What is "avant garde, New American" food?
The first question people usually ask when they find out my husband is a chef is, "What kind of food does he cook?"
It feels like an easy question and I can't blame people for asking, but this new generation of food isn't easy to explain. I've used words like molecular gastronomy or even just New American and received funny looks. Eventually I resort to "fancy food," which does such a disservice to what he's trying to do. It's not a regional cuisine like we're used to, it's "personality cuisine," like Thomas Keller said.
That's how we landed on "avant garde, New American" food. Max presented the language to me a few months ago and he's not the first to use it. It really resonated with me as it's a perfect representation of what's he's doing. It's innovative. Experimental. Modern.
Take, for instance, the crispy pig head candybar. It's really just compressed head cheese, a terrine made from the head of a pig of calf commonly served cold, and soup.
But he's flipping it on it's head (pun intended) by not only serving it hot but fried, sweet and spicy. The result is a decadent, interesting dish. It's not just "soup" nor is it just "meat" - it's a complex array of flavors, textures, and ideas.
People get funny about food and I'm constantly reminded the level of emotional weight behind what we choose to eat and why. Just the other day my dad asked if Max was going to have something more "normal" on the menu. Max could make a kick-ass burger if he really wanted to, but it's not what excites him. Balancing the needs for innovation and creativity in the kitchen and the dining room is delicate and we're still struggling to find the right mix.
Just 8 days in and we've been so appreciative of the number of customers who've come through the door and expressed not only their satisfaction, but their intention to return. Thank you for supporting Max's food.