Author’s Cuisine Enlivens the Senses with a Culinary Experience at Karu&Y

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Gerdy Rodriguez will implement his version of a culinary style that is unfamiliar to most Americans but is favored by chefs in Spain who are praised for their creativity and hailed as the new vanguard of culinary arts.

In the makeshift kitchen of an art studio where Richard Boprae unveiled a piece that will cover an entire wall at Karu&Y, chef Gerdy Rodriguez put the finishing touches on artistic treats of his own. The stylish appetizers reflected the author’s cuisine that Rodriguez will serve at the lavish restaurant and ultralounge set to open in Miami’s emerging entertainment district in late summer 2005.

While guests marveled at the artwork that will resemble flowing raindrops, they savored items that included faux grilled tuna with pearl onions, chilled liquid peas with hot bacon foam and truffle emulsion, and solid Cuba libre - a confection of rum jelly, Coca-Cola granules and lemon foam. Not your typical fare in Miami, even at the trendiest restaurants.

Popularized in Spain but unfamiliar to many Americans, author’s cuisine is one of the elements intended to establish Karu&Y as the most innovative restaurant and ultralounge to open in Miami. With the intriguing menu - and an ambience of stunning elements like flowing water, frosted glass, rich colored marble and African wood – Karu&Y is designed to enliven all five of the senses.

Rodriguez, whose resume includes chef de cuisine at Norman Van Aken’s Mundo in Coral Gables, and sous chef under Angel Palacios at the former La Broche Miami, is doing his part by incorporating an assortment of organic ingredients and implementing a culinary style that is mostly a foreign concept in the United States but is favored by chefs in Spain who are praised for their creativity and hailed as the new vanguard of culinary arts.

Also called alta cocina, author’s cuisine includes a combination of science and artistry. Dishes prompt you to experience and contemplate the purity of each flavor. “Experience” is the operative word in this type of cuisine. Flavors are carefully introduced through mechanisms like smelling napkins that have been spritzed with aromas to enhance the dining experience. In the case of Spain’s chefs, the dishes incorporate unusual textures, aromas, flavor combinations, and contexts while stimulating the senses, pleasing the palate, and provoking thought.

“It’s different than traditional cooking. It’s like a science where everything is exact,” the Cuban-born Rodriguez said. “It's about taking fine ingredients and utilizing a progression of techniques, textures and temperatures in order to extract flavors without altering their taste. Once you have the unaltered flavor it can add new dimensions to accompanying ingredients.”

There are no rules and no boundaries with author’s cuisine, Rodriguez explained, and it is not limited to a particular country or region.

“You will find Mediterranean, Brazilian, Peruvian, Asian, Italian and Spanish influences in author’s cuisine, but it is not like fusion cuisine where different styles are combined into one dish,” Rodriguez said. “In author’s cuisine, a Mediterranean dish is just that – a Mediterranean dish.”

Author’s cuisine creations like “apple caviar” and “liquid ravioli” may sound like astronaut fare to Americans who are unfamiliar with culinary trends. The items are renowned in Spain, where world-renowned chef Ferrán Adrià perfected alta cocina at his restaurant, El Bulli in Catalan region in Spain. Adria developed the concept by taking elements of traditional dishes and transforming them by using techniques nobody else had used before. Described by many as "creative avant garde," his cuisine generated an extraordinary interest in Spain and inspired a new generation of Catalan chefs.

El Bulli is open for six months a year, solely for dinner. Adria spends the other six months in a laboratory devising new recipes for the season ahead. The restaurant accommodates 8,000 diners in a season. Last year, more than 300,000 callers requested a table.

A recent menu at El Bulli featured the Catalan mainstay of pa amb tom aquet , which is grilled bread rubbed with tomato and drizzled with olive oil, deconstructed into a white sorbet made from skinned tomatoes and topped with a dry cracker filled with olive oil. A chicken croquette contained liquid consommé. A "Kellogg's paella" had puffed Rice Krispies, and on the side were a small, flash-fried shrimp, a piece of shrimp sashimi and an ampule containing a thick brown extract of shrimp heads that guests were instructed to squeeze into your mouth. Another dish included an array of seven warm gelatin blocks that resembled watercolor paints, each a vivid hue that represented the pure essence of a vegetable. Guests were given a fresh vanilla bean to smell while eating vanilla-scented whipped potatoes.

Just as each artist has a different style, so does each chef who specializes in author’s cuisine. Karu&Y will offer a diverse a la carte menu graced with tapas and appetizers including carpaccio of langoustine, skate provençal, and Hog Island oysters. Among the entrees are monkfish en citronette, seafood parrillada, curried lamb, civet of rabbit and vegetarian chirashi. The dessert menu includes arroz con leche, grapes and Manchego, and five different chocolate textures.

Rodriguez will implement the author’s cuisine trademark of manipulating textures and temperatures, and altering ingredients, with an assortment of culinary technology. The kitchens of Karu&Y will be alive with the sounds of machines like a Thermomix, which serves as a food processor, grinder, blender, pasteurizer and emulsifier; a Pacojet, which creates natural sorbets and ice creams; and a syphon, which was developed at El Bulli and makes foaming sauces.

Emphasizing the purity that defines author’s cuisine, Rodriguez is getting organic vegetables from a farm in Homestead, which is exclusively growing produce for Karu&Y. And to prevent flavors from being altered, the restaurant will prepare its food on even heating surfaces rather than open flame burners, and it will use stainless steel pots and pans.

“Essentially, author’s cuisine provides a culinary experience for people. The taste is familiar, but the preparation and presentation is unique,” Rodriguez explained. “Dining is meant to be fun. It’s meant to be interesting, and that’s what author’s cuisine is.”

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Jeff Louderback

Quantified Marketing Group


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