Posts Tagged ‘potatoes’


The Électrons Libres, is a group of chefs that are as individual or a leaders of a group have taken a unique route that goes beyond the learning process. Their philosophy transforms the cuisine of the present time as well as the cuisine of the future in a specific area (place) or country. Sometimes they are the leaders of a culinary movement but often, they are alone in their search.

In the USA, San Francisco occupies a unique place in the world of gastronomy. Aside from being the birthplace of different culinary movements and the place of the ‘’locavores’’, San Francisco has seen very talented chefs emerge.

(La) chef Dominique Crenn is one of those chefs that go beyond the trend bistronomie-locavore-casual. With its French roots and his travels, the chef decided last year to open L’Atelier Crenn, a fine dining restaurant with a tasting menu inspired and constantly evolving.

We can say that Dominique Crenn took classes at the restaurant Luce (Intercontinental Hotel, San Francisco) with a passage at the Intercontinental of Jakarta. Despite her star (Étoile) to Luce, it’s never easy to develop a unique signature with the obligations of a hotel restaurant. This is one reason for the opening of Atelier Crenn last year.

The chef who had the good fortune to grow up between the French countryside (Brittany) and great cuisine, with a politician father and epicurean, has developed a cuisine inspired by her memories of childhood and nature. A cuisine with a very high level of technical (French & Molecular), but where it remains “Technique”! Nature, the aromas, the purity of flavors remain the masters. This is a cuisine where we dive into the “essence” of the chef Crenn, in her poetry, her memories.

Definitely an experience to try with a chef in constant evolution!





Q+A WITH DOMINIQUE CRENN (www.ateliercrenn.com ):

1-(Scoffier) How do you explain the philosophy behind your cuisine and what is it main characteristics? What is the concept behind Atelier Crenn?

DCrenn– The concept of Atelier Crenn is a workshop. When I was little, my late father had a studio that he called Atelier Papa Crenn.” I loved spending time there, and learning about art. The space is an homage to that memory. The philosophy of our cuisine is French Moderne. I have aways been inspired by the imperfection of nature. My plates are organic in their nature, they give a sense of place. I want to create more than a great meal, I want to create an experience.

2-(Scoffier) Do you have a flavour or taste from your childhood in France that is again memorable?

DCrenn– When I was little, I would spend the summer on a potato farm. We would dig the potatoes out of the earth, and cook them over a fire in that same hole. This is a strong memory of mine, and therefore have created a dish called New Potatoes, “Memoire d’Enfance”. It is a dish that constantly evolves with seasonal ingredients, but always centered around the humble potato- I pull flavor combinations from my childhood and update them.

3-(Scoffier) Do you have a particular foods (or products) that you often use in your recipes?

DCrenn– I love vegetables. The bounty of nature is always so inspiring. Even though I may manipulate the forms of them, I still focus on keeping the integrity of the vegetable.

4-(Scoffier) Do you have a mentor (chefs or anybody else) that inspires your cuisine?

DCrennMichel Bras and Olivier Roellinger have inspired me ever since I began showing an interest in food.

5-(Scoffier) You work as a chef for the Intercontinental Hotel in Jakarta. What remains (in your cuisine) of the Indonesian experience?

DCrenn– I still subscribe to a very asian influenced method of dining. I prefer to have many small courses, that tell a story, rather than a large plate of food. It is about balance, both within the plate itself, and over the course of the meal.

6-(Scoffier) How do you develop your recipes for your Tasting menu? What are your source(s) of inspiration?

DCrenn– I love my tasting menu, like I said earlier, I draw my inspirations though memories, so that I can create a sense of place. To have a piece of trout on a plate is not enough. Why is that trout there? What else would be around the trout in it’s natural environment? It is drawing from influences, cultures, and places.

7-(Scoffier) I saw your menu and your recipe “Walk in the Forest”. Have you been influenced by René Redzepi and also, what we call “Natural cuisine movement” ?

DCrenn– I think that René and I have similar ways of thinking. The natural cuisine movement is a very complex way of thinking. If you look at the cuisine that René puts out, it can be so whimsical and tounge in cheek. I love that, but it’s not my particular style. I like to draw on emotions, on memories. A Walk in the Forest, for example- it is intended to give the experience of wandering through a dark forest, foraging for food. There is a whiff of smoke (was there a forest fire nearby?), there are oil and herbs mixed in with all these different fungi, just as they would be in nature. I love that dish!

8-(Scoffier) San Francisco is one of the most dynamic and creative city in USA for the restaurant’s scene. In your opinion, what makes such city so unique (“culinairement parlant”)?

