Book Title: Accessible Fine Dining - The Art of Creating Exciting Food in Your Everyday Kitchen by Noam Kostucki, with Chef Quentin Villers
Category: Adult Non-fiction , 128 pages | Content Rating: G
Genre: Creative Cookbook / Fine Dining | Publisher: Amazon
Release date: Dec 10, 2018 | Tour dates: Jan 7 to 31, 2019
Six months after opening my first restaurant, one of my dishes was selected as "25 dishes to travel around the world", featuring me next to culinary legend Heston Blumenthal.
Exciting and healthy food doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Over the years, I have seen some of the most exciting dishes come from the simplest kitchens and the most modest ingredients. The purpose of this book is to focus our attention away from the distractions of fancy kitchen equipment and luxury produce and instead focus our attention towards ingenuity in the kitchen and culinary innovation.
For some strange reason, cooking is taught in books as a series of mechanical steps to follow and repeat with precision. I see cooking as a creative art like painting or playing music: it is the freedom of expression that is most interesting to me. When we create from an artistic perspective, we give birth to something new and potentially magical.
The purpose of this book is not to teach you specific recipes, because the ingredients you will find in your local organic food market will likely not be the same as the ones we see here. Nor is the purpose to show you how to imitate us.The purpose of this book is to guide you into thinking about your dishes in a way that elevates them to a fine dining level, from ingredients which are easily accessible to you. Naturally, you will find a few recipes, but most importantly you will find a new way to look at food.
We will share how we think about food shopping, searching for unusual ingredients, the combinations of flavors, techniques, textures, nutritional value, and of course, plating. The purpose of this book is to guide you to become a more exciting, creative and adventurous version of yourself in the kitchen. What separates a craft from an art form is the story behind it; cooking is a craft, while fine dining is an art form.
If you want to create fine dining dishes, start to focus your attention on the different stories a dish can tell. Some stories can be told through your cooking, and others are told through words. Taking the time to present your dishes before people eat is crucial to creating anticipation for the food they will eat.
PRESERVING INGREDIENTS (an excerpt from Accessible Fine Dining by Noam Kostucki)
While cooking for myself, I was always aware of food waste. To reduce the amount of food thrown away, I’m always looking for ways to transform “crap into gold”. One day, I ended up with a massive watermelon. Cutting it, I was horrified to throw away so much of the peel, and I looked up different ways of using it. After several attempts, I created a beer-pickled watermelon peel. The result is magical. Other chefs who try it in my dishes are blown away because they can’t ever guess what it is. Using the so called waste makes it outside of their frame of reference.
In the above dish, the mahi-mahi was rolled in roasted papaya seeds. I grated avocado seeds and roasted them lightly until crunchy. I use them as flakes on top of salads and sauces. When eating at HiR Fine Dining, guests don’t mention as often the lobsters, scallops, shrimp and other delicacies, as they are in awe with pickled watermelon peels, dried papaya seeds, and roasted avocado seeds.
I used to hate the idea of having food in jars or cans. Thanks to learning about Magnus Nilsson, from the restaurant Favikan, I changed my perspective. Some things don’t last and aren’t available all year long. When using natural and local produce, you can’t always have everything you want when you want it. Now I understand there is an art to preserving food in a way that enhances it so that you can continue using these amazing produce even when they’re no longer available.
Bananas are everywhere in Costa Rica, and they tend to all come at the same time. So suddenly, we have more bananas than we can eat. However, they don’t last long enough to keep them until the next batch of bananas are ready. One of the things we’ve made with bananas that are too ripe to eat is to turn them into a banana ice cream with chocolate swirls and roasted pecans. We first cooked this for ourselves because we had too many bananas, and shared it with friends because we loved it so much. We ran out before we knew it, and made more. We eventually offered it to guests as a small extra taster, and they loved it, so it became a desert.
Freezing mixtures rolled in breadcrumbs can make it easy to store, and convenient to cook as you can throw them in the deep fry from frozen. Food can be pickled. It can be fermented like with Korean kimchi. You can keep ingredients by drying them. Learning to preserve food in a way that enhances it will expand your pantry with exciting components that you have made yourself.
About the Authors:
MY NAME IS NOAM KOSTUCKI AND I CREATE SPACES FOR MAGIC TO HAPPEN.
I was an awkward child, so I changed school 5 times. I spent most of my life trying to please others, and be the kind of person I believed everyone else wanted me to be. I wasn't happy and I struggled to get what I want. Everything changed when I started changing.
I spent the last 12 years creating the life I dream of. I've had the privilege to be homeless twice, and to speak at Harvard about entrepreneurship. I have grown to be myself more fearlessly than ever before. I am now surrounded by people I love, and who love me.
I traveled over 40 countries, and I've helped over 25,000 people create magic. For example Patryk Wezowski who raised $500,000 in 8 weeks and Esther Perel who gave the 30th most viewed TED talk. Some less public successes include a blind eyed student who experienced his blind eye for the first time and a journalist who left an abusive relationship.
As a university drop out, I was surprised when my first book (personal branding) became required reading at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, as well as receiving the UK Business Speaker of the Year runner up award, and a honorary degree in Business from Hofstra University. As an artist, I was honored to exhibit my photography at the European Union's Innovation Conference.
My most recent venture is HiR Fine Dining, a jungle culinary adventure. I create a discovery menu of 7 plates per person for groups of up to 12 people. HiR Fine Dining became #1 fine dining on TripAdvisor in Tamarindo within the first month. Within 6 months one of my plates was selected out of 40,000 restaurants by OpenTable as one of "25 dishes to travel around the world for". I was invited to speak at Chateau 1525, Costa Rica's most reputable cooking school and our guest chefs include a blind chef who traveled all the way the United Kingdom.
Quentin has been cooking in restaurant since the age of 18. He helped his brother build a restaurant for which they received a Michelin Star. Quentin moved to Costa Rica to consult for hotels and restaurants. He managed 3 of the 4 restaurants at Hotel Nayara in La Fortuna, for which he lead a team of over 20 people to be selected to enter Relais & Chateaux, a prestigious network of unique luxury hotels with exquisite cuisine. Quentin is a regular guest chef at HiR Fine Dining and consults for a number of fine dining restaurants in Costa Rica.
Connect with the Authors: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram
Here is the tour schedule
Grand Prize: Win a 4-seat dinner at HiR Fine Dining in Costa Rica (value $580) or win a paperback or ebook copy of Accessible Fine Dining (20 Kindle copies and 10 paperbacks) open int’l to wherever Amazon delivers
(ends Feb 7, 2019)
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.