Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Very Own Alinea.

A couple of hours ago, Dixie started barking her head off, so I went to the window to see who or what was outside. Fed-Ex. I was curious as to what they were bringing, since I didn't recall ordering anything recently. Then I saw the Amazon.com logo and I remembered. With shaking hands, I carefully opened the box. And there it was.
My Alinea cookbook. No, I take that back. You can't call this a cookbook. I set the shrink-wrapped book on my table and just stared at it a while. You can see my overhead lamp and my camera in the reflection.
And stared some more.
With surgical precision, I cut the plastic and reverently peeled it back.
Check out the price. $50.00.
Check out my amazon.com price. $31.50. Now, subtract $30 from that since I applied for yet another Amazon.com credit card that they offered me with a $30 credit on it (Maybe the twelfth or so card I've gotten.) and do the math. I got this magnificent tome for $1.50.
I'm still staring at it. Doesn't it look like it was made for that table top? Or perhaps that granite was made for that book? I've read the first fifty pages of introduction about the Alinea experience, Michael Ruhlman's introduction, the post modern pantry, Chef Grant Achatz's creative process and conceptualization of dishes, using the avenues and approaches of reversal, special/rare ingredients, bouncing flavors, profile replication, ingredient expression, technology, form mimicking, global awareness, texture manipulation, and custom serviceware, and frankly I am in awe and exhausted. You can get an idea of what's involved by checking out this blog. Here's what Ruhlman had to say in his introduction: "So, what makes Alinea so distinctive? And what are we to make of its controversial food: the outrageous pairings, the extraordinary manipulations of texture, presentations that veer from ingenious to surreal, service pieces that make some diners squirm, ingredients that range from familiar vegetables and meats to Ultra-Tex 3 and xanthum gum, and techniques that include encapsulation and pillows of scented air? And finally, who is the chef behind it all? That's what this book is about." I've scanned through some of the recipes and now I am intimidated. Hey Carol, I wish you the best of luck on your new venture. I must say, Carol, you have ova.


Marilyn said...

Like your photos - gray on gray. Cool.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

The pages of the book are gray too.

Unknown said...

Oh boy! This should be fun.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Oh boy! This should be impossible.
For me.

Sniff, sniff.