It’s a long way from Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck outside London, to Thomas Keller’s French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., at least in miles, even via plane. But it’s not far at all if you travel conceptually, via lines of food world trends and influence, or at least that’s so if you buy the relationships as mapped out in an interactive diagram called Greater Food Culture.
Created by HartmanSalt, which consults in the food industry, it’s a nifty diagram of ideas, trends, philosophies, chefs and other food world innovators, etc., and how they relate, one to another. It’s laid out like a subway map (a quick look and you might mistake it for our L system, especially with its corresponding colors of red, brown, yellow, blue, pink), with lines crisscrossing where categories intersect. The Sustainability line crosses the Local, Global joins with Education, etc. In this multi-track system, then, Blumenthal is on the Modern line, just one stop from Keller. A stop beyond that, Grant Achatz of Alinea.
Scrolling over a stop activates a pop-up explaining that person’s place and influence. Example: Mario Batali “revolutionized Italian cuisine in America by combining traditional Italian principles with intelligent culinary adventure.” … Hmmm.
It’s just that kind of bold, debatable statement, plus the seemingly odd juxtapositions (Rachael Ray is one stop from Julia Child?), that make this site total food world geekery: Fuel for arguments (the Ray-Child point is vigorously batted about in the Comments) and acidic attacks.
Check it out, and see why Alton Brown of Good Eats is just one stop and a very sharp turn away from Charlie Trotter.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun