Ferran Adria, Heston Blumenthal, and Grant Achatz have made culinary history with their inventive use of ingredients, ideas, and innovation. But all three of them were literally "blown away, dude" by the culinary creativity of Antoine's, the venerable establishment on St. Louis Street.
Ferran Adria's creation above: tired, stale, and out of date has nothing on Antoine's Baked Alaska, below.
Yesterday the three chefs were on hand to present to GM/CEO of Antoines, Rick Blount, the 2009 Creative Culinarian Award. "It is an honor to present this award to a restaurant who for over 150 years has done the impossible: turn eggs, lemon, and tarragon into an emulsification known as bernaise. How you think of such things, much less create them, I will never know!" Adria exclaimed while gesticulating wildly with his mad scientist hands.
The award recipients were not shocked at all by this award. "We at Antoine's have always been innovators: Oysters Rockefeller, Pompano Pontchartrain, Cafe Brulot. We are the definition of innovation. It's good to see the recognition we so rightfully deserve," stated Blount.
"I have tried for years to something as simple and magical as Souffle Potatoes. I even had a sex swing made to carry a hot potato into a cold soup. Yet nothing I have done comes close to the imagination springing forth from that kitchen," echoed Achatz.
In fact, Achatz, so moved by the creativity of the Old Grand Dame asked Blount if he could stagier at Antoine's in the fall. Blount politely offered Achatz a position on the line making Eggs Benedict. Achatz was beside himself with excitement. "Seriously this is so effing cool, I can't wait to blog it," replied Achatz.
But don't think Antoine's is ready to rest on its laurels. They just put in a bar. A move that has caused shockwaves throughout the restaurant world. "A bar! So people can spend money while they wait to spend money. This is freaking genius. This is the whole point of molecular gastronomy: to get chefs and restaurateurs and, ultimately, diners, to think about food and the restaurant experience in a different way. I wonder why we didn't think of a bar first?" questioned a longtime waiter from Galatoire's who prefers to remain anonymous.
Following the presentation, Antoine's hosted a banquet for a new social club in New Orleans who plans on parading down the street, throwing "beads", and giving twenty year old girls the chance to be queen for the day. The working name is Rex.