Sunday, May 4, 2008

….about nouvelle cuisine….

The Italian cuisine is known all over the world and represents a reference for good taste and genuiness. The main characteristics of this cuisine are the simplicity of the dishes, the freshness of the ingredients, and a very rich regional variety. Preparing fresh and simple dishes is in essence what we try to do at tidbit.

I found an interesting interview about nouvelle cuisine to Gualtiero Marchesi, one of the most authoritative Italian chefs. The nouvelle cuisine is a style of developed in the 1970s, as a reaction against the classical school of cooking. The nouvelle cuisine found fertile ground in France but not in Italy where the cuisine remains more simple and genuine. Nouvelle cuisine started as a rejection of excessive complication typical of French cuisine. As a result, less food was served; of course what each dish lacked in quantity had to be replaced by better quality and a better esthetic presentation.

Gualtiero Marchesi, speaking of nouvelle cuisine says: “So, I have to see, even nowadays, there are books of chefs with pictures of small pieces of food with lines, dots, and commas… It is too much! The cuisine is back to be baroque. I am more minimalist, but my philosophy is towards the health. They speak so often about genuine products and then we cannot understand what is served on those plates.”

While I agree with Marchesi about health and minimalism, I am not sure about what people consider 'good' food here. Is nouvelle cuisine something that Seattle is looking for also in Italian food? When I read online or food critic reviews, it seems to me that Seattle food 'connoisseurs' prefer styles that are eclectic, fusion or other unusual combinations (with Asian cuisines is generally a plus). They prefer esthetic to substance, complicated and elaborated to simple and healthy. If it is not beautiful and complicated enough, Seattle 'experts' tend to classify food as 'unremarkable'.

I wonder: Is there any space for genuine comfort food in Seattle?

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