The Inventive Mind Behind The Aviary NYC
Released on 10/10/2017
Just wondering, why does that look good,
why does this taste good,
is the most important thing for me.
As a child, I drew a lot, I worked with my hands.
Part of who I am was to be curious.
Everything that I smell, hear, taste,
it's just all about food.
My name is Grant Achatz, I'm the chef and co-owner
of Alinea, The Aviary, Next, and Roister.
The Aviary is the Alinea group's high-sale bar.
It focuses on forward thinking,
innovative ways to reinvent cocktails.
We're very focused on aesthetics and we're very focused
on the composition of not only the item that you're eating,
but the plate that it goes on, the colors, the texture,
the dimension of it.
Things obviously need to look good,
but I feel like there's something else there.
As chefs, we now take another path.
The menu that we have here in New York is a blend
of Alinea and Aviary classics, but also we kind of did some
New York-ified things, if you will.
The pork belly dish is conceptualized by all the things
that I like to eat: banana, coconut, cashews, pork belly,
just kind of all combined into one.
From a culinary perspective, they work really well together
because you have the foundation of cooking,
which is sweet, salt, acid, and fat.
So when you combine those together,
you typically get something that's delicious.
When we've compressed that lettuce
and it becomes translucent, we do that for a textural reason
and a flavor reason, but we also do it as a sculptor
trying to figure out how we can manipulate certain
ingredients and make them kind of resonate
with people visually.
It's a very important part of our cooking.
What we want people to expect when they come to The Aviary
is the unexpected.
Nothing that they've ever seen or tasted
or experienced before, that's our M.O.
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