jeudi 26 février 2009

The days the Danes took over (OFF4)

De OFF 4- Day 1

So I'm back from the 4th Omnivore Food Festival in Deauville. They call it OFF4, and it was a reunion of cooks and winemakers, but while the winemakers organised tastings, the cooks organised...demos. For two days, we sat in a theatre, watching cooks cook, and even sometimes just talk, or run videos.
De OFF 4 - Day 2

I won't tell you the whole story here. In fact, I made a story board with some pictures I took. Why don't you visit it there: day 1, day 2
De OFF 4 - Day 2

Right now, I feel like there is a lot to say about this fascinating event, so I'm planning to release a few posts in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, let me give you the main message: the Danes stole the show.
De OFF 4 - Day 2

Those three young men(Redzépi from Noma, Schmidt from Mailing and Schmidt and Reflund from MR) came together to support one another, and made demonstrations of their enthusiastic style of cooking, an ode to the products of their countries and neighbourhood. While they all have very distinct styles, they share that profoundly naturalistic approach, almost a pagan cult, that is expressed only in the plate. Their attention to ingredients is stunning, and their innovation has no other goal than to best express their country. As Schmidt points out, they are plain childish in their enthusiasm, and you can tell, by seeing them cooking, that there will be joy and yet rigueur in the plate. They never aim at anything else than feeding you, and seem constantly on the move as to how to best do that in the place where they live and grew up. It's not like Trine had not been warning us for years -- but seeing those guys cook is even more compelling than watching Trine's wonderful picture.
De OFF 4- Day 1

De OFF 4 - Day 2

I never bought so much into the New York Times idea that Spain replaced France as the n°1 dining destination. But I would not oppose the idea that the center of gastronomy today may well be in Denmark. In any case, even if there were some pretty exciting cooks out there at the OFF4, the Danes almost made them all look irrelevant. Well, to be fair, some were pretty much irrelevant by themselves, regardless of the Danes' presence. Stay tuned for more, and meanwhile, have a look at the story board.

4 commentaires:

Le Cookie Masqué a dit…

Certaines démos m'ont laissée dubitative, mais je ne dirais pas que les chefs autres que danois étaient "irrelevant", je dirais que les danois nous montre un autre monde, génial, explosif. Et c'est précisément ce décalage qui est constructif et enrichissant.
Comme il me tarde d'aller dans le nord ...
On en reparle ?

Julot-les-pinceaux a dit…

Salut, le cookie masqué!

Je ne crois pas que les danois nous ont montré un monde franchement autre -- c'est essayer de tirer le meilleur des produits locaux et de saisons, sur un fond de références culturelles communes et de joie de manger et de cuisiner. Mon point était surtout que les danois semblent avoir un feu sacré que je n'ai vu chez aucun des autres, malgré les démonstrations de cuisine formidables de Chareau, de Renaut ou de Ceruti.

Ceci dit, je maintiens que "irrelevant" est encore gentil pour des chefs comme Gauthier, Morales ou Amici, cependant que "poseur" me semble s'imposer pour Nilsson, Bourdas, ou Grébaut.

Anonyme a dit…

Thanks for your take on OFF4. I totally enjoyed your post, including your story boards! Fantastic. Very amusing. Bravo! Can't wait to read more!

Le Cookie Masqué a dit…

Par autre j'entends dissemblable de ce dont on a l'habitude, dans cette façon de donner à voir, à vivre et à goûter, cette façon de transcrire d'une manière très picturale et concrète un pays, plus qu'un terroir, des paysages, des ambiances ... ça vient aussi de ce feu sacré.
Poseur me convient bien pour un Grébaut, mais pas pour Petter Nilsson, tellement sincère même si pas - encore - tout à fait transcendant en bouche.
J'ai vraiment, vraiment accroché avec la cuisine d'Alexandre Gauthier, je ne sais pas si tu l'a essayée.
(je ne sais pas non plus si mes phrases sont intelligibles ... ?)