In 1917 when Marcel Duchamp entered "Fountain" in the Exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in Paris, it was disqualified from the show. The piece he submitted, a stock porcelain urinal, was seen as a disgrace to Parisian fine art and an insult to years of tradition and finely honed artistic technique. Duchamp described his intent with the piece was to shift the focus of art from physical craft to intellectual interpretation. While it seemed like an obvious joke, the act of defiance acted as a catalyst for a generation of upcoming contemporary artists, and is credited by some as the beginning of the modern art movement.
I can't help but
think of this when I look at some of the contemporary dishes being
prepared in restaurants around the world: Relae where Chef Christian
Puglisi splatters sauce across plates in seeming defiance to years of
fine-dining aesthetics; Noma where Chef René Redzepi uses elements like
moss and charcoal-both the antitheses of traditional refinement, or
Alinea where Chef Grant Achatz has abandoned traditional formalities
both in the kitchen and dining room, like the tablecloths he stripped
away and deemed unnecessary.
like the fountain, these acts of culinary dissidence have sparked a
revolution in the restaurant industry, a complete rethinking of what it
means to be a "fine-dining" destination. These culinary waves can be
seen in restaurants around the world.
I believe most of our cuisine at Sierra Mar is deeply rooted in time
honored culinary tradition – we are frequently inspired by new ideas and
techniques. Tonight we are working on Rabbit with Chorizo and Crispy
Do you like the
direction contemporary chefs and restaurants are going or do you prefer
the classic refinement of traditional fine-dining? Please share your