Every chef is (or should be) inspired by the local farmers market, but a growing undercurrent of chefs is now seeing beauty (and flavorful opportunity) in industrial grit, frontier neighborhoods, and crumbling, congested ruin. Call it post-apocalyptic gastronomy or post-modern urbanism, it seems almost inevitable that chefs give their dishes a sexy city sludge ambience or crib inspiration from a stinky inner-city tobacco factory. It’s not revulsion for or backlash against the move towards naturalism, mind you, but rather an embrace of worldwide urbanization. Elizabeth Falkner, a chef at the forefront of this idea, says “It’s about rhythm and the frantic pace of the city." Another trailblazer, British Chef Sat Bains, built his destination restaurant on an old derelict farm, even serving up an exquisite, eye-catching (self-announcing) dish named after his local neglected ZIP code. The idea of urban inspiration has trickled down to other chefs, even in exotic markets like Hawaii, who see their skyscraper domiciles and commuter conveyances as architectural muses for their dishes’ visual construction.
Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Australian Lamb, Smoked Eggplant, and City Grit from Chef Elizabeth Falkner of Krescendo – Brooklyn, NY