• Alex Talbot topping cornbread with smoked sea urchin and spicy strawberry jam

    Alex Talbot topping cornbread with smoked sea urchin and spicy strawberry jam

  • George Mendes finishing an amuse of Beau Soleil oysters with frozen buttermilk, cucumber and dill

    George Mendes finishing an amuse of Beau Soleil oysters with frozen buttermilk, cucumber and dill

  • Liquid nitrogen-frozen buttermilk, cucumber and dill over Beau Soleil oysters

    Liquid nitrogen-frozen buttermilk, cucumber and dill over Beau Soleil oysters

  • An amuse of smoked quail egg with crispy surryano ham

    An amuse of smoked quail egg with crispy surryano ham

  • Pina colada meringue sandwiches

    Pina colada meringue sandwiches

  • Peaches with toasted marshmallow ice cream and caramel panna cotta

    Peaches with toasted marshmallow ice cream and caramel panna cotta

Ideas In (Amazing) Food

Gazpacho sounds like an uncomplicated dish. Unless you’re Alex Talbot of groundbreaking cooking blog Ideas In Food, who makes his gazpacho with green tomatoes, green grapes and pistachios, freezes it in liquid nitrogen so it appears like puffy snow, and serves it with a couple of briny Beau Soleil oysters.

What an opening act at last night’s Ideas In Food guest chef dinner at Aldea. This was one thoroughly modernist dinner, with Alex working alongside George Mendes in the kitchen, creating classic-meets-spun-on-their-head dishes, like an amuse of fluffy torn cornbread with smoked sea urchin and spicy strawberry jam, or flattened scallop with charred, then sous vide-cooked-with-butter potatoes. Definitely a delicious mouthful.

We weren’t the only ones gawking at the culinary wizardry: Marco Canora, Ulterior Epicure Bongwing Lee and Michael Laiskonis were all along for the ride – nor were we the only ones wondering just how the deep fried hanger steak was so ridiculously melt-in-the-mouth. Just as decadent was the dessert of peaches with toasted marshmallow ice cream – a play on peaches and cream. All Alex’s handiwork, George assured us.

George is planning more guest chef dinners at Aldea, and if this dinner was anything to go by, we can’t wait to see the next ideas in food coming out of that kitchen.

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