Look closely into the open kitchens of the Washington area’s most interesting restaurants. You’ll spot excellent visual representations, side by side, of two recent trends in American restaurant cookery: the emergence of modern technique and the rebirth of rustic, home-style cooking. The days of setting up the line with water baths to hold containers of stocks and purees are fading, as is the use of tongs, ladles and, in some cases, gas-fired appliances. In their place: induction burners, wood-burning grills, oversize tweezers, sauce-filled thermoses and the occasional can of sodium alginate or calcium chloride.
Chef Enzo Fargione strikes a James Bond pose in the kitchen at Elisir in the District. His smoking gun is just that, used to inject smoke into dishes just before serving. Katherine Frey/THE WASHINGTON POST Buy Photo