Globetrotting Gastronomic World Tour @ Next Restaurant
For those of you who have been following Blonde Voyage Nashville, you know that I have season tickets to Next Restaurant in Chicago, Illinois. It's probably the one thing that I get asked about the most as people have a difficult time ascertaining the whole "season tickets to a restaurant" concept. To be quite honest, it's been an experience for which I am incredibly grateful. Next Restaurant has allowed me to experience the molecular gastronomy of Ferran Adria at el Bulli, transported me back to Ancient Rome, highlighted snacks from my Childhood lunchbox and pushed my gastronomic boundaries with the Hunt. Each menu adaptation expanded my horizons and delighted my taste buds leaving me with the question of "What's next?"
Quite thought provoking, isn't it? Contemplating this question, I became quite conflicted as the time had come to renew my season tickets. Chicago has my heart and there is nothing I love more than stepping on a plane knowing that I am headed to a meal of a lifetime. But after much deliberation, I decided to it was time to see "what was next" and traverse the globe in pursuit of epicurean adventures and challenges. It is with bittersweet feelings that I share with you my final experience as a Next season ticket holder.
In 2016, when Next Restaurant announced its menu line up for the upcoming year, I was eager for one, in particular, The World's 50 Best Restaurants. 2017 marks the 15th anniversary of The World's 50 Best Restaurant list, which acts as a "barometer for global gastronomic trends." For those gourmands who are both ambitious and a bit overzealous, this list serves as a guide for those hoping to get their epicurean passports stamped by some of the best chefs in the world. Admittedly, I have used this list as a dining guide when planning my upcoming excursions, but it can be quite challenging to tackle multiple restaurants within one travel itinerary.
A departure from their classic menus, Next showcases 18 dishes from different restaurants across the globe, all of whom have placed on the list in the last 15 years. I was quite curious when I saw that Chef Jenner Tomaska was highlighting a course from Next, especially since they haven't been formally recognized on the list. Inquiring minds want to know, right? When I posed this question to the staff, they had a bit of a laugh (clearly, I wasn't the first person to notice this). While it was unlikely that they would be featured on this list due to fluid nature of their menus, it was clear that the chefs and the organization had faith in Chef Jenner, therefore, he felt as if Next should have representation.
Each meal at Next is introduced with a brief narrative setting the stage for the evening's events. For this meal, William Drew, Group Editor for the World's 50 Best Restaurants, welcomed diners providing a bit of information on the history of World's 50 Best list and shared the following thought: "Ultimately, few diners are fortunate enough to travel the globe eating in all the incredible restaurants on The World's 50 Best list. At least those of you who have come to Next this season can take a globetrotting gastronomic world tour over the next several hours instead."
How magical, experiencing some of the world's finest cuisine within a matter of hours. Rather than give you a critique of what satiated my palate, I thought I would share with you the eighteen magnificent courses that were highlighted during this meal. Did I have a favorite? Hell yeah, I did but there were one or two that weren't for me. Fasten your seat belts and prepare to have your epicurean passport stamped!
If you have dined at any of these restaurants or have had the chance to enjoy this menu, I'd love to hear what your favorite dish was! Drop me a note or comment below!
Until Next Time!
Quique Dacosta- Alicante, Spain
Rose, Apple, Pomegranate
Mugaritz, San Sebastián, Spain
An Oyster's Frozen Kiss
Oyster, Sorrel Flower
Eleven Madison Park- New York, USA
Caviar, Asparagus, Ham
Central- Lima, Peru
Sea Urchin, Jicama, Razor Clam
The Clove Club- London, England
Truffle, Clementine, Hazelnut
Mirazur- Menton, France
Bagna Cauda, Artichoke, Squid Ink
Noma- Copenhagen, Denmark
Beef Garum, Hen's Egg Yolk, Rose Miso
Estela- New York, USA
Blue Hill at Stone Barns- Pocantico Hills, USA
Badger Flame Beet
Osteria Francescana- Modena, Italy
Riso Cacio e Pepe
Restaurant Tim Raue- Berlin, Germany
Wasabi, Mango, Thai Vinaigrette
De Librije- Zwolle, Netherlands
Aubergine, Fermented Peppers
Attica- Melbourne, Australia
All Parts of the Pumpkin
The Skin, The Seeds, The Flesh
Next- Chicago, USA
Parsnip, Almond, Lavender
Restaurant André- Singapore
Foie Gras, Black Truffle, Chives
Relae- Copenhagen, Denmark
Alinea- Chicago, USA
Milk Chocolate, Blueberry, Yogurt