DCrenn– I feel that for a while, San Francisco was stuck in the “California cuisine” movement. There is nothing wrong with that style, but there needs to be variety. If you look at a city like San Sebastian, there are so many great chefs that are pushing boundaries, and creating amazing dishes. I think that the new generation of chefs here in San Francisco are starting to think the same way. It is very refreshing to see a variety of new cuisines starting to take shape in this city. I feel that San Francisco will become a top dining destination in the world, very soon.

9-(Scoffier) Can you give us a detailed recipe (Signature dish or other) that is characterized the cuisine of Dominique Crenn?

DCrennRecipe: Walk in the Forest

10-(Scoffier) What are your goals (ambitions) as chef and for your restaurant? Do you think about write a book, a television show, others?

DCrenn– I am currently working on a book. It will not be a recipe-based book, however. I want to highlight the creative process that occurs, when two chefs collaborate. It will be about the dialogues, the processes, the merging of creative minds. I am very excited.



Pine Meringue: 200g sugar-50g water-125 g egg whites-Pine extract
-Pumpernickel Soil: 5 pieces pumpernickel bread-1 g salt
-Hazelnut Praline: 200 g blanched filberts-300 g blended oil
-Sorrel Oil: 4 bu sorrel-150 g blended oil
-Foraged Mushrooms: clean wild mushrooms
-Mushroom Paper: 100 g mushroom puree-50 g isomalt
1. In a pot combine sugar and water until it reaches 121 degrees Celsius. At the same time in a kitchen aid mixer whip egg whites until medium peak. Combine syrup with the egg whites slowly, then mix at full speed until a stiff peak is formed. While mixer is going add in 7-10 drops of pine extract for flavor.
2. Toast pumpernickel until completely dried out. In a robot coupe, grind bread and salt to make a soil.
3. Blanch hazelnuts in oil for about 15 minutes. Spin entire contents of the pot in a vita mix until very smooth, season with salt. Should be the consistency of a very loose peanut butter.
4. In a vita mix combine sorrel and oil, then strain through a coffee filter and fine sieve for 24 hours.
5. Save the bits and pieces from cleaning and trimming your wild mushrooms. Put them in a pot with a little olive oil, thyme, garlic, and shallot. Deglaze with sherry vinegar.
6. Once mushrooms are cooked, puree in a vita mix and and season with salt. Use this for garnish on the plate and mushroom paper.
7. Combine isomalt and puree and bring to a boil. Spread thinly on a sheet of acetate and dehydrate for 8 hours.
-Chickpea Paper: 100 g chickpea puree-50 g isomalt
-Dehydrated Mushrooms: 50 g isomalt-100 g water-24 ea thinly sliced wild mushrooms
1. Boil dried chickpeas until soft, then puree and season with salt. Combine with isomalt and bring to a boil. Spread a thin layer on acetate and dehydrate for 8 hours.
2. Bring isomalt and water to a boil. Dip mushrooms in solution and set on acetate. Dehydrate for 3 hours until crispy.
ATELIER CRENN/Chef Dominique Crenn
3127 Filmore Street
San Francisco, CA
1. Clout & About, July 2011
(NOTE: Credit for the photos: Atelier Crenn)

Tous Droits Réservés. Copyright Scoffier ©2008-2012


Read Full Post »

Chef Fredrik Andersson/Photo: Erik Olsson


(SWEDISH) Den nordiska vågen” kallas den grupp kockar från Skandinavien, framförallt från Sverige, Danmark och Norge, som under de senaste åren förknippats med det nya nordiska köket. Åtta ledande kockar kommer härmed att presenteras i en serie på tre delar.

The Nordic Waves is the term I used to describe this group of chefs from all of Scandinavia, mainly from Sweden, Denmark and Norway. These chefs known for 3-4 years at international level have particularly been at the forefront over the past two years due to the recognition of New Nordic Cuisine and the emphasis on a cuisine close to nature and the local products. All this, without relying on the status attained by the restaurant Noma and Chef René Redzepi. But beyond fashions and trends of the moment, I discovered a high concentration of young chefs, innovative, creative, open to the world and all dedicated to their garden! To present the eight (8) chefs selected I decided to divide them into three little groups, not by country but by affinity.

This third block of Scandinavian chefs presents two young chefs that are very original, creative and totally dedicated at their cuisine: Thomas Herman (Herman) and Fredrik Andersson (Mistral). 

Emotions, respect for nature and purity are synonymous with the cuisine of the Chef Andersson. Whether in the garden or in nature, he works with the organics and renewable resources to highlight the simplicity and purity of flavors. That’s sound simple but it is complex because it is a work of artists. Sincerely, it’s the cuisine at its best!


