From Paper to Plate: Recipe Sketches from Alinea and Le Bernardin

THE SKETCH Roasted Maitake Mushrooms with Chestnuts, Roasted Vegetables and Autumnal Aromas
Achatz: "During a brainstorming meeting we started asking ourselves the touchstones of the upcoming fall season. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and hayrides were common answers, followed by the inevitable question: 'what does a hayride smell like?' For me, the combination of hay, apples, cinnamon, freshly-cut pumpkins and dried leaves, evoke vivid memories. As kids, we used ride in the back of a tractor pulled wagon and eat cinnamon doughnuts with apple cider in the crisp autumn air. In order to recreate the hayride, we had to carefully balance each of the elements. Too much cinnamon or apple yield a result like apple pie. Too much hay or leaf material overpowers the pumpkin and apple aromas." Back to From Paper to Plate: Recipe Sketches from Alinea and Le Bernardin »Courtesy of Alinea
THE FINAL PRODUCT Roasted Maitake Mushrooms with Chestnuts, Roasted Vegetables and Autumnal Aromas
Back to From Paper to Plate: Recipe Sketches from Alinea and Le Bernardin »Courtesy of Alinea
THE SKETCH Duck with Chestnuts, Kumquats, and Chamomile Tea Froth
Achatz: "We wanted to challenge ourselves to use every part of the beautiful whole ducks we had sourced from a local farm--not just the breasts and legs, but hearts, livers, gizzards and tongues. Chestnuts are turned into silky dumplings with kuzu, hollowed kumquats are filled with a honey gel, and chamomile tea is turned into a froth to line the edge of the bowl." Back to From Paper to Plate: Recipe Sketches from Alinea and Le Bernardin »Courtesy of Alinea
THE FINAL PRODUCT Duck with Chestnuts, Kumquats, and Chamomile Tea Froth
Back to From Paper to Plate: Recipe Sketches from Alinea and Le Bernardin »Courtesy of Alinea
THE SKETCH Halibut with Black Pepper, Black Licorice, and Lemon
Achatz: "We experiment a great deal with color and how it affects the dining experience. With this course, we either chose white ingredients like halibut, parsnip, and almond, or we deliberately manipulated dark or black ingredients--like black pepper, licorice, and coffee--to make them white. The monochromatic presentation combined with the various manipulations makes the ingredients almost completely unidentifiable." Back to From Paper to Plate: Recipe Sketches from Alinea and Le Bernardin »Courtesy of Alinea
THE FINAL PRODUCT Halibut with Black Pepper, Black Licorice, and Lemon
Back to From Paper to Plate: Recipe Sketches from Alinea and Le Bernardin »Courtesy of Alinea
THE SKETCH Pineapple Chip with Freeze-Dried Cherries, Powdered Ham and Cloves
Achatz: "This dish is a whimsical riff on the traditional holiday roasted ham -- the kind studded with cloves and garnished with canned circular pineapple slices and cherries. The unexpected textural manipulations are designed to evoke a sense of surprise and amusement while maintaining the flavors of the original dish. Pineapple takes the form of a crispy transparent chip, freckled with freeze-dried cherry pieces, powdered country ham, and ground clove." Back to From Paper to Plate: Recipe Sketches from Alinea and Le Bernardin »Courtesy of Alinea
THE FINAL PRODUCT Pineapple Chip with Freeze-Dried Cherries, Powdered Ham and Cloves
Back to From Paper to Plate: Recipe Sketches from Alinea and Le Bernardin »Courtesy of Alinea
THE SKETCH Centerpiece with Frozen Eucalyptus and Lime
Achatz: "Last spring, we set out to create a new centerpiece to aesthetically imitate the seasonal change from winter to spring. We are always interested in courses that transform in front of the guest, and after brainstorming we decided on the concept of the 'spring thaw.' A fresh eucalyptus branch arrives at the table, frosted with ice, suspended over a glass. As the meal progresses, the guest watches the ice melt and drip off the leaves. The melted liquid collects at the bottom of the glass, and mixes with a lime ice cube. Eventually, the service staff removes the branch. The guest is then presented the resulting lime-eucalyptus cocktail as a refreshing palate cleanser mid-meal." Back to From Paper to Plate: Recipe Sketches from Alinea and Le Bernardin »Courtesy of Alinea
THE FINAL PRODUCT Centerpiece with Frozen Eucalyptus and Lime
Back to From Paper to Plate: Recipe Sketches from Alinea and Le Bernardin »Courtesy of Alinea
THE SKETCH Gin and Tonic Cocktail
Achatz: "This course began as a tongue-in-cheek play on two pop-culture elements--gin and tonic and bubble tea. The encapsulation technique allows us introduce the element of cucumber while keeping it physically separated from the rest of the drink up until its actually eaten. We really like the visual appeal of the bright green spheres in the clear, carbonated liquid." Back to From Paper to Plate: Recipe Sketches from Alinea and Le Bernardin »Courtesy of Alinea
THE FINAL PRODUCT Gin and Tonic Cocktail
Back to From Paper to Plate: Recipe Sketches from Alinea and Le Bernardin »Courtesy of Alinea
THE SKETCH Black Sesame
Laiskonis: "This dessert is inspired by a lifelong interest in Japan. The primary component is a black sesame panna cotta; I use a sesame paste imported from Japan, which I source through the amazing Upper East Side market, Katagiri. The richness of the panna cotta is offset by a few bright notes--a yuzu 'meringue' (the juice is whipped with a soy protein creating a light airy foam), a mandarin orange sorbet, and spheres of liquid cherry juice, utilizing the alginate/calcium process popularized by Ferran Adria of El Bulli in Spain. Another nod to the Far East: tiny shiso leaves; most often used in raw fish dishes, it's minty flavor compliments the dessert, as does thin strips of candied orange." Back to From Paper to Plate: Recipe Sketches from Alinea and Le Bernardin »Courtesy of Le Bernardin
THE FINAL PRODUCT Black Sesame
Back to From Paper to Plate: Recipe Sketches from Alinea and Le Bernardin »Courtesy of Le Bernardin
THE SKETCH Pistachio
Laiskonis: "This dish marked the realization of two exciting discoveries in our pastry kitchen: the development of our sugar-free pate a bombe (the fancy French term for a mixture of whipped eggs and sugar that give structure and volume to a mousse), and the method we use to literally 'roast' white chocolate. The bulk of the dessert is comprised of a pistachio mousse- extremely light and delicate, and due to the reduced sugar, intensely flavored with pistachio. Inlaid into this mousse is a creamy mixture of roasted white chocolate; by carefully browning the chocolate in the oven, we're able to create a very complex flavor, not unlike dulce de leche. The dish is finished with another expression of pistachio (cubes of moist pistachio cake), lemon cream, and tiny caviar-like pearls of gelled sour cherry. This kind of dessert, as much as any other, speaks to our attempt to create a very light, yet exceptionally tasting, end to a multi-course meal." Back to From Paper to Plate: Recipe Sketches from Alinea and Le Bernardin »Courtesy of Le Bernardin
THE FINAL PRODUCT Pistachio
Back to From Paper to Plate: Recipe Sketches from Alinea and Le Bernardin »Courtesy of Le Bernardin
THE SKETCH Hazelnut
Laiskonis: "A large part of the food philosophy at Le Bernardin is simply about letting the ingredients speak for themselves; it's an approach that we try to practice not just with the fish and seafood, but with the desserts as well. Often a dish will feature several riffs one one ingredient, expressed as different textures, temperatures, and layers of flavor. Case in point: the Hazelnut. This dessert is built around a gianduja parfait (gianduja is simply a mixture of chocolate and ground hazelnuts--Nutella would be a apt, if less refined, comparison). Hazelnut also appears as a suace painted on the plate, as crunchy caramelized bits, and whole nuts simply roasted tossed in honey. Along with slices of caramelized banana, the plate is finished with an ice cream flavored by brown butter, which is referred to as beurre noisette in French, translated as 'nutty' butter, and thus a bit of a play on words." Back to From Paper to Plate: Recipe Sketches from Alinea and Le Bernardin »Courtesy of Le Bernardin
THE FINAL PRODUCT Hazelnut
Back to From Paper to Plate: Recipe Sketches from Alinea and Le Bernardin »Courtesy of Le Bernardin
THE SKETCH Parsnip
Laiskonis: "The origin and evolution of this pre-dessert is a bit more complex than most of the dishes we create. It was initially conceived as a component for a savory dish- a duck entree I prepared for a guest chef dinner at Aldea, where three other pastry chefs and I took on a full tasting menu, a fun way to show our versatility and how we might apply our pastry skills to proteins and vegetables. The parsnip puree is set into cylinders with agar agar, a gelling agent derived from seaweed that stands up to some degree of heat before melting, allowing us to apply a blowtorch to create a crisp sugar shell. The same flavors we used with dusk appear again- roasted hazelnuts, praline cream, orange peel, and browned milk solids- as well as a tiny rectangle of milk chocolate." Back to From Paper to Plate: Recipe Sketches from Alinea and Le Bernardin »Courtesy of Le Bernardin
THE FINAL PRODUCT Parsnip
Back to From Paper to Plate: Recipe Sketches from Alinea and Le Bernardin »Courtesy of Le Bernardin