Thursday, October 6, 2011
Grant Achatz and Craig Schoettler
We were at Harvard this week to attend a lecture as part of the Cooking And Science lecture series run by the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The featured Chef/Lecturer was the famed Grant Achatz, well known as the Chef/Owner of Alinea in Chicago and a wizard of techno-emotional cooking. Achatz fascinates me and does some of the most amazing things with food, all designed to create unique, participatory experiences for the diner. There were several hundred in attendance yet, as I scanned the audience over and over, I didn't notice a single food blogger that I recognized in the entire hall. Pretty shocking, to me, anyway.
Achatz chose to focus on his latest project: Aviary. Others might call it a bar, because they primarily serve drinks. Achatz explained that their whole approach was to treat it as a restaurant. Thus, there is no bar. All of the amazing drinks are prepared in a kitchen by specialists, using, in many cases, some very expensive machines and the latest technology to produce some amazing drinks.
Although Achatz may hold the name cache it was Aviary Executive Chef Craig Schoettler who stole the show. The very dapper, which, believe me, is rare for a Chef, Schoettler explained a few of the techniques employed to create the drink experience at Aviary and conducted a few demonstrations. Included in the lecture was the video below, which reveals the genesis of a drink called: Old Fashioned In The Rocks. Yes, IN not ON. Rock on Schoettler. Fascinating stuff.