World Chefs: Farmerie says global cuisine should be focused

Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:48am EDT
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - American chef Brad Farmerie believes global cuisine should be reinterpretations of dishes from around the world, not a hodgepodge of ingredients thrown together.

The former engineering student practices what he preaches at Public, his Michelin-star restaurant in New York, which is known for its innovative menu that pairs bold flavors with unusual ingredients.

The 37-year-old Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, native spoke to Reuters about the power of miso and why you won't find steak at his restaurants:

Q: Global cuisine has lost some of its buzz in recent years. Why?

A: "It has gotten a bad rap because a while ago, it was an excuse to slap together things that people didn't really understand and words that would make a menu sound more interesting. You have to understand the origin of the cuisine and the ingredients before you can start twisting it. Without eating a hamburger, you can't create the next generation of hamburgers. It's a lot more work than people understand."

Q: What are some of the missteps you see out there?

A: "In my opinion, there are too many ingredients, too many cultures on the plate -- also creating dishes that are too heavy. These cuisines that some of the people are borrowing from -- Middle Eastern, Moroccan and Southeast Asian -- are not heavy cuisines, and yet people who Americanize them and they end up being big lead weights on the plate. That's not what these ingredients and cuisines are all about."

Q: How do you think you have avoided those pitfalls?   Continued...

<p>American chef Brad Farmerie poses at Farmerie&rsquo;s New York Michelin-star restaurant, Public in this undated handout photo. REUTERS/Yuki Kuwana/Handout</p>