Watch As The World’s Top Chefs #ShowUsYourFlavor
Tapping into FoodieHub’s community of the world’s best foodie filmmakers, the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and partner The Glenlivet sponsored a project to film three of the world’s top chefs discussing their sense of flavor.
The three chefs and whiskeys chosen by World’s 50 Best Restaurants for the #ShowUsYourFlavor project are:
- David Pynt of Burnt Ends in Singapore on aromatic smokiness (The Glenlivet Nàdurra Peated Whisky Cask Finish)
- Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn in San Francisco on creamy sweetness (The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve)
- Thomas Carter and Ignacio Mattos of Estela in New York City on delicate spice (The Glenlivet 15 Year Old)
About the chefs and their restaurants:
Burnt Ends – Singapore, showcasing aromatic smokiness and The Glenlivet Nàdurra Peated Whisky Cask Finish
Opened by chef-restaurateur Andre Chiang in 2013, this modern barbecue eatery is ranked No. 14 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016. Australian Chef Dave Pynt, who worked with charcoal master Victor Arguinzoniz at Asador Etxebarri in Spain, is renowned for his incredible barbeque. Pynt smokes, slow roasts, hot roasts, bakes, grills and cooks directly on coals up to 700 degrees in a 4-ton, dual-cavity oven and on three elevation grills fired by fragrant apple and almond wood.
With only 17 coveted counter seats looking directly into the open kitchen, reservations are a must. Diners choose from a daily printed a la carte menu. Delicate snacks include smoked quail eggs with caviar; sweet beef marmalade with pickles; garlic shoots with gremolata; and crispy salmon skin. In addition to hefty slabs of beef and whole fish, mains include roasted quail and aioli and pulled pork with slaw and chipotle mayonnaise on a brioche bun. Wine, cocktails and craft beers are popular accompaniments.
During filming, Pynt said he focused on providing intense, short bursts of smoke “with a lot of easily recognizable flavor that you can pinpoint straight away. The smoke you get off semi-dried rosemary or semi-dried pine or dill is a lot more intense than what you would get off a cedar wood or a hickory. We smoke everything. We smoke pineapple, smoke leaves, smoke quail eggs, smoke fish and fennel. Whatever it is, we can get smoke in there.”
Pynt likens his method to the process of making whiskey, which “back in the olden days was to smoke it over peat. To pair barbecue with something smoked is like a really natural pairing. It’s just from age-old times when you have that affiliation with the peat and smoke that goes into the whiskey originally. And you’ve got deep caramelized tones, which always pair well with barbecue.”
Dominique Crenn, a two Michelin-starred chef and owner of Atelier Crenn and Petit Crenn, holds the honor of the World's Best Female Chef on San Pellegrino's World's 50 Best Restaurants 2016 list. Famous for artfully presenting French dishes with a focus on innovation, Crenn grew up on a farm in Brittany, France, and came to the United States in the 1990s. She describes her food as "poetic culinaria." Crenn and her chef de cuisine, Rodney Wages, base their tasting menu on a poem Crenn writes at the start of each season.
“The style of the food at Atelier Crenn and the flavor that we create I look at very simply,” Crenn told the filmmakers. “It’s all the senses. Bitterness, sweetness, emotion, beauty with the eyes.”
“I’m very much into making sauces with beautiful alcohol. And I came across this incredible whiskey, which is Glenlivet whiskey. Just tasting it was creamy, sweet, there’s apple in it. I felt like it was autumn for a minute.
“And then I came up with this dish. We need to make a sauce with it, so I use white truffle, served on a beautiful grilled, lightly smoked Wagyu beef. It’s just beautiful. And when you look at it, when you put the sauce over it with shaved truffle, it almost looks as sweet as a caramel. But it’s creamy. It’s velvety. It’s sexy.”
This newcomer to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is run by chef and owner Ignacio Mattos and wine director and co-owner Thomas Carter. Opened in 2013, their crowded and noisy Mediterranean-inspired bistro on Houston Street serves small tapas-like dishes made with market ingredients and Mediterranean twists. The relaxed vibe and brilliant wine list add to its draw.
Carter says he is a big proponent of the beverage program supporting the food first. “I think we both like wines, cocktails, distilled spirits that are quiet. They’re not loud, hit you over the head. You actually have to search for a subtlety in things.”
He compares that subtlety to Mattos’ culinary skills. “Ignacio has a rather genius perspective on presenting something in a way that you wouldn’t have anticipated.
“Each menu item is like a Goldilocks dish. Everything is in such balance, it’s very hard for cooks to reproduce this. Because if something is a little off, just like in the laws of physics, everything goes out of whack.
“Pretty much with everything we do, we just try to push it a little bit to the edge,” Carter concluded. “It is borderline simple, but still a big presence. We are constantly pursuing, tasting, messing around with new ingredients and dishes and ideas.”
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