Q+A WITH FREDRIK ANDERSSON (www.mistral.nu ):

1-(Scoffier) How do you explain the philosophy behind your cuisine and what is it main characteristics?

FAndersson- For me cooking is an emotional experience – I want to feel and see beyond what is visual to the eye. I try to do this through purification and by simplifying – to reach a sort of natural complexity. Sustainability is also very important – so we only use biodynamic or organic produce (mainly from two farms witch we have been working with for many years).

2-(Scoffier) Do you have a particular foods (or products) that you often use in your recipes?

FAndersson- The vegetables of each season are the base.

Team Mistral/Photo: Erik Olsson

3-(Scoffier) Do you have a mentor (chefs or anybody else) that inspires you in your cuisine?

FAndersson- I am very inspired by people who have found their place – and work with an intense intuition and their work truly express their spirit. The list can be made long…. Chefs who are important to me included Michel Bras, Oliver Roellinger, Andoni Luis Aduriz, Karin Franzon, Tomas Drejing, Alain Passard, Pierre Gagnaire etc.

4-(Scoffier) Do you have a particular flavour or taste from your childhood that is again memorable?

FAndersson- I remember the vegetables my father grew in his spare time and also the wild berries he picked. Both my grandmothers were great old school cooks. For me, flavour has always been my main connection to memories and emotion. I remember in flavour.

5-(Scoffier) How you construct your menu (your inspiration)? And what is the difference between Large, Small and Mini Menu?

FAndersson- We look at what is in season and create 8-12 dishes from these produces. Every day we prepare nine – our guest can either have 4 plates (mini), 7 plates (small) or 9 plates (large).

6-(Scoffier) I know that the chef Pascal Barbot (L’Astrance) take a lot of time choosing and picking his produces at the market. Do you spend as much of time to choose and pick your produces?

FAndersson- We have created our own infrastructure, to be able to get the produce we want. It has taken many years and it is a work- in-progress. We also spend a lot of time (1-3 hours) every day in season (April-December) in the forest picking herbs, sprouts, berries and mushrooms.

Picking/Photo: Bianca Brandon-Cox

7-(Scoffier) Do you are part of the New Nordic Cuisine manifesto initiated by Claus Meyer and Rene Redzepi (Noma). If yes, are you as strict (just local products) that René Redzepi? Example: no olive’s oil etc.

FAndersson- No. But The work of René is very interesting. 

8-(Scoffier) I look at the photography of your dishes and you have a really particular aesthetics, it’s important for you and it’s influenced by the arts, nature, others?

FAndersson- I want to express that the same extreme beauty can be found in exactly everything, if only you give it your full attention and try to feel more than see. Natural shapes and forms interest me. Irregularity and the notion that everything is unique and there for valuable.

9-(Scoffier) Do you use some elements from molecular gastronomy or new technology in your cooking techniques? If yes, which?

FAndersson- We use some modern equipment such as roner, pacojet and sous-vide-machine.

10-(Scoffier) Can you give us a detailed recipe (signature or important dish) that is characterized the cuisine of Fredrik Andersson and Mistral?

FAndersson- See the recipe: Dried Potatoes with lavender and brown butter, creamy farmhouse egg and bleak roe in yoghurt.

11-(Scoffier) What is your goal (ambitions) as a chef? Do you think to write a book, a television show, other?

FAndersson- To become more and more in touch with my intuition and in that way be able to create a truly personal cuisine.


RECIPE: Dried Potatoes with Lavender and Brown Butter, Creamy Farmhouse Egg and Bleak Roe in Yoghurt

Recipe Dried Potatoes/Photo:Erik Olsson



1. Cook the potatoes in salted water at 85 °C until still a little firm.

2. Chill. Cut into pieces and dry at 42 °C (in a dehydrator) until semi dry.

3. Marinate the potatoes in yoghurt (sous-vide) for at least 3 weeks.

4. Slowly brown the potatoes in salted butter and lavender. Deglaze with a little yoghurt and allow to slowly caramelize (this process should take at least 30 minutes).

5. Serve with an egg yolk cooked at 63 °C for 3 hours and a sauce of bleak roe and yoghurt.



-Restaurant Mistral/Chef Fredrik Andersson

Sockenvägen 529,

Enskededalen, Stockholm (Sweden)



 -Review :

1. Senses Corner Blog, Menu & Photos, June 2009,

2. Omnivore Festival 2010,

3. Edible Selby, The Wild Ones (Photo + Audio), August 2011


Tous droits réservés. Copyright Scoffier © 2008-2010


Read Full Post »