A Moment’s Rumination on Dr. Goldfarb…
(or how I learned to stop questioning my move and love the Balinese)
As Jori was doing headstands in the corner of the rattan clad loft of the backpacker bar in Ubud, Bali, I was reassuringly slugging back Arak Mudu and reassuring Will, for the 3rd time, that beating cancer then moving your family to the farthest place from the town in which said cancer festered to build a career, regain international notoriety and have a new restaurant on the way was, as I think I said, “pretty fucking hot”.
“Yeah,” he replied, “I guess so. I mean…I’d fuck me.”
Jori, uprighted, rejoined the conversation and I ordered another round of Arak as they entered into the specifics of curing and steeping tobacco leaves.
Will often questions his moves, or, at least, when we chat we look for reinforcement from one another…the trusted nod –the go ahead—willing the path less travelled.
I know that lingering in the back of his mind he knows, and he’s right, that his prodigious talent (easy) could carry a restaurant in any city anywhere in the world…and we don’t always want our escapism to read as escapism. I get it…and tell him so.
But who gives a fuck. If you’re cooking well and happy then to whom, I ask, must you apologize.
The Balinese pantry is reason enough to decamp from the grey tones of New York and build a life elsewhere.
Creativity seems to be flowing easily for Goldfarb…cooking as he is in an incredibly pure sense.
A panna cotta of sorts, no sugar, just coconut milk and aloe vera, gently cooked sets: a delicately trembling cream
From the guy who brought us WillPowder to an almost outright rejection of modified starches and hydrocolloid abuse.
The toys are there, but the simplicity in which they’re applied is where his next phase is evident….
A Pomelo “jam”:
Juiced pomelo, zest and pulp spun in the homogenizer then slowly cooked in the vacuum chamber of the rotary evaporator to the deglaze the fragile pomelo segments with the concentrated water that is pulled off in the distilling process.
As he says, “it’s different, not a deep, rich jam, bright, but a jam nonetheless”
It’s thoughtful and involved.
A man who loves process, dare I say, perhaps more than the result.