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Please no bacon with my halibut
As much as the United States, and much of the western world, have become the pioneer, forerunner and example of “political correctness” to the world, it ain’t the case regarding nouveau restaurants. “Nouveau Restaurants” are expensive new fashionable eateries that came into being around 2005/6, not to be confused with “Nouvelle Cuisine” of the 80’s.
Fine restaurants have always been around for Gourmets of haute cuisine – most often owned by the *chef himself ; *a master cook educated in culinary art – a person with a “master’s degree” in cooking.
Nouveau Restaurants, however, aren’t eateries adhering to the rules of masterful cooking. There are such things as culinary laws by which to abide and those are utterly disregarded by those in charge of the kitchen of Nouveau Restaurants.
Mushrooms, for example, do not belong on top of fish. Mushrooms are a forest fruit that goes well with game, or other meats. You’ll never find mushrooms in a fish dish of a respectable restaurants run by a ” master ” chef. It’s considered a ” culinary faux pas”. Berries, especially wild forest berries, are also served with game.
Fish goes with most anything, from vegetables to rice, potatoes, even certain fruits, such as white grapes, as long as they don’t overpower the natural flavor of the fish. The art of cooking is to create a culinary harmony – to bring out the flavor of the main dish – complimenting the dish, rather than overpowering the meat, or fish.
Forest fruits, such as mushrooms, wild berries, truffles have very strong flavors with powerful aromas. They go well with dishes that have strong flavors as well – game, for example. However, the biggest culinary faux pas is ” bacon” on a fish dish. All one smells and tastes is bacon overpowering the entire fish.
Recently, while traveling, i ordered a halibut in a Nouveau Restaurant, which i went to because it was convenient – it was in the hotel. My Halibut arrived with several crispy stripes of bacon garnishing the halibut. If it was ” Whiting”, okay – who’s picky. But we’re talking ” Halibut”.
What’s next ? Turkey stuffed with scallops and shrimps ? Salmon crockets fried in goat butter ? Filet of sole topped with strawberry ice cream and for dessert a chocolate brownie wrapped in beef jerky ?
And for the hard core nouveau cuisine connoisseurs, a 12 year old Remy Martin spritzer with 7 up, garnished with a green olive and salt rim, as aperitif.