The dictionary lists aversion as a strong feeling of dislike, opposition, repugnance, or antipathy. This especially explains my own feelings towards the durian fruit. Have you ever heard of it? It comes from southeast Asia, formerly banned in several countries worldwide. Now the reason this fruit is banned, that is if your unfamiliar with it, is the absolutely horrendous stench that is produced from cutting it open. The smell is so terrible that it has been known to cause gagging. Yet, if you can dominate your sense of smell, you will be rewarded with a delicious taste in your mouth similar to bananas and caramel. I figured this example would be a perfect way to explain what I meant from my first post.
If I were to use this fruit in a dish, and I was forced to suffer through the smell during preparation, do you think that I would want to modify the plate in any way for a customer? Does the great American chef, Thomas Keller, make dishes at his three Michelin starred restaurant “The French Laundry”, only to have them sent back when a customer wants a substitution? No. Not a chance. I hold myself to the standards of how I want to run my restaurant. I don’t believe that higher end places have to allow for substitutions due to the nature of the place. Now, that being said, if those of you out there who are chefs or aspiring chefs, who wish to do that then its quite alright by me. My first post was directed towards showing that chefs who hold themselves to higher standards, stay at those standards. I do not enjoy remaking a dish just because someone doesn’t like whats in it. I was trained that if you don’t like what is being served, order something else.
Now back to my earlier point. aversion can come from smells, tastes, cultures, or simply because it doesn’t look appetizing. What about when food makes you sick? Have you ever eaten bad seafood? I remember one time I ate some gulf prawns and had a terrible case of food poisoning. Days of vomiting and swearing to the porcelain goddess, but that didn’t stop me from going out and continuing to eat prawns later on in life. Now, this doesn’t mean that everyone has to be like me. If something makes you sick, and you don’t want to eat it again, then don’t. I just don’t believe that you should order dishes with this food on it if you don’t intend on eating it. That why menus offer more than one choice.
Well, I hope this second article helped my readers out in understanding where I was coming from. Next week, we’ll have the conclusion to our interview with a gastronomer, and a very special article dedicated to how proud I am of my father. Till next week, dear readers!