Answers to CBS News Segment on Chef Grant Achatz, owner of the Alinea Restaurant:
- He’s a chef.
- He makes experimental and artistic food creations.
- He opened his restaurant in 2005 in Chicago.
- He compares his restaurant to an art gallery.
- Flavors and textures.
- A crispy texture.
- Liquid nitrogen
- It was just named the 6th best restaurant in the world.
- He grew up in a blue-collar Michigan town. “A far cry” means that his restaurant is worlds apart from his luxurious restaurant.
- Because his life has been full of unique experiences and ups and downs.
- He was diagnosed with stage 4 tongue cancer.
- He had one chance for survival which involved removing his tongue.
- A clinical trial, an experimental drug, and 6 months of radiation.
- He lost all sense of taste. He couldn’t taste anything for a year and a half.
- A lot of his young chefs left the restaurant “jumping ship”.
- He had to work while being sick.
- He’s 2 years into remission. His new restaurant is called “Next” and he serves old and new cuisine together in an 8 course meal.
- Every three months.
- You have to reserve months in advance and it costs $110.
- It’s not about being the best. It’s about contributing the most and that life is something to be savored.
March 14, Tsunami surge in California causes $50 million in damage:
Some comments from Crescent City:
It’s really comin’ in now. Oh Jees! Oh no…! No that’s done. That one is done! Yeah…it’s really coming in! God look at this. This one is really…look at that…Wow! I think the first people on the sea…I mean on the boats…(incomprehensible)…Get over here….oh yeah that came in really fast. Yeah…all of a sudden. I hope that boat rights itself…it just dies out…just that quick…All this water has to pull out…
“It’s really comin’ in now. Oh Jees! Oh no…! No that’s done. That one is done! Yeah…it’s really coming in! God look at this. This one is really…look at that…Wow! I think the first people on the sea…I mean on the boats…(incomprehensible)…Get over here….oh yeah that came in really fast. Yeah…all of a sudden. I hope that boat rights itself…it just dies out…just that quick…All this water has to pull out…”
2nd Video: ”
Run! Run!…I can’t even see it. Oh the surge is coming back in. Oh there it is!…Yes…I can’t believe it. I could be down there running away from that wave right now. It’s coming in faster…a lot faster. Wait I’ll go get it. Yeah…a lot faster. Run sea run! Those rocks are completely covered and they’re taller than I am. That’s amazing. Those 2 rocks…right…right there. Rocks are right there. That’s insane! Huh! It’s going way up there. Holy crap…it’s still coming in…..Oh look at that one!…They’re still covered! I think it’s about done right now. Oh no…not over there!…Yeah…I got it on video I just didn’t see it. You can’t really see anything that way…it’s too bright. You can get more right in here. Ah…look’s like it’s coming up.”
on Californians’ minds: à l’esprit des Californiens
surge: brusque montée
To take hold of someone: être pris par la stupeur
to make out what someone says: distinguer; comprendre
drowned out by: noyé par
pounding surf : battements des vagues
drills: exercices d’entrainement
I. Jacques Chirac Interview: He should have said:
1. “I’d like to apologize to your audience for my English”
2. “I haven’t practiced for a long time now.”
3. “When you’re a young man, French, you want to see what is happening elsewhere…for example in the United States.”
4. “…for a long time.”
5. “I knew what the job was.”
6. “I saw him a few weeks ago.”
7. “…before completing the program.”
8. “…a 2 day meeting…”
9. “I do not know what the situation will be (in the future).”
10. “We made a huge effort.”
11. “…no damage at all to the environment.”
II. Bourbon Whiskey – distilling and history in USA
Answers to Part 1:
- The US congress approved legislation that sobered up the nation. They passed the Volstead act (named after the head of the Judiciary Committee, Andrew Volstead) which banned the sale, manufacture, or transportation of intoxicating liquors.
- A group of Americans considered alcohol the “scourge of mankind”. The Temperance movement actually started after the War of Independence when a group of people noticed that their fellow Americans were spending way too much time “bellied up to the bar” and not enough time building the country.
- The large brewing companies faced devastation and ruin. Another type of distiller moved in to fill the void: the moonshiner. These moonshiners had always existed because people wanted to avoid excise taxes. When Prohibition took place, the moonshiners’ skills became very popular and their private enterprises grew in popularity.
- It cost the American government an estimated $500 million a year in lost excise taxes.
- Bourbon whiskey, an American institution, survived this period
- The recipe for the “Manhattan”, a classic American cocktail which is considered a stirred drink: a dash of Angostura bitters, 1 part Italian vermouth, 2 parts Bourbon (or American rye whiskey), Maraschino cherry for garnish. Cheers! Here’s to your health!
- It became with the whiskey rebellion (similar to the American tea party movement) when in 1792 the American government decided to levy a tax against all distilled spirits which provoked the farmer distillers to rebel. The uprising was crushed but because of this many distillers moved to the American frontier away from governmental control into present-day Kentucky. It was in Bourbon County, Kentucky that Bourbon whiskey was born.
- Corn is the primary grain in Bourbon whiskey.
- Water is the crucial ingredient in Bourbon whiskey. This water can be found in the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky and it tails down a little bit into central Tennessee. The water contains limestone making it a very hard water (vs. soft water) necessary for good whiskey.
- Iron ruins the taste of whiskey.
Answers to Part 2:
- Dozens of bourbon distilleries were destroyed by Prohibition. The Jim Beam distillery in Clairemont county Kentucky was resurrected and carries on a 6 generation tradition.
- It was actually Jacob Beam, John Beam’s great-grandfather, who started the Jim Beam distillery in 1795 30 miles from the actual distillery in a little place called Hardin Creek.
- The present day Jim Beam Distillery has the capacity to produce up to 10 million gallons of whiskey in a single year.
- They first do a grain check where each batch is checked for odor quality, excessive grain cracking, and moisture control.
- Winter wheat is preferred to rye. It gives their whiskey its own smooth taste.
- The sour mash process is considered a crucial step in the making of bourbon. A small portion of the sour leftover mash from a previous batch is taken from the still and added to the new incoming mash. It blends continuity to the whiskey from batch to batch. It uses the same flavors from earlier distillations. It also helps control the Ph from the mash which is a critical thing.
- It’s a lot like Kentucky bourbon but it requires one extra step. Once it comes out of the still, they pour it into a tub with charcoal and let it filter through all the way to the bottom. It takes a long time but makes for a smoother whiskey in theory.
- They use sugar maple.
- Both whiskeys end up in the same place: a charred American white oak barrel. They can hold up to 52 gallons. They are purchased from a cooperage.
- The changes in the temperature through the day will force the whiskey in and out of the walls of the barrel. The barrel, which is a living breathing thing, allows contact with the air. In the summer the porous walls expand allowing the barrel to breath out and during the winter it contracts and breaths in ultimately holding the flavors in.
- There are some 160 different wood chemicals that get dissolved. There are 6 which taste and smell like vanilla. There are a number of wood sugars, caramel, tannins, and smoke and others which get dissolved when it gets hot.
- Some warehouses can contain up to 20,000 barrels and reach a height of 9 storeys. The whiskey will pick up more flavors on the higher floors than on the lower floors.
- The whiskey has to age at least 2 years. Most distillers co-mingle the barrels to give a consistent product.
- The Makers Mark uses barrel rotation to avoid having some barrels age differently.
- They are filtered before bottling.
- Scotch whiskey is the world’s top selling whiskey. The Scots say it is so good that “angels demand their own share.”