Making Senses

Photo by Jacqulyn Maisonneuve

We don’t use butter or cream in any of the savory dishes we prepare. This was a decision based on the idea, that if you found the best ingredients, you would not need to mask any flavors or textures with heavy sauces. This decision was also based on the premise that if one ate less dairy one felt better and the aesthetic as well as the nutritional experience was heighten.

Cream and butter are often used as flavors, as something you enhance a dish with, maybe even a vehicle for other more seasonal ingredients. This never made sense to us, that is to say, we always felt seasonal ingredients did not need the mellowing or tamping down that butter and cream offer, in the finishing, of lets say, soups or sauces. We have always enjoyed the greenness, the freshness of so-called unfinished soups or sauces and in this we developed our own style.

Using Cream, as a main ingredient itself is something we do and with an idea of moderation, we have always enjoyed serving ice cream incorporated into, lets say, a fruit dessert. It’s interesting because even as a vegan, I see no Inconsistency with this practice, that is to say there is a level of purity that we adhere to when discovering and using raw ingredients. The same goes for eggs, as we will be serving a poached egg as a main ingredient Saturday night.

However to not use Butter and Cream in our starters and mains allowed us to slip away from the traditional continental cooking that John had been trained under in Michelin Starred establishments in Europe. The collaboration of John and I gave us the opportunity to Experiment. We were into the purity of ingredients but not the purity of a particular cuisine. This tension of purity and experimentation maybe the thing that generates our creations more than anything. The leaving behind of authenticity and the moving toward a experimenting with purity helps us to think aesthetics and nutrition not divorced from one another, not mutual exclusive but as a non-dual truth, that is to say something that is apparently distinct while not being separate.

Aesthetics as an awareness of the senses seems fair enough, however nutrition as an awareness of the senses seems a stretch to many. We would say that if you feel bad after eating then no matter how good the food tastes the aesthetic experience did not end with the tasting and that the feeling afterwards counts as much. We would also say that to divorce sense from nutrition would leave us in a place of only being able to gauge our health through reason and not experience. Most of the time our greatest nutritional allies are our senses. The thing is, nutrition is gauged by how our body reacts to affects and aesthetics are gauged by how our mind reacts to affects, we would say that this dualism needs to be collapsed and that there is no separation of body and mind And To listen to how your body feels in the rational decisions to enjoy food is a learned process.