Eel with Crystalized Violets, Anyone? What About Black Bass with Avocado, Sorrel Purée, and Smoked-Nettle Velouté? Catch up with Chef Paul Liebrandt Monday at 8 on HBO
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If the term “molecular gastronomy” turns you on instead of off. If you don’t flinch at the idea of syringes, dehydrators, and liquid nitrogen as kitchen equipment. If you would have given an arm and part of your spleen to have dined at El Bulli, then you need to be watching HBO at 8 p.m. Central time this coming Monday, June 13. That’s the show time for “A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt,” a documentary about the thirtysomething chef/co-owner of the contemporary French restaurant Corton, in New York (restaurateur Drew Nieporent is the other owner). I saw a screening of the movie at South by Southwest earlier this year and absolutely loved it. It is an intimate, behind-the-scenes glimpse into the life and work of Liebrandt, who is one of the most lauded and most controversial chefs in America (granted, he’s calmed down since he did the eel with violets when he was at Atlas). The film was made over a period of several years by his pal, Sally Rowe, but it’s not a whitewash by any means; you’re just as likely to think, What a jerk, as What a genius. Afterward you might want to make rezzies at Corton. The place was awarded three stars by the New York Times in 2008 and two stars by Michelin in 2010. Or better yet, call now, before the whole country sees the movie next week. (Sorry, the images don’t show either dish in the headline, but they are Liebrandt’s.)