The Wizard Retools His Lab

David Bouley dreams of engineering a whole different concept of a restaurant.

The famous chef’s eponymous restaurant opened at 165 Duane Street, Tribeca in 1987.  According to Bouley, the restaurant will be going “on sabbatical” and then reopening in a smaller space (planned for Tribeca) with a mission of healthful eating.  The new space will accommodate only 20-25 seats and open five days a week.  The Bouley that New Yorkers have come to know over the past thirty years will be gone in a few months.

In recent years, Mr. Bouley has become obsessed with health issues.  Towards the end of the year, he will engage in a deep study of the relationship between health and food.  He plans to take nutrition classes at New York University and consult with doctors and experts, internationally.

The new restaurant’s mission will be to optimize health.  Tasting menus will be developed to address a variety of dietary restrictions and medical concerns.  “Food should give you calories that you burn off, not calories that you store,” said Mr. Bouley.

David Bouley plans to rejuvenate his restaurants and projects (Bouley, brushstroke, Bouley Test Kitchen and Bouley Botanical) and himself.  He is quoted as saying “Gastronomy and science, meeting together.  I want to learn how to do that better”.

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Piping Hot or Chilled, Carrot Soup with Spice

Carrots are a kitchen workhorse. They’re second only to onions as one of the most common ingredients in our savory, and occasionally sweet, recipes.  They go in our salads, stews and soups. We eat them raw with dip, roast them, or quickly sauté them for dinner.

Spiced Carrot Soup with Lime is a recipe that moves away from the traditional, one-dimensional, sweet, thick carrot soup.  Using a technique known as tarka in Indian cuisine, cumin and mustard seeds are sizzled in coconut oil, adding extra flavor.  Ingredients needed for this creation include coconut oil, medium onions, chopped ginger, minced garlic, turmeric, coriander, cayenne, salt, young carrots, daikon radish, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, serrano pepper, cilantro leaves and lime wedges.

This soup may be served hot from the pot for dinner, or it may be served chilled during the day.  It is best with young, long and slender carrots, which are considered fresher and tastier than the carrots from jumbo bags.

Carrots are a vegetable with many health benefits, including the improvement of vision.  Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver.  Vitamin A is transformed in the retina, to rhodopsin, a purple pigment necessary for night vision.  Beta-carotene has also been shown to protect against macular degeneration and senile cataracts.  Carrots also help prevent cancer, slow down aging, promote healthier skin, and help prevent infection.

Now is a good time of year to enjoy just-harvested new-crop carrots.  So let’s get cooking!

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