Nobu: The devotion that hypnotizes.
By: Carlos Dragonné
What do you do when you change the play? How do you get to a place of believing that you will remain the same and salts are completely different not only in what you were, but in what you thought you knew? When a place achieves that to happen, you know you have found one of the basics in life and that there will always be a link virtually unbreakable, regardless of the city, the context or the situation of fund that to happen. You know that you can always close your eyes and go back to where you changed the memory. Because that’s what this is about… memory. And the construction of the same. And, I’ll give you the welcome to this city even though I criticize and tell me that I always do, but is that courtesy is an intrinsic part of the romanticism of being a traveler with no control and a thrill-seeker’s taste. It is not my fault that this city always has something that makes me reconnect with her with the surprise of a first time. Welcome back to Las Vegas. Welcome to Nobu.
In the framework of Vegas Uncork’d I had the luck of being one of the guests at a celebration to Sushi master Nobu Matsuhisa at Caesars Palace, in what is the Nobu Hotel, an experience of pleasure and luxury that you should indulge in, at least, a night in the life. The philosophy of the peace, in the correct sense, the tribute to the traditions and the respect to the foundation of who we are as people is something that has fed chef Nobu during his entire career, imposing as few. This place in Caesars is a demonstration more of this and that, like everything in life, there are moments that should not be accelerated, must not be pursued with haste, but let it happen as it is supposed that they are intended.
This is my fifth Vegas Uncork’d and understand the events as they should be in your most: fast, impact, dynamic and ready to move to that follows. This was not so… this was a tribute to the wisdom japanese behind the sushi and the ingredients that are so special you are, fish that had never seen, cooking techniques that seem ancient just adapted to the possibilities of today.
Not tell them plate to plate, because it would be somewhat absurd. Lived passes through the soul, through the heart. The flavors are converted to spaces of the mind are changed, and transcend. To understand what was happening after hearing the own Matsuhisa is a comforting feeling, because when one is engaged in search in the corners the flavors of every culture that we know and that we are on the journey, the surprise tends to be somewhat scarce.
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We are accustomed to chefs that continue to fall in the cheating game, of wanting to reinvent cuisines that have not finished or even to discover or, even worse, we become the palates repetitive with dishes that only change of name and décor, while they shout to the four winds, a reinvention that do not know. We are, therefore, in a industry of bare kings and courts that refuse to face the wrath of the emperor tacky.
And it is there that appear chefs who are kings, emperors, majestic, and who does not need a crown that validate constantly. There is where the great geniuses of the kitchen to make us understand something so simple that seems to make fun of our own unconsciousness. There is where the Ferran Adria, Fergus Henderson, Joël Robuchon, Alain Ducasse and many others. There, in that pantheon of greatness is where Nobu Matsuhisa tells us something about the sushi: it’s all in the ingredient and the devotion that you have. No… it is not respect. Is devotion. That devotion must be translated into the dishes, on the table, in something as simple as Nigiri, but as complex as thousands of years of tradition to get, exactly, a Nigiri.
Forget the sushi that you know. Forget the japanese cuisine raw that they are accustomed to when it comes to the mind of the japanese gastronomy. What we are doing wrong. “It is almost a fact that, from how to take the chopsticks, they are doing it the wrong way” says Nobu and yes… everyone in the restaurant down the look, smiling nervously when she shows us that, indeed, many years of custom and practice -in my case, second, because it took a long time to master them and now I discover that I grabbed the wrong way – are wrong.
The philosophy of peace. This is how I like to define at Nobu in the kitchen, walk actively, but with a relaxed pace between your helpers to check that everything is coming out perfectly. One after another you get more than 15 varieties of fish that I had never seen or, even worse, products that I knew and have come to get into the files of the memory of taste to change everything that was there scheduled. And that is, to give you an idea, I ended up savoring a piece with a hedgehog, a product that no one had been that I ate gladly, and here, until it made me feel that I had not eaten enough.
Because, contrary to what many people may think when they talk about Omakase, this is not destriparte eating to his fill of all the options, but, at the right pace, with the brewery right, you go testing, discovering textures, smoky, flavors and aromas in what you are eating that you didn’t know you were there and that, of course, will play with your mind thinking that you’ll easily find, something that I can save you the trouble, it is not happens at any food place japanese. Because that also happens in the environment of a cook cambiándote the perspective of what you do: you put the bar too high for your day-to-day basis. And is that Omakase means protection. And there is no better way to protect something that honrándolo and doing that transcends.
Imagine walking down the street carrying a only book of poems by a local author who saved a lot of affection. Recite their verses, they will move the bowels, they enchina the skin with its metric, and imagine the balconies of Verona in each corner, tall gentlemen with a litany mesmerizing and beautiful women hidden behind curtains of silk that their mothers have been closed for, in complicity, listen as voyeristas of romance words in the incomplete character in search of only a kiss to confirm that his illusion is real.
And, soon, on that park bench where they sat down to read the book so many times, someone forgot books of Shakespeare and Rostand, of Whitman and Baudelaire -that of the moods found – and the open… hear themselves breathing agitated as they pass from leaf-homing of fall flowers malignancies, imagine not only the balconies idealized with the sterility of innocence, but now you can see the paths of rejection, the ups and downs of the romances truncated regional, the Romeos people fainting in the crypt, the Julietas looking for the hemlock non-existent… now you can see the Cyranos sitting in the garden, reciting from memory the same verses that Christian used so many years before for Roxane, and can walk happy following the dancing of the satyrs in the countryside of shakespearean. No… have not stopped loving the book that they painted the balcony and serenades her in midnight. Just opened up the narrative and found new worlds. Were beyond the kiss and the romance. Opened the door to the absolute passion that destroys, but that, too, feeds.
So, welcome. All those times I have tried sushi before, they have been able to be satisfied with a cuisine that is based on respect and discipline, are that balcony of love innocent. When they arrive at Nobu , and, after a couple of hours, go walk the halls of Caesars Palace heading to Las Vegas Boulevard, you know that something new is happening, and the colors and aromas of the food will not be the same. Know they will have to return here, at some point, to re-live what is going on here. To return to that culinary experience that opened the doors to imaginings more vivid. Why? Very simple… who would want to read only on balconies closed with curtain of silk when they discovered dimensions of passions that they can turn Verona head or hypnotize Lysander and Demetrius by the capers of Oberon?