On my recent travels across the Americas, I have twice encountered the combination of Phillipe Starck and an Adria protege. Not quite sure what that little statistic means, but when there’s good and funky food in equally funky surroundings, there’s never a lack of discussion topics that are centred around the space you’re in and the experience is breathes upon you! The SLS hotel in Los Angeles is hom e to Bazaar, where El Bulli graduate Jose Andres flaunts his wares in a Starck designed dining room that plays on the name Bazaar and its permutation of bizarre, a space where the dining room is split into the actual dining space and a bar, patisserie and walk through market space displaying luxuriously priced knick-knacks, a sort of uber souk. Given the nature of the menu and it’s design for sharing, I have to say that with the help of Mr. W and Ms. B, there was fair justice done!
After two weeks of gastronomic heaven in New York, I still hadn’t tried any food rooted in American tradition – now whilst most may laugh at the prospect of such a cuisine existing outside the staples of burgers and pizzas, the south has a strong culinary history that has spanned hundreds of years and been influenced by the the various ethnic communities, the abundance of local produce and the native population with whom they interacted. In the vibrant neighbourhood of Harlem, is a restaurant celebrating just these very things – American comfort food rooted in the south and also that influenced by the restaurants neighbourhood. Red Rooster like many of its contemporary restaurants focuses wonderfully on the artisans and producers, farmers and suppliers that champion local produce and its lauded chef Marcus Samuelsson was also the winner of the second season of Top Chef, a show all about chefs competing against other chefs and judged by industry professionals. Needless to say, the expectations were tinged with excitement and both affectations were riding high!