Friday, February 01, 2008

Plugra unsalted butter, Wilkin & Sons raspberry jam, Roland extra strong Dijon mustard, Maldon salt, Marvis Aquatic Mint toothpaste

At the FT, Holly Yaeger interviews Phoebe Damrosch (Per Se alumna) about her book Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter. Some details of the culinary training on offer:
“We tasted and discussed French and Italian olive oils ... We learned the difference between forced infusion done in the kitchen for something like the thyme oil, often paired with lamb, and oils infused with, say, lemon zest, at the press ... We also tasted Banyuls, truffles and 20-year aged balsamic vinegars,” recalls Phoebe Damrosch, who was among those hired to work at the restaurant before it opened. “One day we tasted nine different salts and another day we tasted 16 kinds of chocolate.”

There was even coaching from a specialist in 18th-century dance. “When holding two hot plates of Snake River Farms calotte de boeuf with crispy bone marrow and a rissole of marble potatoes, one was wise to hold them close to the centre of gravity, learned in curtsy training, so as not to make the marble potatoes roll around the plate like their namesakes[.]”
(Hmmm, personally I have a strong preference for salted over unsalted butter--and I do not like Plugra at all, it tastes too strongly of animal fat, I like Irish butter instead--also it reminds me of my grandmother!)

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