America has long been described as a melting pot, and this is more true in its food than anywhere else. The long history of immigration and cultural exchange has led to a number of rich traditions of cooking from Cajun and Barbecue to Tex-Mex and Italian American. Each wave of immigrants having to adapt their traditions to a new climate and new ingredients has led to a great diversity of flavours and fusions. American cuisine is far more than the stereotypes of fast food would lead you to believe.
The story of Gustav Brunn is emblematic of both the ideals of the United States and the spirit of it’s cuisine. A German-Jewish spice merchant who was imprisoned in Buchenwald concentration camp before he managed to escape with his family to the US, eventually settling in Baltimore. It was here that he developed one of the states’ favourite spice blends, Old Bay, an enigmatic blend of herbs and spices used mainly to season the abundant and high quality seafood of the North-Eastern US.
Today America is home to some of the best and most innovative restaurants and chefs in the world. Chefs like Dan Barber are at the forefront of sustainability and agricultural innovation while the new wave of regional chefs such as Isaac Toups are keeping the soul of their heritage while pushing the boundaries of what people think about when it comes to American cooking.
Garlic, Mustard, Cinnamon, “The Holy Trinity” (Celery, onion, bell peppers).
Dan Barber- proprietor of Blue Hill in Manhattan and arguably one of the best chefs working today Dan Barber is a revolutionary not just in flavour but in how we approach food as a whole, from soil and seed all the way to the kitchen. Working with Michael Mazourek he founded the Row 7 Seed company, a project designed to increase agricultural diversity and help change the way the average person eats and approaches vegetables.
Isaac Toups- A protegee of the American celebrity chef icon Emeril Lagasse, Isaac Toups is carrying the torch of Cajun cuisine into the future. At his restaurant Toups’ Meatery he draws on his family’s deep understanding of the local land and ingredients bringing over 300 years of history and experience living the Cajun lifestyle to his cooking.
Myron Mixon- “The Winningest Man in Barbecue” is the well earned nickname of Myron Mixon, having won thousands of barbecue competitions including 5 Grand Championships at the Memphis in May World Championship. A truly unmatched pitmaster, he has raised the bar across the board for US barbecue.