The Future of Food

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“Gastronomers of the year 1825, who find satiety in the lap of abundance, and dream of some newly-made dishes, you will not enjoy the discoveries which science has in store for the year 1900, such as foods drawn from the mineral kingdom, liqueurs produced by the pressure of a hundred atmospheres; you will never see the importations which travelers yet unborn will bring to you from that half of the globe which has still to be discovered or explored. How I pity you!”

Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826)

If Brillat-Savarin only knew how exceptionally prolific these words would be, he may have placed bets. Modernist cuisine and molecular gastronomy , the study of food and it’s chemical and physical interaction, has become more than an abstract tool but a mainstay of every burgeoning young chef’s repertoire.

One of my favorite observations was by Gordon E Moore. In his 1965 paper Moore suggested that technological advancement for computer processors doubles in efficiency ever 2 years, then later refined, 18 months.
Moore’s Law seems no longer to only effect computers, but the very essence of the human condition. This transition in the fabric of human consciousness includes not only the way we eat but also the way we think about food. Farm to fork, localism, a quest for knowledge, and a taste for transparency is sweeping over the US. We are in a new and exciting transition in food culture. The way America perceives food is changing; we are changing.

Unfortunately evolution is not easy nor as progressive as any if us may want. To competing laws help to balance the rapid growth and diversity: Gates’ law and May’s law. Both of these attribute that though hardware efficiency doubles, software systems lag to compensate. This anchoring can be seen very much in big food producers, agricultural business models, and our very own chef & F&B friends who will not embrace the changes as they come.

The idea that, “this is how we have always done it” or “profit over conscientious reform” are the equal and opposite reaction that defy long lasting change. But, there is a unique beauty in this opposition. As we tread water into the future we must pick the battles that have the deepest and most meaningful implications in the advancements of modern cuisine. This refinement is the constant catalysis in the development of the new world of food. Which idea is worth fighting for? Which idea will develop the minds of aspiring chefs? Which idea is the unifying force for the next global evolution.

It is up to the brave to decide, and the rest to follow.

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Chef Richard Potts in the Tampa Bay Times!!!

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Like to know what I love to Eat?

Check out the August 2014 issue of “Bay” from the Tampa Bay Times! On page 46 you will get the scoop on my favorite places in the Bay area. 

http://www.tampabay.com/bay

Check it out here–> Bay-08-14

Cheers!

 

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Chef Richard Potts on Fox News Channel 13 Tampa Bay!

Charley's World

Chef Potts on Charley’s World

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Roux in the Tampa Bay Tribune!

Click here for the article!

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Inspiration

 

Whether I inspire you with love or I inspire you with hate, I have still inspired you.

Inspiration is a funny idea built on subjective admiration and understanding. We are inspired by the world around us, and by the people we share it with daily. Sometimes this is a subconscious assertion, passive and subtle- other times a heavy weight smashing upon us. We are all disciples and we are all teachers and you will be known by those who follow.

Build better people and set then off into the world. Help others achieve their dreams. Know your success through the success of others. Hold on recklessly and whole hardheartedly to your ideals but be bold enough question them daily.

In the end, material success is a fleeting folly. Do what you love with your whole heart and share your passion. This is the greatest inspiration to others.

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The Dry Age Ribeye

Dry Age Ribeye

My Favorite of all the steaks…Hail to the King Baby.

Decadent is the perfect synonym for this primal nugget of beastliness.

I normally prefer my meat very,very rare, but the ribeye steak is one of the few exceptions to the rule. I eat my ribeye at a perfect medium. Ordering a ribeye medium is a sure fire way to ensure your steak is melt in your mouth tender and not a kin to Fido’s favorite chew toy.

The reason is quite simple: fat content and the Maillard reaction.

Ribeye Steaks are exceptionally high in fat content,  and the ribeye needs this added heat to turn the large deposits of fat in the eye and spinalis from the daunting, chewy globules of  white fat into translucent melting masses of beefy godliness. No worries, the Maillard reaction here to help.

This lovely chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars gives browned foods their flavor and color. A well broiled steak is no exception to the rule. The reaction is a form of non-enzyme browning, and at higher temperatures, caramelization, coloration, and the melting of primal fats become more evident.

This, in my book, is the most flavorful of all the steaks, and goes high of most succulent things on earth. The addition of foie gras and black truffles…heaven.

Bon Appétit!

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Farm to Table is BS

bullshit1 I know I am going to take a ton of flack for this, but regardless, Farm to Table is Bullshit. But please, before you scoff and label me as a heretic hear me out. I know food. I have been a professional chef all of my adult life and grew up with a natural affinity for all that is green. My grandfather had a 100 acre farm and orchard. I gardened all of my childhood- In fact I drafted my first plans for my grandfather’s crop rotation and planting schedule at the ripe age of 11. I can still taste the dirt. I know the ins and outs of that heirloom tomato on your caprese salad from seed to fruit. In my own personal chef career I also was the executive chef at a 160 acre ranch with 10 acres of sustainable farms. All of the vegetables, fruits, and herbs were picked every day by my master gardener or myself. I have lived farm to table. So why would I say something so monumentally  eviscerating about America’s new super trend? I will some it up quite simply in one word: marketing.  Merriam-Webster Defines marketing as: 1 a : the act or process of selling or purchasing in a market b : the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service 2 : an aggregate of functions involved in moving goods from producer to consumer It is never an idea itself that is to blame, rather, it is how people utilize great intentions to drive personal profit through the exploitation of great ideas. You are being sold a bill of goods. Americans love it. But I must tell you, denial ain’t just a river in Egypt. The push toward organic farming and farm to table-ism is ripe for scam artists. It has nothing to do with not using chemicals (as, guess what, they use all sorts of chemicals on their crops, including pesticides. “All natural” pesticides such as copper and nicotine based toxins). It has lower yield per acre, meaning it uses far more water and land and energy, which is why it is so much more expensive. Also, new studies are proving there is no end-user difference to organic or local farming. There is no difference in toxicity level, no difference in nutrition, no difference in taste. The trend fits nicely into the warm blanket of guilt releasing trends- much like buying carbon credits. Before you jump on the band wagon look to see if what you are doing is for your mind, or your feelings and if you are being willfully exploited by another special interest group that has profit in mind. As a farmer, I have found that growing more food with less effort, less energy. THAT is true power and this is the future of agriculture and has always the future of agriculture. The fewer farmers you need, the better off society is – and the more energy that can be spent on very real global problems like increasing ocean salinity, alarming rates of desertification, and epidemics of mass starvation in third world countries due to antiquated and inefficient agricultural processes. Every time we’ve decreased our dependence on agriculture as a job, it has vastly improved society. Farming is all about producing what is needed to support civilization. It isn’t an end to a mean , this is what we must learn to understand. I Leave you with a quote by a food blogger Jason Sheehan in his article, “Top 20 Worst Food Trends of the Decade”, I found it quite clear, concise, and to the point: “Unless you own the farm, shut up. Unless you’re Dan Barber, shut up. Being able to name the farm or ranch on your menu does not give you the right to jack the price by ten bucks. If you’re committed to making the world a better place with your restaurant, have a little class about it. Do good without drawing attention to yourself. Being a decent steward of the environment should not be a marketing hook.”

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