Jacob Sessoms, chef and owner of Table, thinks that avant garde cuisine/molecular gastronomy (or whatever you’d prefer to call it) is becoming a has-been trend. “As I begin to see foams on menus even in small towns all over the country, it makes me think this approach to food will be accepted into the larger, permanent lexicon of cooking, but not lead to an all-encompassing paradigm shift,” he says.
“The best dishes I had this past year were at The Girl and The Goat [in Chicago] and Kin Shop [in New York City]. The menus at both those restaurants are very interesting, but none of the food seems to be cooked with nontraditional techniques,” he says. Sessoms admits to his own toying with ISI foamers (a tool chefs use to make foam out of just about anything) and hydrocolloids (in short, substances that can solidify liquid into a gel) even when he has a complete mental catalogue of the classics.
“I love the pan-Asian infusion into new American food that David Chang [of the Momofuku restaurant group] has sparked over the last few years, but it might be time to slow it down,” he says, admitting that he’s not innocent of getting swept away by the charm of Chang’s cuisine.
Sessoms adds that he’s not yet tired of charcuterie and the whole-animal cooking trend, evidenced by the menu at Table. The restaurant makes its own bacon and other cured meats, and offal abounds. Recently, a clever take on chicken and waffles featured corn-flake encrusted veal brains as the protein centerpiece of the dish.
For more information about Table, visit http://www.tableasheville.com.