Congratulations to Alinea for coming in at #7 on the S.Pellegrino Top 50 World's Best Restaurants list (and #1 in the U.S.). So well deserved. I love that this list focuses on and rewards innovation and creativity. I don't know about you, but I'm grateful for chefs who take risks, try unconventional things, and push the envelope... chefs who take us outside our comfort zone and make us think about what we're eating and why. Do I want this in every meal? No. But, am I damn thankful for chefs and cooks who mix it up and make me think about food differently than I had before. I love artists who challenge my way of thinking about painting or sculpture, actors who take risks and do bold things in their medium, and musicians who innovate... and when it comes to food, I so appreciate the amazing group of chefs in the top ten on that list who shake things up and unabashedly try new things to keep the industry on its toes. That takes courage and guts and gumption, and it's awesome.
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Speaking of creativity, check out this video of the Alinea team brainstorming some ideas for the Spring 2010 menu:
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Last week, the International Association of Culinary Professionals hosted their annual meeting in Portland, OR, during which time Michael Ruhlman took part in a panel discussion that discussed the death of recipes. Check out his piece in the Huffington Post's new Food Section that goes further into why he called bullshit on the notion that people don't have time to cook. Michael and I see eye-to-eye on this issue. What do you think?
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On Monday, I'll post the URL for the James Beard Awards live blog. Hope you'll come check it out. And, a special thanks to James Beard Award nominee Tim Carman from the Washington City Paper for his Q&A with me on the awards. I'll be in New York Sunday and Monday hanging with some of my favorite chefs and food folks, so if you're not following me on Twitter (@carolblymire), you should... 'cause I'll tweet updates and photos as the festivities get underway. And, if you have a minute, check out the list of nominees, and let me know (in the comments) what questions YOU think I should ask these folks. Any chefs from your cities or towns in the running? Any restaurants or chefs you think are the ones to watch? Let me know.
See you Monday!