Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thomas Keller is a genius.

Restaurant Name: Per Se
Location: New York City

Some chefs cook, others produce edible art. TK does the latter.

But that's the end, let me start at the beginning. My wife has been cooking out of the Bouchon and French Laundry cookbooks for years. Her copy of these cookbooks are stained and battered through repeated use in the kitchen. You can tell our favorite recipes because the books automatically fall open to them. We talk about his work and his techniques so much, in our house we don't call him Thomas Keller. We call him TK.

So, when we had reservations at TK's Per Se my expectations were sky high. The experience went way past the clouds and landed somewhere near Mars. The art (food) was phenomenal. The service was exemplary. The experience was unforgettable. I'll leave it to my co-bloggers to give you the play by play of each course. I'll only add that the oysters & pearls, and sable fish with bacon were utterly inspired. Instead, I'll focus on the execution.

It is clear that every flavor in every dish has a distinct purpose. They meld and dance in your mouth like you're eating a poem. Each bite reveals something new as if you're staring at a classic painting that constantly has more to offer the longer you look. At several points in the meal I tuned out of the conversation because the food was so complex and interesting it demanded my full attention. TK is talking to me with what he's done on this plate. It's all I can do just to sit there and enjoy the conversation.

Some chefs cook, others produce edible art. TK does the latter.

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