Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Acme, New Nordic, New York

Last month while on vacation/writing assignment for a great new Dutch magazine about which you will be hearing a lot soon, I had the opportunity to try out this iconoclastic new table from one of the dark horses of Nordic gastronomy, and co-founder, with Rene Redzepi of the universally famous Noma, Mads Refslund.

To cut to the chase, Mads and Rene met in cooking school, got the backing for their new idea Noma, and quietly went their ways after less than a year due to the fact that, funnily enough, they couldn't work together. Rene went on to much fame, and Mads created his own restaurant, gained a Michelin star, and lost everything when his billionaire financial backer went bust. Mads became a sort of poster child for the New Nordic cuisine, did lots of food shows and events, and spread his culinary gospel, hélas with no place to hang his own apron.

Cut to earlier on this year, and a freak series of events while Mads was vacationing in New York, led to him staying and heading up the kitchens of Acme, a former honky tonk cajun style place, and bringing his pared down locavore de luxe ideas to fruition.

Dishes such as the Hudson Valley foie gras, flash frozen and micro planed over langoustine with white walnuts and the sweet shrimp with bison , bitter lettuce and green almonds were standouts. Other dishes we sampled included the farmer's egg with cauliflower cream and parmesan, heirloom tomatoes with pickled watermelon and herbs, beetroot topped with cherries, and flavored with buttermilk and horseradish, fresh asparagus with hollandaise sauce, lemon juice and blacked pepper, pickled vegetable salad with anchovies, chicken with new potatoes and fried free range eggs, rib-eye steak with glazed carrots, and (deep breath) to top it all off, the best dessert I have ever had, a beer and bread porridge with salted butter caramel ice cream: crack and childhood food nostalgia memories all rolled into one.

I can't wait to see Mads evolve .... more soon

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