I don't know about you, but I can taste creativity. And Phillip Foss's food is bursting with it. I've been wanting to eat at El Ideas for ages, and finally got the chance a few weeks ago. I'm in love with what Phillip has created : a michelin star restaurant, in a non-neighborhood, serving impeccable food, in a super chill atmosphere, with nineties rock playing in the background. What could be better than that ? Oh, and he made it gluten-free for me ;)
Phillip's Creative Process :
First, think about the most creative thing you have made or are most proud of. Choosing a favorite creation is like choosing a favorite child, but since this one was inspired by my children, it would have to go to our French fries and Frosty course. It involves the pedestrian ingredients of potatoes, leeks, and cream. A crispy potato tuile is filed with potato ice cream scented with vanilla which sits on a bed of melted leeks and is surrounded by a hot potato-leek soup. It has texture, temperature contrast, and most importantly, brings a sense of nostalgia to the many diners who grew up enjoying the treat as children.
When you create something, do you follow a linear path? Non linear ? is it fluid and organic or planned out ? chaotic or organized ? A little bit of each of these. There are times that I have a plan, and times where it is pure improvisation. Either way, for myself it is important to remain fluid during the process to reach the best result. Rarely is there not some variance to where I started out.
How does time affect your process ? Is your process fast or slow ? I would say the process is deliberate. Until I have a solid sense of where I want something to end up, I resist the temptation of rushing. That said, when I am ready to add something to the menu, there is a sense of urgency to get it right before the guests show up.
Do you remember how you made things when you were young ? Has your method of creating changed or evolved over time ? I didn't cook anything other than macaroni and cheese from the box when I was a kid. And when I did, I even measured out the water that I put into the pot.
Where or when do you feel most creative ? Creativity can hit at any time at all, one just has to be there to receive it when it does.
Where does the initial seed come from ? I believe it comes mostly from being a fluid person and an appreciation for all forms of artistry.
You can find out more about Phillip and his restaurant, El Ideas here