On April 23rd a group of eager-to-learn food enthusiasts gathered at Lighthouse Restaurant in Williamsburg for this month’s Experimental Cuisine Collective workshop. As part of the Umami Food and Art Festival, the night’s theme was “Elemental> Shaping Our Process for Culinary Evolution” and was presented by Altamarea Group’s acclaimed executive pastry chef Robert Truitt and pastry cook Brian Sullivan of Ai Fiori.
Presenting on the process of designing and creating new culinary concepts, the two friends discussed the importance of gathering inspiration from our emotions and personal experiences.
After being inspired by a a trip to El Bulli in the mountains of Catalonia, Truitt wanted to pay tribute to his experience by creating a scale-model desert of the mountaintop restaurant. After using a topographic map and a styrofoam mold, he was able to re-create the beautiful landscape as a delicious and artistic desert.
The desert duo went on to explain how many of their greatest ideas typically start with what you might expect…two friends chatting over a beer after work. From there, they weed out the bad ideas from the good. Admitting to making (many) mistakes as they experiment with ingredients and design. Sometimes it takes hours, sometimes years, but eventually these two creative minds reach their goal of something unique, beautiful, and most importantly, yummy.