Mulvaney Gets Inspired

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Chef Patrick Mulvaney is just back from Chicago, where he was attending the National Restaurant Association’s annual food show. While there, he and his wife, Bobbin, ate at the famed Alinea, whose award-winning chef/owner, Grant Achatz, is renowned for his take on molecular gastronomy. They had a 25-course meal, full of all sorts of “weird stuff,” according to Mulvaney: sous-vide steak served with freeze-dried “A1 Sauce” alongside a vase that spewed rosemary-flavored smoke over the table; thin, brittle sheets of dried strawberry purée that exploded in their mouths; caviar served with blini-flavored foam, lemon-egg gelée and a dollop of crème fraîche ice cream. “I thought it was great,” said Mulvaney. Did he come away with any ideas for his restaurant, Mulvaney’s Building & Loan? “Yeah, absolutely,” he said. “There were at least 25 ideas I’ll steal. You’ll see them on my menu over the course of the next year.”