Chowhound Presents: Table Talk with with Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo | Ask Your Questions Now ›

General Discussion

architectural food? Yes/no?


General Discussion 4

architectural food? Yes/no?

dragonfare | Oct 18, 2007 02:19 PM

So you sit down at a pricey new place---you order, say, a seafood item.
It arrives, a slab of fish perched [pardon pun] on a precarious stack of fruit, cheese, or vegetables.
Touch it, and the stack starts to unravel. You wanted food that stays warm thanks to contact with the crockery, that hasn't been set up in mid air. And now the pile is a mess of bits.
You're allergic to onion, and they have put some reeking little strings of deepfried onion up on the top of this mess---which, if you don't lift it off with the delicacy of a bomb disposal squad, will shed little bits of onion-flavored crumb into your dinner. Was onion listed in the menu? No. You just got the chef's little surprise. It was also strewed over the salad and appears as suspicious little flecks in the 'vegetable medley.'
Ah. Now there's a term I detest. A 'medley' of vegetables. It arrives, cooked together, so that the inevitable zucchini tastes very much like the inevitable yellow squash AND oddly like most everything else on the plate...wood fire and hickory smoke is a lovely thing---in moderation.
Dessert arrives. I ordered chocolate mousse. Should be easy, right? Nice little cup...a spoon, something I can savor quietly. No. It's nearly a foot high, with wafers and straws of this and that, and has some pouffy stuff on it with a flavor never advertised. I'm supposed to sit there talking serious business at this expensive and rare chance to talk to a certain business relationship, and I'm put to looking like a teenager dissecting the Pig's Dinner banana split---there is no way to receive this thing without a to-do, a distraction, and by the time you've taken it apart to get to what you ordered, you have bits of structural sugar untidily displayed on the plate as if you were a child playing with the green beans.
Personally, I want what I ordered, done as well as it can be done, I want it hot [or cold] according to type, I want it quietly delivered, and I want it to astonish me with its flavor, not its structural diversity.

Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound