I had dinner again this week at Atelier. This time, I brought you something - les menus. As the restaurant will not officially open in full force until September 5th, consider these working drafts. Today they are current, tomorrow they may change.
Stay tuned after the jump for the secrets of making bread and crinkle-cut fries.
Pastry chef Kazutoshi Narita is responsible for the desserts and the bread. To the latter, the hotel built a boulangerie room. It took three days for the ovens to pre-heat. Earlier this week house-made bread began making sporadic appearances. The bread was good, but not as good as the stuff in Vegas. Robuchon said it takes nine months to get to pain perfection because the bread is made with natural yeasts. When bread is being made, all the yeasty molecules circulate in the air and settle around the room, creating a sort of "live" environment that will ultimately give a little somethin’ somethin’ back to the bread and make it better. Because the baking room is brand new and ultra-clean, it’ll take nine months for the room to become "seasoned". I’d never heard this before, butI asked a few chefs and their consensus was…oui, c’est vrai. One explained that this is the reason that old boulangeries are better and why bakers never want to move.
I’m particularly fond of Le Boeuf, the hand-cut beef tartare served with small crinkle-cut French fries. Crinkle-cut’s the optimum shape for maximum crispiness as the crinkles create more fry surface area. Les frites are visually reminiscent of the Ore-Ida crinkle-cut French fry. How do they cut them? I was expecting a slick Japanese Ginzu-type vegetable slicer. Robuchon brought out something resembling a slim all-metal version of a baker's bench knife, except the blade was rippled and had an angled edge. “This is how my mother made French fries, so I had this made for me in France,” he explained. Knowing his penchant for precision I wondered whether the potatoes were first peeled, then cut into perfect squares, then cut with maman’s wavy fry slicer. “Not even,” he shrugged, “we just cut them.”