NEW YORK CITY—Dubbing the new head chef of Michelin-starred restaurant The Haymarket as “the new bad boy of fine dining,” luminaries across the world of cooking lauded Andre Castillo Monday for revolutionizing the culinary arts by using only fresh, high-quality ingredients in his dishes. “When he declared that from the beginning of his tenure we would only make our food with the finest local meats and produce grown by people who cared, we were naturally confused,” said sous chef Raymond Fiorna, who struggled early on as Castillo’s iconoclastic method of using fresh meat, produce, and spices butted heads with the conventional wisdom of creating dishes with preserved meats, frozen vegetables, and seafood from places so far away from the restaurant that they took a long time to arrive. “Diners expected us to just conduct business as usual and go to a factory farm or discount supermarket for our ingredients, but Andre said it was time to evolve. He once brought me a room-temperature head of kale to chop, and when I asked him which freezer he got it from, you know what he told me? It came from a local organic farm. From a farm, then straight to the table! Lunacy, absolute madness, but somehow it works. I expect this will soon be a worldwide phenomenon.” Castillo has also been praised and derided in equal turn for changing the gastronomic game again by taking a classic dish and putting his own little twist on it.
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