When celebrity chef Grant Achatz of Chicago's Alinea wants to design a new dish, he starts with a paper and pencil.
When celebrity chef Grant Achatz of Chicago's Alinea wants to design a new dish, he starts with a paper and pencil. The image above is part of a Saveur-curated slideshow comparing chefs' brainstorming sketches with the final dishes, and shows Achatz's Halibut with Black Pepper, Black Licorice, and Lemon. In the caption, Achatz adds this explanation of the thinking that went into the dish:
We experiment a great deal with color and how it affects the dining experience. With this course, we either chose white ingredients like halibut, parsnip, and almond, or we deliberately manipulated dark or black ingredients—like black pepper, licorice, and coffee—to make them white. The monochromatic presentation combined with the various manipulations makes the ingredients almost completely unidentifiable.
Visit Saveur's gallery to see more examples of the way chefs explore their ideas on paper and then translate them into reality.