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The next big thing(s): Moving Flavor Forward

By: Jeb Gleason-Allured, Editor
Posted: December 29, 2006, from the January 2007 issue of P&F magazine.

In this article, some of the flavorists in attendence give their opinions on the novel flavors introduced, what they can translate to creating their own flavors, and which trends in flavors will be key in the coming years.

Chef Barry Lim, executive chef at Singapore’s CHEFS!, likes to play with flavors—white cabbage with green papaya, duck confit with sesame oil, blanched banana with coconut milk. Brothers Josep and Jordi Roca of Spain’s El Celler de Can Roca (ranked 21st on Restaurant magazine’s 2006 World’s 50 Best Restaurants) seem to abhor conventional cooking, serving up such avant-garde fare as a raw oyster suspended in gelled sparkling wine and chocolate-encased chicken.

Lim and the Rocas are among a team of eight global chefs who participated in Givaudan’s latest Chefs’ Council at Napa Valley’s COPIA (The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts).b The multiday event served as an interactive forum for flavor chemists and some of the world’s best chefs to meet and exchange new and novel flavor innovations such as cocoa dashi (a curious twist on the traditional Japanese broth) with lemongrass noodles or single-bite cappelleti ravioli presented in a spoon with balsamic caramel. You read that right.

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