The fourth annual Starchefs International Chefs Congress has arrived and is already through one jampacked day. While I will come back and go through the various demos and presentations, I will do my best to present a quick synopsis in words and photos.
The morning, sunny and beautiful, made for a day that would ordinarily be meant to spend outside. Fortunately, the activity inside at the ICC, made me forget the beautiful early autumn day that we passed up.
With most people shaking off their early morning cobwebs, Nils Noren and Dave Arnold played with some of their favorite toys and techniques, showing off a Roto-Vap, centrifuge and agar filtration to come up with a variety of very cool dishes.
More techno wizardry was provided by Richard Blais, who highlighted the Isi whipper amongst other toys to create a thoroughly modern rendition of a classic breakfast.
After the traditional welcome and trends report from StarCefs editor-in-chief, Antoinette Bruno, brothers Matt & Ted Lee gave a keynote address tlaking about what makes American food special. They were also the emcees for the day.
The opening presentation featured 4 heavyweights of the industry with Clark Wolf moderating a discussion with Norman Van Aken, Charlie Trotter and Emeril Lagasse delving more deeply into their individual views of what American cuisine is.
David Bouley followed with a demo displaying the influence of Japanese ingredients and technique on his own cooking.
Lunch was followed by more Japanese cooking as Kaiseki master, Yoshihiro Murata, showed why his cooking and style are so respected as well as how non-Japanese cooking has and is influencing his cooking.
Dr. Nathan Myhvold and Chris Young next wowed the audience with a demo derived from their upcoming blockbuster of a book showing the science behind cooking as well as detailed techniques for using the modern chef's technological arsenal as well as some more traditional techniques.
Reminiscent of Morimoto's epic dissection of a monkfish at last year's ICC, April Bloomfield took apart a special 50 pound milk-fed piglet from Quebec in a tour-de-force demonstration using the belly to create her dish.
The official day finished with Pierre Gagnaire using American ingredients to prepare dishes a la minute.