Monthly Archives: September 2011


Going through the flavor profile of rhubarb, I came across avocado as being one of the best combinations. As always we then start to look who already made this combination before. If you Google it, this website is one of the hits: Italian notes (+recipe)
This is what the website tells about this pairing: “Any talk of a marriage between rhubarb and avocado will arouse nose-wrinkling suspicion, but come to think of it, the combination is not that far-fetched. Avocado goes well with lemon, grapefruits and oranges, rhubarbs can be very sweet and very sour, and anything that strikes a good bittersweet fat-and-salty balance seems attractive in theory. In this case reality goes to match. The actual salad is surprisingly refreshing and a great accompaniment to red meat, strong cheese and hot and spicy salumi.

Rhubarb as combines with chocolate in desserts or in classical combinations with fish like Mackerel by Nigel Slater

or by Gordon Ramsay or in this combination of Hubert Keller: Sea Bass with Rhubarb coulis


In Top Chef just desserts we saw some challenges passing by where Foodpairing would be an incredible help to support the participants. Last year I met Johnny Iuzzini (one of the judges) during my presentation at Starchefs (his Desserts Fourplay is a must have) and I was pleased he got interested by our Foodpairing.
As an example we took a parsnip-banana-hazelnut dessert from episode 6 of Top Chef.

Here are some of the possible pairings with hazelnut (clustered in categories, the closer to the center the better the match);

Or this coffee, strawberry, rum, pea combination. It should work, but this combination is quite challenging to find the right balance in taste. If you use young, fresh sweet peas it should work.

 Here the visualisation of this pairing;

There was even a chocolate pairing with French fries, reminds me of the first edition of our  The Flemish Primitives in 1999 where we gave people French Fries with mayonnaise (based on chocolate), next to all sorts of challenging items like glowing lollypops (picture by Khymos) or at the last edition ants by Alex Atala tasting like ginger, lemongrass (which was later also presented at Madfoodcamp)


Last December, I had to do an talk with Harold McGee on his new book keys to good cooking, and going through the results on different types of mango, it came up my mind again that Harold McGee described an Alphonso mango as one of his most preferred foods.
Well, what to combine with Mango?

 You can translate this tree into a Mango, mackerel, juniper, celery combination like Alinea restaurant (source picture)

Or give a little twist to a classic combination; Mango, lobster, salad + dark chocolate (by the Mangerie, Bruges) Which was the winning dish in a Chocolate Foodpairing competition here in Bruges.


While surfing on the site of Starchefs (Sadly I won’t make it for Starchefs ICC this year. If you are there certainly visit Sang Hoon Degeimbre. He will also do a workshop using I got across some of the recipes of the Michelin star awarded Dovetail NYC restaurant. In the chef’s tasting there is a fluke, melon, avocado, celery root, shisito pepper combination. Here is a visualisation;

we haven’t analyzed Fluke or Shisito peppers yet, but you can see from the Foodpairing tree; fish combines well with avocado and also several chiles.


At Barchef in Toronto, Ai Fiori in New York,… you have cocktails with infusions of saffron. Saffron is not always added for its flavor only, but here you have an overview of possible combinations with saffron based on its flavor profile;

Here an example by Eben Freeman (Ai Fiori): Aperitivo

A movie how to make it;   
Foodspotting the Bar at Ai Fiori: “Aperitivo” Cocktail from Ai Fiori on Vimeo.
And the saffron sour of Barchef in Toronto;

Gin should also fit, but I’m missing still a lot of analysis on different types of gin. Any brand interested?


During a diner beginning of this month at In de wulf (Belgium) two of Europe’s brightest talents, Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson from Fäviken Magasinet and Kobe Desmaraults of In De Wulf, made some great combinations like this celeriac-walnut-aged ham combination (source picture)

This is what you obtain if you look to it with a Foodpairing view, visualised into a Foodpairing tree of celery root (or celeriac).


We started to analyze more and more exotic ingredients from Finger limes out of Australia over typical fermentation products from Korea over fruits from Brazil.
It is amazing how many unknown fruits (at least for us) there are in Brazil. We added the Foodpairing tree of Mangaba; a fruit which is a round yellow-to-red colored ball about the size of a baseball. The interior of the fruit is white with a number of small seeds. When the fruit is ripe, the pulp is so soft it practically melts in the mouth. The flavor is sweet and the fruit is highly perfumed (source)


I was quite intriged by this cocktail by John Coltharp as posted on Food&Wine as the ingredients are bourbon, cucumber, grapefruit and the flavor reminds people of apples, oranges. I didn’t taste it yet, but this is no surprise for us.

People who follow our other blog carbonfoodprint will not be surprised as we are able to replace a product by a combination of others as we did this with orange, basil, chicken and soon at BCB in Berlin for other ingredients (I will give a talk together with Philip Duff on chemistry of citrus 10/10 6:45 pm main stage)

Anyway, I added the Foodpairing tree of Bourbon to inspire in making new pairings with Bourbon. You will see a link to the cocktails as posted in Food&Wine.