Miss Pickles' Miscellanea

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Posts tagged food

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Butter means they love you. Butter means they know you’re hurting. Butter means they’ve missed you or that they’re sorry. Butter means they’re glad to see you. Butter means they want to kill you, just a little, but make it worth every shaved instant of life.
from Jason Sheehan's Ode to Butter: Butter Means They Love You

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Grant Achatz

If you don’t have this book—

—but want to read about one of our generation’s best chefs, head on over to D.T. Max's New Yorker profile of this remarkable man, “A Man of Taste.” A great read that chronicles Grant Achatz’s fight with cancer as he seeks to attain his ambitions with inspiring drive and tenacious creativity.

Filed under Grant Achatz The New Yorker food books

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People say, ‘Ooh, our meat, it’s sort of perfectly wobbly.’ What happened to the singe? What happened to the Jedi knight of the chefs just using their forks to feel when it seems right? You feel the fillet of flesh and you bite it. Everyone’s very impressed if it goes all soft and wobbly, but if everything ends up soft and wobbly, where’s the fun in that?
Fergus Henderson on cooking meat sous vide

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Never understood the concept of baked fries. Partial deprivation will come back to bite you twice as hard.
- Luxirare

Never understood the concept of baked fries. Partial deprivation will come back to bite you twice as hard.

- Luxirare

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Reading Now

Men have it worse than women. Over the past 3,000 years, women with a BMI way above 21 have been celebrated in painting and sculpture. But I cannot think of one statue honoring a naked fat man—except maybe the Buddha.

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On a Culinary Roll

Done with Ferran in a jiffy, and just this afternoon dove into a beautiful tome, taken down from one of the shelves in the boyfriend’s restaurant:

There are those who suggest that a scientific approach to cooking somehow takes away from the artistry and romance and beauty of it all, and kills off the passion. For me the reverse is true. I’m still first and foremost following my instincts, but using science as a tool to help explore culinary possibilities.

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For humanity, the two most universal languages are music and cuisine. Every town in the world eats, and every town has music. But if we had to say which was the most important, we’d say cuisine. Either you eat or you die, no? So it’s a language that is very universal. - Ferran Adrià

More elBulli madness from Nowness, to accompany my current read:

El Bulli: The Golden Ticket
Inside the World of Super-Chef Ferran Adrià with Filmmaker Alison Chernick

Situated outside the small town of Roses on the Costa Brava in Spain, El Bulli is renowned as the spiritual home of molecular gastronomy—a cuisine that has equal footing in science and the culinary arts. Here, equipment commonly found in research laboratories—liquid nitrogen, centrifugal motors, pacojet machines—is key to masterminding dishes prepared with techniques including spherification (suspending a liquid in a thin alginate membrane) and aerification (foams). If El Bulli is this food movement’s temple, then its chef and owner, Ferran Adrià, is its high priest. He has influenced a generation of scientifically minded chefs, and his acolytes can be found the world over: Noma’s Rene Redzepi served for a stage at El Bulli, while restaurants such as Alinea in Chicago, wd~50 in New York, and Varvary in Moscow are clearly in his debt….

“I think the big question, which I don’t think is answered yet, is whether Adrià is a chef with an extremely artistic practice, or whether he is an artist using food as his medium,” says the director. As for her eating experience? “Surreal,” she says. “My favorite course was the first: a Comme des Garçons perfume spray on a plate with a dry martini inside. Next to it were ‘spherical olives’—green balls filled with olive puree. Ferran really flexes his muscles on you, while setting the bar pretty high for the ultimate dining experience. I’m still digesting it on many levels.”

[“El Bulli: The Golden Ticket,” Nowness]

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What does it mean to have accomplished something? Does it mean you have  finished your work, because a magazine or an institution says that you  have arrived at absolute perfection? I don’t feel that whatsoever. We  may have been voted the so-called best restaurant in the world, but for  me our work is not done. We have not yet finished our journey  discovering the product range and all the people that grow great things;  this is a process that continues for years.
- Chef René Redzepi of Noma (voted number 1 restaurant in the world), in an interview on the Nowness

[“Culinary Inventor: René Redzepi,” Nowness]

What does it mean to have accomplished something? Does it mean you have finished your work, because a magazine or an institution says that you have arrived at absolute perfection? I don’t feel that whatsoever. We may have been voted the so-called best restaurant in the world, but for me our work is not done. We have not yet finished our journey discovering the product range and all the people that grow great things; this is a process that continues for years.

- Chef René Redzepi of Noma (voted number 1 restaurant in the world), in an interview on the Nowness

[“Culinary Inventor: René Redzepi,” Nowness]

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From Nowness:
Assiette: Garden of Delight
Patissier Jordan Kahn's Croissant Dessert Blooms in a Foodie Fantasy

The metamorphosis of a humble croissant into a fantastical dessert by patisserie master Jordan Kahn’s is chronicled in the stop-motion film Assiette by multimedia artists Natasha Subramaniam and Alisa Lapidus. Known for his modern, painterly approach, Los Angeles-based Kahn references Salvador Dalí on the plate: “The curl of the croissant reminded me of Dalí’s mustache and the white spheres were made to resemble his ubiquitous eggs,” he says. The flaky star ingredient was purchased from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon bakery in LA, and is made from a recipe Kahn developed with his mentor Sebastian Rouxel along with Keller. Chartreuse, a French alpine liqueur made with 144 herbs, is also critical to the dish; its green hue inspired the layered flavors, including green apple, pistachio, green tea, edible flowers and pine needle. Kahn, who has worked on the pastry teams at Keller’s Per Se and French Laundry and Grant Achatz’s Alinea, opened Vietnamese canteen Red Medicine last year in LA’s Chinatown. His croissant-based confection conjured a green forest for Subramaniam and Lapidus, who are working on a series which aims to marry the cinematic and culinary worlds.

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