Old Flavors are New Again

There’s nothing new about the flavors I’m presenting at Amuse. In fact, they’re quite old, most even ancient.  I’m not looking to be overly innovative with most of what I’m creating as of late, but I am seeking to use the spice of Northern Africa, Spain, and the Eastern Mediterranean in to introduce new flavors to Saratoga Springs.

I don’t feel the need to recreate traditional, and dishes of specific countries or cultures, but instead use the spice blends in applications that I as a chef deem culinarily fun and of course, delicious.  My “non-traditional bouillabaisse” is a great example. While the dish and many like it are classics in the Mediterranean region, this specific preparation is not.  I try to blend traditional ideas from one culture but use a flavor profile from another in the area.  I could not necessarily label anything on the menu as specifically Turkish, Moroccan, Spanish, or Syrian.  I can however call my cooking inspired by all those cuisines and others that have such a long food history.

So, if you’re looking for recipes to be exact to any country of origin, forget it, I’m gonna mix them up and see what shakes out. My way

I will tell you this:  It’s going to taste good, It’s going to challenge your taste buds, and it’s going to be new it these here parts.

I have so far excluded Italy, and mostly because I’ve done it, and so has everyone else.  I want something new and you should as well.

I am going to start making some hand-made pasta soon and see if we can do something interesting with it for a change.

Some cumin and a dollop of yogurt does not make it Middle Eastern.  The cooking in that part of the world may seem simple and developed from poverty, but it’s a very culinarily complex region with such a long history, multitudes of religions, cultures, and ethnic groups.  I’m doing my best to understand it and recreate it in my own way.  It’s a good thing I have no rules.

Our industry only moves forward with flexibility, innovation, and culinary license. Oh, and limited rules.

Well, Amuse is open and I’m having a great time.  We’ve got a long way to go before we become everything we’ve set out to be, but the start is very encouraging and I’m confident Amuse will shape up to realizing its potential in the coming weeks and months.

In the past four weeks I’ve lost 28 lbs.  I have drastically reduced alcohol and almost eliminated junk food. I’m also ending meals at the point when I’m comfortably full, no further.  I feel better than I have in a long time.

At this juncture in my restaurant career, I find far more pleasure in enjoying who came in vs. how many came in. Sure, I could count covers, but at this point I’d rather relish in the fact that I’m drawing people who are in to enjoy the food and flavors rather than just be fed.

The servers at Amuse are top-notch, I’m lucky to have them.

Alan has made significant strides.

I’m going to serve goat soon, perhaps for New Year’s Eve.


My last dishwasher found waking up for a 5:00 shift difficult.  Now he can sleep in.

Jenn and I purchased a new stove, dishwasher, and refrigerator from Lowe’s.  On the day the appliances were to be delivered we were informed that the fridge that was previously seen in the warehouse was nowhere to be seen.  The sales department and the shipping department gave us a bullshit story about their inventory to explain their unintentional error. We suspected that our fridge had been desired by another party and was sold to them.  The delivery guys fully supported our theory and advised us to seek more than the 10% discount offered.

My son came home from a birthday party on Sunday with a punch balloon. As much as it would upset him, I somewhat hope each day that it pops.

I’m almost done with the New Year’s Eve menu which I’ll post on amuseonbroadway.com on Sunday.  It will be fun, full of small tapas and mezze, and the prices won’t be inflated for the holiday.

There will be 7 seafood dishes on the menu for December 20th and 21st with a special price for those that may want to enjoy the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes in a series of 5 courses.  They will also be available individually.

A Catholic tradition done with flavors that are typically enjoyed in Muslim countries?  Who says food can’t bring the world together.

See you at Amuse.

2 thoughts on “Old Flavors are New Again

  1. My husband and I dined at Amuse last Saturday and found everything we ordered to be delicious. The flavors were wonderful. My leftovers were a real treat the next morning. Unlike so many dishes one brings home, this was a delight! Wish I lived closer, I’d be a regular.


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