California Cuisine, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

California cuisine refers to a trendy way of cooking invented by Alice Waters in the 1970s at Chez Panisse Restaurant, in Berkeley, California. There are numerous cultures in California and thus there are varieties of dishes (Linnekin, 2010). California cuisine is an organic and local food prepared to use a wide variety of techniques and spices. Although it takes many of its roots from French cooking, people had considered the California cuisine movement reactionary, but it opposed tradition of serving foods not in season as in the French.  California cuisine assessed produce abundance available seasonally and locally and utilized the foods as a foundation of various dishes. Restaurants used strawberries or artichokes, mixed lettuce or figs when in they were in plenty supplies. Thus, the restaurant’s cuisine would change as per the seasons providing a varied and appealing menu.

Gordon (1986) asserts that Immigrants have made the state of their home making food in the region a reflection of cultural integration throughout California’s history. Many immigrants of Chinese origin who came to California during the Transcontinental Railway construction and during the Gold Rush influenced the food flavors at the West Coast. Recently, the movement of hippies to San Francisco in the 1960s led to popular dietary movements such as vegetarianism and the “peace and love” philosophy. The final, vital element relevant to California cuisine is the utilization of French cooking methods. This is because many chefs involved in the California cuisine received training in France.

Understanding the utilization of fresh ingredients as a common practice throughout the cuisine dishes is so significant, when attempting to define a cooking style as diverse as California cuisine. It is never difficult to find seasonal produce because all foods can grow in California. The continuous local ingredients supply provides new recipes possibilities infinitely. Furthermore, utilization of hormones, antibodies free meat and organic produce distinguishes the cuisine. In a nod towards the health conscious crowd, California cuisine reflects the trend toward vegetarianism. The focal points of California cuisine are fresh, sustainable and healthy foods.

According to CUISINE (2011), staple foods utilized in California cuisine include citrus fruits, avocados, seafood, herbs, and tofu. Meat and chicken frequently provide protein, but the use of lamb and pork is not often. The chefs cook the foods quickly on a stove or grill, therefore, preserving freshness and color. Presentation and appearance of food is the critical elements involved in the cuisine. On the menu in many Sushi restaurants, the “California roll” is a classic California cuisine example.  This roll consists of cucumber, crab meat and avocado wrapped in rice and seaweed.

John Ash Restaurant in Santa Rosa, California is one of the locus points of California cuisine outside the major cities. The hallmark of Ash’s minimalist approach to food involved local produce, dairy products, meat and eggs, which provided protein in the selling cuisine dishes. Increasing grape growers’ population has turned local farms into grape farms thus affecting the cuisine. This, therefore, means that picking of fresh produce for the cuisine is becoming impossible. This change will lead to alteration of offerings and taste of the California Cuisine restaurants remaining.

Plan Cuisine

Guests who opt for lunch at the hotels are the ones who wake up late, and at night, they search for local cuisine. The modified American plan is not ideal for some travelers (Linnekin, 2010). Guests need to look no further than their restaurants in grand hotels with amenities including skiing, shopping or swimming pools on the premises. Sometimes the senior professional receives support from an executive chef in cases where the professional manages or owns many restaurants. The chef de cuisine may create an advertising plan and the marketing plan or hire a business manager.

Role of different chefs in the development of California cuisine

According to Gordon (1986), Alice Waters started the venture into the development of the present California cuisine. Waters’ Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley started serving Provencal French food in 1971. The restaurant later incorporated the freshest and best local ingredients into the menu making it vary depending on the season. Waters encouraged local ranchers and farmers to grow crops such as heirloom vegetables, fresh herbs and production of organic meat. In the mid-1970s, some food writers visited the restaurant helping the restaurant earn a national reputation. Some of the dishes that later received the term California cuisine at Chez Panisse include green salads topped with grilled meat or warm goat cheese, grilled pizza with unique vegetable toppings, and grilled fish and vegetables. According to the California Museum, Chez Panisse still ranks among the best cuisine restaurants in the world. Because of her advocacy for sustainable agriculture, Waters has received induction into the California Hall of Fame. This went hand-in hand with the California cuisine development.

Another personality recognized for the development of California cuisine is Wolfgang Puck (Webb, 2008). Puck came to the U.S. as an immigrant and worked for nine years as a chef before opening Spago, his famous restaurant on Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles. Together with Barbara Lazaroff they designed the restaurant opened in 1982 and guests could watch Puck working in the kitchen. The items cooked by Puck included wood-fired gourmet pizzas, later called California-style pizzas. Many celebrities frequented the restaurant leading to rising of its status in Los Angeles and the rest of the world.

Puck opened Chinois in Santa Monica, CA in 1983. Puck started combining Asian ingredients with French cooking techniques at this restaurant. Puck and other chefs influenced eating habits around the country as they developed the hybrid cuisine. Thus, this development drew many people gradually to adopting the new eating habits and the trend continues moving to the ends of the world.

Another remarkable player in California cuisine development is Jeremiah Towers. He wrote ‘California Dish’ a book describing various factors leading to the establishment of Chez Panisse and the trend of cooking, which sprang up there. Towers moved to San Francisco to open Stars restaurant from Chez Panisse. In the 1990s, Towers sold his restaurant shares and devoted the rest of his time to teaching and writing.

Renowned restaurants, which serve California cuisine, include Tokyo, Spago in Chicago, Las Vegas and Hawaii. The informal offshoots of Spago including Wolfgang Puck and Wolfgang Puck Express Cafes are allover throughout the United States.

Former Chez Panisse chef, Mark Miller opened Coyote Cafin Santa Fe NM. Miller applied the emphasis on fresh local ingredients at Coyote. This became California cuisine hallmark, and Miller applied it to create original southwest cuisine. In 2008, Miller sold the restaurant although the present co-owners continued the founder’s tradition.

California cuisine continues to permeate the society as the chefs have incorporated much of healthy foods in the ingredients (CUISINE, 2011). Many people have come to like California cuisine because of its nutritious and healthy value. Again, most people have learnt the importance of vegetarianism a characteristic common to California cuisine dishes.

 

 

References

CUISINE. (2011). Restaurant, Food & Beverage Market Research Handbook, 199-205.

Gordon, B. M. (1986). SHIFTING TASTES AND TERMS: THE RISE OF CALIFORNIA CUISINE. Revue Francaise D’etudes Americaines, 11(27/28), 109-126.

Linnekin, B. J. (2010). The ‘California Effect’ & the Future of American Food: How California’s Growing Crackdown on Food & Agriculture Harms the State & the Nation. Chapman Law Review, 13357.

Webb, R. (2008). Western style. Inspired by California cuisine, Thanksgiving takes on a thoroughly modern attitude. Diabetes Forecast, 61(11), 66-72.

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