Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Michael in Aspen - From a Can

.



By the time I sat in on José Andres’ energetic cooking demo at the ’09 Food & Wine Magazine Classic in Aspen, I had already checked out guys like Ming Tsai and Michael Chiarello, each of whom champion purity and freshness in their ingredients. José, by contrast, is not afraid to tear open a can of octopus and use the water as the base of a broth. In fact, utilizing canned foods to create peasant Spanish cuisine became the theme of that day’s demo. Sweating profusely, and armed with endless bad jokes, José banged out half-a-dozen recipes right before our eyes, including Spanish white asparagus soup made with…..you guessed it: asparagus from the can, including the can water (huh?). Yet, the dishes he made looked so delicious that I became momentarily convinced that Chiarello’s organic approach was perhaps a bit precious and overreaching. Coming to my senses, I acknowledged that José is simply an entertainer with a no-nonsense cooking background, the union of which is magical. In the photo, he is in the midst of building a 5-minute paella. His lovely assistant is also his young daughter. –Michael Koehler
.

No comments: