized desserts on the menu? I would certainly order 2 of those, with the benefit of getting to try 2 of your creations. Just a thought…..
You are so talented – keep up your passion – it is worth it. Life needs dessert.]]>