I am sometimes surprised by the world’s choices of top restaurants. This is not to say that the top chefs aren’t excellent because many are. But any restaurant chef that has a reputation of being number one in the world should have the credentials.
So what are credentials? They consist of a list of prerequisites without the inanity of many dishes we see today. That’s not to say that top chefs can easily accommodate the challenge of satisfying and impressing clients each and every night. That’s a tough one!
Often top restaurants are caught improvising dishes without any real substance or innovation. Their menus are based on a certain triviality of one’s own theory without the true understanding of what it takes to be a top class chef. Too often guests are impressed and sometimes more interested in the social aspects; being seen, or seeing and or showing off. Foods are meant to impress and ideas become a reality when possible, or fail themselves before they reach the table.
So what about tradition? There is no doubt that tradition is a key element, and has been instrumental in forming some top European and Asian chefs. It takes a skillful and technical chef to create a dish that makes any lasting impact. It takes a greater chef to use what we already know and re-engineer it in a way that makes sense.
The idea of tradition is important to help chef’s understand what has withheld the test of time. From that standpoint tradition can be used as a guideline to direct chefs in the right direction. There are just some things that you cannot change, or if you change them, they become twisted in the wrong way.