It’s All in the Mouthfeel
Everyone talks about how food tastes, but what about how it feels? An exciting dish doesn’t just have depth of flavor, it also has layers of texture. When you bite into it there should be different components, each with its own sensation—airy, flaky, spongy, velvety, silky, crispy, and so on. These are the dishes that aren’t just well-composed, they’re appealing to look at and fun to eat put in your mouth.
We’ve been inspired by chefs and pastry chefs around the country who ingeniously integrate texture into their dishes. Read about how to bring loads of texture into your cooking and take a look at those who are leading the charge in The Impact of Texture. Eat with your eyes and get inspired with our dedicated texture photo gallery.
The use of sponges is one trend that has been popping up in both the savory and the pastry realm to bring an unexpected textural element to any dish. Green tea/matcha and black sesame are the most popular sponge flavors right now, but we’re sure we’ll be seeing sponges of all densities and tastes in no time. They provide an unusual mouthfeel that is a light and airy counterpoint to the other items on the plate.
Meat substitutes, bland, and tofu—no more are no longer what vegetarian food is all about. The new high concept vegetarian cuisine is all about showcasing the freshest, highest quality produce highlighting the vegetables and making food that is as texturally intriguing as it is tasty. Read about three chefs in New York City, Seattle, and Napa are taking their belief in sustainability and innovative cuisine to the next level.
No ingredient says texture like uni. Delicate, creamy, and packed with serious umami flavor, uni seems to be everywhere, and we just can’t get enough. Read about all different kinds of sea urchin applications—from emulsions to parfaits—plus how to store, handle, and plate it in our uni ingredient feature. Check out our video of Chef Sotohiro Kosugi of New York’s Soto discussing different types of sea urchin and his philosophy on various techniques for serving and cooking it. And don’t miss our special photo gallery dedicated to the most noteworthy sea urchin preparations we’ve encountered.
Chef Raphael Peña of Gresca in Barcelona wowed us with his Egg Soufflé with Vegetables, Cream, and Ham—a deceptively simple dish that is rich with flavor and textural contrast. The light egg soufflé cracks open, allowing egg yolk to ooze out, creating a creamy sauce, followed by the creamy sauce and crisp vegetables. Check out his technique for the egg soufflé here.
Our latest On the Plate is also inspired by our trip to Spain and focuses on two chefs in Madrid whose food just screams texture. Chefs Francisco "Paco" Morales of Senzone and Ricardo Sanz of Kabuki plate food that is esoteric and innovative; check out our favorite presentations here.
What culinary trends do you see? Fill out our 2009 Culinary Trends Survey for a chance to be entered to win one 2009 ICC Pass.
It’s not too late to buy tickets to this year’s International Chefs Congress—come learn and play with top culinary professionals from around the world in New York City, September 20-22, 2009.
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