Definition - Translation is a concept to quantify the creative process detailing the different ways a dish can be changed to correspond to a chef's vision.
One of the major shortcomings of a novice chef is to disreguard the importance of texture in the creation of a dish. A interesting textural component gives increased interest to a dish. For a great example, think about the French fry. Imagine the fry without the crisp outer coating; it just doesn't cut it. Or how about a creme brulee without the brittle sugar topping - boring! How many cooking competition shows have I seen where the judges lament a missing textual element that would have made the difference between winning and losing? And don't get me started on a perfectly grilled steak or chop. Texture and mouthfeel is what separates the mediocre from the exceptional. Breakfast has its accepted textural elements; crispy bacon, creamy oatmeal with a bite, soft custardy scrambled eggs, the snap when biting into a hot moist sausage but there is always opportunity. Now that we are clear on the importance of texture, why would we wish to change the texture of an existing component? First let me state I am not saying to change the dish for changes sake, but to fulfill the chef's culinary vision. The change has to make sense. For example, I am always searching for extra crispy hash browns that retain their crispyness when mixed with eggs. I think that will be the subject of my next post, crispy hash browns prepared two different ways. Pancakes and crepes can benefit with techniques that change their texture.
Next we will look at new techniques that introduce new textures. In the avant-garde culinary world chefs are using innovative new ways to create new dishes utilizing creative new techniques. While not for everyone, I want to look at some of these ways that are easily accessible to the home chef. Spherification and foams are great ways to add interesting textural elements as well as adding a great visual appeal to your dish. Let us look how we can add these interesting techniques where they willmadd a new interesting twist to breakfast.