Alright. Time warp. When we first moved to Philadelphia back in the halcyon days of 2001, Shola Olunloyo’s Studiokitchen was the big goddamn deal in Philly dining circles. The idea was simple: Shola was a mad genius chef with a house on the fringes of University City, a stone’s throw from Manuta. You’d go to his house with friends and eat whatever the mad genius prepared. Olunloyo is the kind of guy who, just for kicks, will make menus like this:
Coriander Scented Red Lentil Soup, Grilled Pandan Leaf Shrimp w/Argan Oil.
Rabbit Confit and Maui Onion Ravioli, Fennel Caramel, Almond Praline
Oil Poached Halibut with Sweet Pea and Clam Stew, Horseradish Emulsion
Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder, Parsnip Foam & Grain Mustard Jus
Pineapple Ginger Ravioli, Almond Black pepper Croustillant, Lemon Brie Ice Cream, Basil Oil.
BRIE CHEESE ICE CREAM, PEOPLE. In any case, we just ran across this interview with Olunloya. Among many other things, the man understands that molecular gastronomy is a joke:
“Molecular gastronomy is neither legit nor fad. It’s just plain silly. ALL cooking is considered “molecular gastronomy”. If you blindfolded your 10 year old sister and told her to drop an egg in boiling water, everything that happens after that egg hits the water is “molecular gastronomy”. My point is that the term itself is meaningless.
Attaching it to hypermodern cuisine with challenging or jarring combinations does not legitimize the definition. 85% of the time, most things that have had that term actively attached to it just don’t taste that good. Interesting yes, creative definitely, but delicious mostly not. In many ways, it ends up being like not seeing the forest for the trees. Liquid nitrogen does not make you a better cook, its just pandering for attention.”
The good news? He’s opening a restaurant. Stay tuned for more info.
Studiokitchen Redux [Phoodie.info]
[Image via Studiokitchen]