FT.com: In recent years, some forward-thinking chefs, who believe that personal expression and creativity are more important than slavish devotion to symbolic luxury goods, have abandoned the antiquated approach of haute cuisine, a style of cooking traditionally based on a few select ingredients.
These forward-thinking chefs are seeking out the highest-quality ingredients, usually from their area, without regard to their place in the traditional fine dining canon. Combined with a deeply held belief in the transformative power of the cooking process, they are setting an example that, if it catches on, could change what we grow and eat, both in restaurants and at home.
Revaluing ingredients – starting with the assumption that a potato or a carrot can taste as exciting as foie gras – is difficult in a high end kitchen. It requires more labour, more imagination, and more carefully sourced ingredients – mediocre foie gras will always seem more "worth it” than a mediocre carrot. It’s riskier as well, going against diners’ deeply ingrained expectations. But as many modern restaurants, such as Noma, have shown, the rewards can be considerable, providing more vibrant, compelling food and a closer emotional connection with their customers.