International food prices spiked almost 40 percent last year, indicating that the monetary price is finally catching up with the true costs of cheap food: obesity in the U.S., malnutrition in developing countries and environmental degradation everywhere. This issue is devoted to these problems and some possible solutions, many of them sprinkled throughout the essays and reports.The magazine sheds light on many individuals whom are trying to change the way Americans eat; to create sustainable sources of fresh food, and to eat real food which is a little less driven by blatant consumerism, and branding. I also enjoyed a thought-provoking article by Paul Wachter, about restaurant tipping. However, I am perplexed. In the accompanying newspaper, is an article by Allen Salkin, who had Ferrán Adrià over to his apartment to cook and promote his new book, "A Day at El Bulli". I thought, "wow"! I couldn't help but somewhat drool at what that opportunity would be like, if I was to head to local markets with an absurdly renowned chef, and then have him prepare a meal in my very own kitchen! How ridiculously fantastical! True. Except, if your religion requires you to fast on the only day the famed-chef can make it. Oh. Fine. However, I absolutely wish that the author of this article would have given it to someone else to write about! He cannot describe the food from a first hand account (nor does he really describe it at all), and this is the only time Ferrán Adrià said he would ever cook anywhere other than El Bulli for public viewing again. (Although, I suppose, only time will tell.) I have to give the author some credit, since he does portray the market experience with chef Adrià, quite well. And certainly this is part of the experience. I understand that the New York Times couldn't ask the author to release the article to another, as it would certainly be flouted as religious persecution... but to me this seems like a complete waste, and insulting to the talents of the chef. Once the sun sets, the author does eat the leftovers, but I find this repulsive. The food wasn't meant to be enjoyed hours later; it just can't be possible for scrambled eggs with burrata to taste the way it was intended. If it could have been arranged for the meal to be prepared at sunset, that would have been better than the author commenting, "After sunset, I sat down and unwrapped the leftovers, "The passion fruit sauce had congealed around a scallop. I gently spooned it into my mouth. Tangy and unexpected, it tasted delicious to me." What an enticing description. Delicious? Doesn't sound like it. What a joke.... Yuck! Ferrán Adrià mentioned upon leaving that, “The story should end that Ferrán made it clear that this kind of interview will never, ever, ever happen again.” Besides the fact that molecular gastronomy wasn't a part of the meal, since the intention was to be a home-cooked meal; I can't but wonder if chef Adria was concerned since "everyone's eyes weren't popping out of their heads". Then to top if off, the author of the article wasn't even eating the food. I can't help but wonder if perhaps chef Adrià was perhaps a little miffed? Am I to assume that if the camera crew, and the housekeeper were to be overwhelmed by the quality of the food that the author might have joined in? Just all in all, somewhat bizarre. Even the title of the article is "My Dinner with Adrià". But he didn't actually have dinner with him! It is still a disappointing read, given the possibility for this article to be less aggravating if it contained any real descriptions of the tastes, or at least the smell of these dishes. Give me something to get my mouth watering, at this once in a lifetime opportunity, which was virtually wasted? At least give me a quote from the housekeeper!
Not going to happen. Ferrán Adrià said, “The story should end that Ferrán made it clear that this kind of interview will never, ever, ever happen again.” Well there goes that idea. Today, the New York Times Magazine just released "The Food Issue", with the following commentary: