Question: What country is the new culinary hot spot?
Wylie Dufresne: I would certainly say that Scandinavia is enjoying a well-deserved moment. There are many chefs in Scandinavia right now that are doing some very, very interesting things. Again, they’re introducing us, the world, the culinary world, to a whole new group of ingredients that we're unfamiliar with. They’re exposing us to an approach, to a style of cooking that I think is... has been around for a long time, but we’re seeing it come back into vogue. I think they’re doing some really good people, like René Redzepi, and Ulla Ruden, and Matthias Dahlgren and I mean the list goes on and on and on. There’s a tremendous number of people in Scandinavia that are doing fantastic, fantastic stuff over there.
And it’s good technique mixed with good ingredients mixed with a curiosity that’s yielding some delicious, fantastic food and I think that it’s really an exciting moment for that part of the world, and I think that that’s part of the natural sort of evolution of things. We get excited about one place and then we get excited about another place.
I also think Japan... I find Japan endlessly fascinating. Part of that is because they have been so, so good at keeping us out and not letting us in, but now they’ve really... there’s a push right now to get Japanese food and culture, certainly here in America, in Europe, but even in New York, there’s a lot of people that are saying, Japanese people that are saying, look at what we are doing. And it’s fascinating and it’s really interesting. I find the Japanese approach to cooking to be endlessly interesting. You know, we certainly haven’t heard the last of Spain and I don’t thing anyone should ever forget about France because France still has a pretty good track record.
Recorded August 6, 2010
Interviewed by Max Miller