The Whole is Greater then the Sum of it’s Parts

Read that again.  The whole is greater then the sum of it’s parts.  What does this mean to you? 

For me, it means creating a combination of flavors/textures/aromas, that when put together in the right combination, yield a product that is extraordinary.  You may have 1+1+1 = 3 most of the time which is normal, but when that sum equals 4 or more, then you really have something.  For me, it’s magical.  This has happened few times for me in my career.  I can count them on one hand.  I like to focus on making really good, tasty, solid food that people can relate to.  My sum is mostly 3’s.  I prefer to use local ingredients (preferably coming from someone in the business I know and can relate to) and let these ingredients speak for themselves.  However, if you take something as common as ketchup (yes ketchup) and think of all it’s flavor components, you begin to realize that this pedestrian ingredient is actually a distillation of several different flavor compounds brought together in exacting proportions to create a taste sensation that it truly greater then the sum of it’s parts.    Back in the early 90’s, chefs were creating ketchups out of everything.  All you needed was a sweet element (perhaps tropical fruit) with a sour ingredient (perhaps cane vinegar or a very tart citrus juice) and pair that with some garlic, onion, cinnamon and clove and there you have Chef Bill’s Tropical Mango Ketchup.  The ketchup tasted familiar (with the same flavor profile as Heinz) but had a strong uniqueness about it.  It would hit all the flavor preceptors on the tongue and wake up the palate.  Sweet-Savory-Spicy. 

Ketchup, simply put, is an ingredient that truly is greater then the sum of it’s parts.

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