Tonight I made something that failed… Actually, I didn’t just make one thing that failed, I made three things that failed. Mozzarella meringue: didn’t taste like mozzarella. Tomato Espuma: Too loose, didn’t stand up (literally). Bone Marrow Ravioli: WAY too rich- even for me!
Thankfully I was my only audience for this particular failure night… There was one success: the meyer lemon pasta came out awesome. So why blog about this minor disaster?
Because it’s important that we learn from our mistakes. In fact, we should learn more from our failures than our successes. I can pretty much make fresh pasta with my eyes closed, one hand behind my back… well that might be a challange, but I can definately make ravioli from scratch after a late night of drinking. And what did I learn from my perfect meyer lemon pasta tonight: mix in some lemon zest into your pasta dough and it will taste lemony… AKA not much. What did I learn from the other failures, let’s take a look:
Mozzarella Meringue- Don’t whip your egg whites after you fold in the flavor base (deflates the mix), if its too sweet before you bake it, it’ll be too sweet after (should have known that one), Powdered egg whites are not as cool as they seem, low and slow is the key to crispy mirengues, dispite what other recipes say… the list goes on.
Tomato Espuma- 1% Gelatin is too little.
Bone Marrow Ravioli- too rich- keep it simple stupid.
So, tonight’s kitchen failure was actually another great learning experience. It’s learning from our mistakes that pushes our food and skill forward. Ferran Adria has an entire lab dedicated to testing new recipes. In the off season of his restaurant, El Bulli, Adria(s) and a team of chefs test new ideas undoubtedly “fail” everyday… they cataouge these failures so they can go back and find out why they failed. This is part of the process that creates the stunning plates at El Bulli.
The only bad thing about failing… now I gotta go find something to eat.