Tuesday, April 5, 2011

iron chef uptown champion?

Yesterday, when Nick and Nat's mentioned that Aaron Linley would be competing in the Iron Chef competition I couldn't help being reminded of his brilliance!  I returned to 'Kitchen Confidential' to re-read a portion that always reminds me of Aaron's cooking.

In the following excerpt, Bourdain is speaking fondly of a chef he says he is jealous of, someone whose schooling combined with natural talent has allowed him to achieve near-perfection with his food.  I have substituted and bolded Aaron's name in place of the Chef originally being described.  Those of you who have eaten at Bijou will understand why...

"Everything on [Aaron's] plate is edible.  It's food, first and foremost, to be eaten, not looked at - though his presentations are inspired.  Try and imagine the clean, unfussy integrity of Japanese cuisine, with the unrestrained flavors and soul-food heartiness of a well-remembered Grandma's best dish.  He was braising economy cuts.  He was taking greasy, oily fishes that nobody wanted and making magic.  He was presenting it in big bowls in pretty stacks where - if you jammed your fork through all three layers - you got something that combined to actually taste good.  He wasn't piling food on top of itself because layer one looked good on top of layer two and three.  It tasted good that way.  And those big bowls? At [Bijou], when something comes in a big bowl it's because there's gonna be sauce left in the bottom; chances are, you're going to be running a crust of bread around in there and mopping it up when the entree has been eaten."

Bijou is a favourite of many local restaurant 'grunts'; those of us who know food and love food, love the hidden 'culinary gem' that is tucked away behind the Erie st. parking lot.

Check out the Local-Come-Lately's experience at Bijou.

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