Foie Gras Burger

The burger is offered by Freshness Burger in Japan for 1,000 yen each. Only 30,000 burgers will be sold.

Q&A with Rock Star Chef Ferran Adrià on His Latest Exhibition

Howard Chua-Eoan wrote . . . . .

It’s no longer possible to eat the food of Ferran Adrià, one of the most groundbreaking chefs in history. But very soon you can experience amazing insights into his transformative work from elBulli and beyond, at least if you can get to the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Fla.

For Ferran Adrià: The Invention of Food, the chef will showcase his culinary work from tabletop pieces and flatware he’s designed to detailed notebooks he’s kept throughout his cooking career. They’ll appear alongside the intense, food-focused paintings and flatware designed by Salvador Dalí. The Gulf Coast museum, a modern building with fantastical glass structures and stairways, is home to some 2,000 pieces, the largest collection of the surrealist artist’s work outside Europe. (Adrià and Dalí have more in common than both being brilliant game-changers in their respective arts; Adrià’s legendary restaurant, elBulli, is situated near where Dalí lived on Spain’s Costa Brava.)

This is his latest, and last, museum exhibition before he opens an eagerly awaited culinary center called elBulli 1846 in Roses, Spain, which will exist on the site of his former restaurant. The number 1846 represents the number of dishes Adrià estimates that he created there. The opening is slated for mid-2018.

Over e-mail, Adrià reveals why he wishes he lived at the same time as Dalí; which chefs he admires most right now; and whether the world’s obsession with cooks has gone too far.

Which are your favorite parts of the exhibit?

All are interesting to me. It’s a very sentimental show. If I had to pick one, it would be this one image: my dish of bone marrow with caviar juxtaposed against tiles designed by Dalí. [In his book Appetite for Innovation, Adrià highlights this dish as a turning point in elBulli’s evolution, local ingredients from the sea and mountains in an unexpected combination. “Filling in a blank in haute cuisine!” is how Adria describes it in the book.]

Will the exhibition in Florida combine your work with those of Dalí?

Not really. The interesting thing, the major link it will examine is our closeness in geography and spirit, and, of course, our affinity for science and art [which was also Dalí’s intrinsic paradigm].

Are you a fan of Dalí? Who are your favorite artists?

Of course I’m an admirer of Salvador Dalí. He is one of the greats of the 20th century. I’ve always been interested in his peculiar way of thinking. As for my favorite artists: Picasso, Miro, Duchamp, and Richard Hamilton.

What do you think about the pieces that Dalí designed for the table? Did any of them inspire dishes at elBulli?

I’m fascinated by all the pieces that appear in his book Les Dîners de Gala. The truth is, I would have loved to have met him. Our style in elBulli is very much minimalist, but surely, if we had lived in his epoch of surrealism, we’d have been influenced to some extent.

But the truth is no, Dalí did not inspire any of our dishes. Apart from a pair of pointed exceptions—Gaudí and Tàpies—works of art were never a direct inspiration for us at elBulli.

Now, back to the idea of creativity in elBulli 1846, it’s important to clear up things up: A work of art should be the last place we go to when we talk about what inspires creativity. It’s much more useful to try to understand the disruptive thinking of the great artists rather than use their creations as inspirations for a dish.

It’s a very interesting subject for me, and one [that] hasn’t gotten enough attention. At elBulliLab [his Barcelona research facility], we are trying to figure out why there has been no equivalent to avant-garde art in the world of gastronomy.

What chef cooking now best exemplifies your philosophy? You can’t count your brother Albert.

Really, I think there are many, certainly everyone who came to cook on elBulli’s last day, July 30, 2011: Rene Redzepi of Noma; Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz; Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana. But if I were to single out someone in the U.S., I would say José Andres and Grant Achatz, who also cooked on that last day and who contributed so much to elBulli.

Is there a young chef whose restaurant you’re excited about?

The problem nowadays is that there’s so much quality that it’s difficult to find something extraordinary. I have a lot of fantastic eating experiences. But, the truth is that in the last few years, I’ve had a hard time trying to see what stands out dramatically. Perhaps it’s Japan that continues to inspire me.

Is the media too obsessed with chefs?

The world is obsessed with too many things. In terms of food, we have to remember that we eat three times a day, that we dedicate more than half our free time to feeding ourselves. Cooks and chefs are the top of a huge and broad pyramid that includes the food industry, tourism, health. … There are many important elements here. In this sense, I think it’s good that chefs have such a big impact on society.

Then there’s another thing: Cooking as part of the entertainment industry. The chef as a rock star? It’s as illogical as cooks being sports stars or actors, etc. In an ideal world, it would be much more relevant to be a scientist or someone who makes tangible contributions to society. But that’s the way the world works.

