Conant says he approaches food from the heart.
Topic: The Creative Process
Scott Conant: I think it’s different every time, but, you know, maybe it’ll be an ingredient that I wanna work with, and I’ll- I’ll try to envision the inherent flavors that go along with it, what’s reminiscent of a flavor. If I have a piece of goat’s cheese, for example, and- and I were to think about the evolution of that product and think about if, you know goat’s cheese in a- you know, obviously a- a goat eats grass, or should anyway, I guess-- it doesn’t always happen these days-- but it should, and I’ll try to think of something grassy, say, that goes along with these-- if there’s a grassy element to the cheese, if, you know, maybe a green tomato has another grassy element, and let’s see if I can kind of manipulate the- the tomato but still maintaining its integrity with the cheese, and maybe add a mostarda to it or something like that, or maybe a little mustard oil with the- with the- with the cheese. So you have the goat’s cheese, which is the very acrid flavor as well as the- the green tomato and has that grassiness as well as long- and also a layer and underlining of that little mustard oil. You- you see how that all those things kind of interact, and there’s like a little dance, and everything’s playing on each other, and all the play- all the- all the flavors are singular, but together they’re perfectly harmonious at the same time. That’s the way I’ll try to go about-- but it’s really not that cere- cerebral at all. I mean, I’m not an intellectual; it’s just- like it’s from the heart, and that’s what I- that’s the way I think about it.
Recorded on: 03/24/08