Saturday, September 10, 2011

Charleston Restaurant Week-Celebrate Eating

I was checking out what is considered the top ten activities people love to do and the results totally surprised me. There was one activity missing I thought should have easily been included hands down and considered number one. This was the list: Sleeping, listening to music, reading, watching a movie, playing, gossiping, arranging their home, visiting old friends, shopping, and idling. At this point, it must be acknowledged this list is subjective and depends on who you talk to, but these were the most common responses.

This huge faux pas is just eating me up. As you scan that list, do you see what's missing? It is an activity most likely incorporated in some way, shape, or form either before, during, or after stated activities. In fact, you may be engaging in that activity presently, at this very moment, while you are on the computer, and I must point out, I am doing it as I write this article. This huge oversight is just all too consuming. Are you now digesting my references as to what I am all stirred up about? Everyone does it and everyone loves it. The overlooked, most popular activity is eating.

Which brings me to the subject of this article. Places where people go to enjoy this activity, restaurants. And not just any restaurant, but the top ten in the world according to the Michelin Guide, and that doesn't have anything to do with tires. You may already had the privelege of dining at one of these establishments or maybe you would like to consider it. I am only going to briefly talk about the first four.

Number one is a two Michelin star restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark called Noma run by Chef René Redzepi. He is noted for his work for the reinvention and refinement of a new Nordic cuisine and food that is characterized by inventiveness and clean flavors, which leads to an emotive, intense, liberating way of eating, unlike any other. Put simply in layman's terms, food visually stunning that makes your mouth water profusely and your taste buds dance. Number two is El Celler De Can Roca in Girona, Catalonia Spain. Founded in 1986 by the three Roca brothers, Joan Roca is the head chef. They have created some dishes and desserts based on famous perfumes. So, no matter how much the temptation may be, try to avoid smearing it on your body.

Number three is Mugaritz in Errenteria, Spain. Chef Andoni Aduriz uses the term "techno-emotional cuisine" or "culinary physics", as some like to refer to it, to describe applying science to his way of cooking. "Culinary physics" is the study of how ingredients are changed by different cooking methods and the unconventional innovation in its preparation and presentation. Now that is a mouth full. Number four is Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy run by Chef Massimo Bottura. His kitchen offers a menu of traditional food alongside more left-field creations inspired by the art world. After leaving his establishment you will see the Mona Lisa in a different way. The rest of top ten are The Fat Duck in UK, Alinea in Chicago, D.O.M. in Brazil, Arzak in Spain, Le Chateaubriand in France, and Per Se in New York.

So, go out and celebrate eating. It is Restaurant Week. Charleston Restaurant Week is an opportunity for diners to take advantage of special discounted menus, a price fixed menu of three items for either $20, $30 or $40, from Charleston area restaurants. All your favorite places to eat in Charleston are participating. Click on restaurant for a complete list. The event runs from September 7 to 18.

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