Source: Bloomberg

Pasta with Scallops and Bell Pepper

Ingredients

1 1b fettucine
1 oz butter
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
4 green onions, chopped
1-1/2 cups double cream
1 1b scallops
freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Method

  1. Cook fettucine in a saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large frying pan over moderate heat. Add the pepper strips and green onions, cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the cream, bring to the boil, then simmer for 3-5 minutes, or until cream begins to thicken.
  4. Add the scallops and ground pepper, cook until the scallops are opaque, about 1 minute.
  5. Drain fettucine and pour scallop sauce over the top. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Quick and Easy Pasta

In Pictures: Dishes of Italian Restaurants in Tokyo, Japan

Alternatives Other Than Statin Can Help Lower Cholesterol Levels, Study Finds

Statins are the go-to therapy for lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol, but other treatments also can effectively reduce risk of future heart problems, a new evidence review reports.

These alternative therapies — including a heart-healthy diet, other cholesterol-lowering medications, and even intestinal bypass surgery — seem to confer the same level of heart health protection as statins when cholesterol levels decrease, according to the findings.

Nonstatin therapies reduced the risk of heart problems by 25 percent for each 1 millimole per liter (mmol/L) decrease in LDL cholesterol levels. That’s very similar to the 23 percent reduction per 1 mmol/L decrease seen with statins like atorvastatin (Lipitor) and simvastatin (Zocor), the researchers said.

What’s more, the benefits of these therapies stack up if more than one proves effective at lowering a person’s cholesterol levels, said senior researcher Dr. Marc Sabatine, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“The focus really should be not on a particular drug, but on reducing LDL cholesterol,” Sabatine said. “These data show there are multiple interventions that can do that.”

Sabatine and his colleagues undertook this evidence review in response to the increased role of statins in lowering cholesterol. Elevated cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease.

Statins, which work by reducing the liver’s production of cholesterol, were taken by more than one-quarter of U.S. adults aged 40 and over during 2011-2012, according to a national survey.

“The most recent guidelines in 2013 focused almost exclusively on statins and were silent on LDL cholesterol targets,” Sabatine said. This caused some worry that doctors would prescribe a high-powered statin to patients, then wash their hands of the matter if the drug failed to lower cholesterol.

To see whether other cholesterol-lowering tactics would be as effective in protecting heart health, the researchers analyzed the results of 49 clinical trials. These included 25 clinical trials for statins, as well as trials for:

  • A heart-healthy diet, which reduces the amount of LDL cholesterol you eat while increasing dietary components like fiber, which has been shown to help clear cholesterol from the bloodstream.
  • Zetia (ezetimibe), a drug that blocks absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract.
  • Bile acid sequestrants, a class of medication that encourages the liver to draw more cholesterol from the bloodstream and convert it into bile acids.
  • Ileal bypass surgery, which shortens the length of the small intestine by bypassing its final section. Again, this promotes conversion of cholesterol into bile acids by the liver.

The evidence review also included two trials with PCSK9 inhibitors, powerful cholesterol-lowering agents that also encourage the liver to clear cholesterol from the bloodstream. PCSK9 inhibitors were included even though trials are ongoing to assess their effectiveness in protecting heart health, Sabatine said.

These treatments have different levels of effectiveness in lowering LDL cholesterol, the study found. Zetia reduces cholesterol by about 20 percent, statins by 30 percent to 50 percent depending on dose, and PCSK9 inhibitors by as much as 60 percent, Sabatine said.

But the different trials showed that each unit of LDL cholesterol removed from the bloodstream protects heart health, regardless of how doctors are able to drive those cholesterol levels down.

“There is a linear relationship between what your LDL cholesterol level is and what your risk is of cardiovascular events,” Sabatine said. “The relationship suggests that lower is better.”

Statins remain the best option for cholesterol reduction, Sabatine said.

“They have the best established data set and are highly effective at lowering LDL cholesterol,” he said. “But I think these data underscore that beyond that, if you don’t have good control of your LDL cholesterol, it’s not as simple as saying the person is on a high-intensity statin and I’m done.”

Dr. Nieca Goldberg is medical director of NYU Langone Medical Center’s Tisch Center for Women’s Health in New York City. She said the evidence review “supports that there are several options to lower LDL cholesterol and they all lower risk for cardiovascular disease.”

Diet and exercise should be part of any cholesterol-lowering plan, regardless of what medications are prescribed, Goldberg added.

“Diet and exercise have other benefits, such as weight loss and lowering blood pressure,” she said. “The challenge with diet and exercise is you have to do it regularly in order to keep the cholesterol down. If you stop, you will no longer have the benefits.”

The study findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


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