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Menu’s at Alinea are between 17-19 courses that run from mind blowing surprises of sharp and vivid combinations to more subtle, elegant offerings. What often stands out in the dishes are those bites when, instead of picking at a single item on the plate, one combines all for a wonderful bite of balance. Tasting exactly how, combined, all the ingredients on the plate play together.
One dish in which this was exhibited well at Alinea is Lamb86: a dish where Achatz and his executive chef at the time, Mike Bagale, created a serving of lamb that was paired with 86 individual ingredients, each one combining in a different ways with the sweet, fatty hit of lamb.
To create dishes that combine ingredients in such a smart and harmonious way, Achatz and the team at Alinea employ a technique called flavor bouncing, a process that allows them to create interesting, original and, most importantly, delicious flavor pairings.
In the video below, filmed by Business Insider, Achatz explains this process, how he thinks of tasting menus and how him and his team approach the creation of new dishes.
It’s also worth watching this older video where Achatz explains the process further.
And here’s that Lamb 86 dish.