Went to the monthly Herve This molecular gastronomy seminar last Thursday. Started by discussing the Restaurant magazine list of the best restaurants in the world - The Fat Duck is now first and elBulli - last year's number one - is now their number two. All I could think about was sardines and toast - The Fat Duck's chef/owner Heston Blumenthal does an infamous sardines and toast sorbet. Afterwards Andrea and I met boulak - a serious American baker - for an early dinner at Poilane's La Cuisine du Bar - right next to the bakery on Cherche-Midi. I thought it was appropriate - almost necessary for a serious baker - and by God they had a sardine tartine - or toasted open-faced sandwich. It was good but not great. The sardines were a rather dry spread. The best canned sardines I've ever had yet were in a huge Christmas gift box of assorted tinned fish from my friend Alexandra - which she brought back from her holiday on the cold west coast of France. The best grilled sardines I've had yet were in some dive bar up the street from Rafa's with my elBulli roommate Charles in Roses.
Friday I made a foray into le Chinatown for crispy skinned pork - because Susan in Hong Kong mentioned she'd eaten so much sugar after a Frederic Bau/Valrhona demo that she had to take counter measures with pork rinds. I have a known weakness for chicharrones. The big Chinese market chain here is Tang Freres - and they have a slick fast food operation called Tang Gourmet. The last time I was there I talked to a couple of Cantonese grandfathers - who wisely advised me that the pork and duck was good there - better than at the market itself. The pork is the best of that that variety I've had - ever. Exceptionally crispy skin - tender and flavourful meat - scored so the obligatory layer of fat had a chance to render/melt just a bit more than usual.
Work has been especially challenging this week. I've had self-medicate - with my favourite little fudgy chocolate cakes, Mamie Nova chocolate creme desserts, their chocolate mousse, pain au chocolat, and even brownies,
Will elaborate more later.