Bobby Flay talks the best fried thing he ever ate: fries at Balthazar NYC.
Male: I think there is definitely an art to frying things. When I think about fried food, I think about fried fish, fried shrimp, fried chicken but the thing that I think about most is French fries. To me, the French fries itself is the pure essence of perfect fried food. The best things in life when it comes to food are the simplest things. I think that everybody knows where there favorite French fries is. The best French fries hands down, Balthazar, New York City. Lots of people try to make French fries like them but nobody can beat them. French fries are probably one of the most addicting things you can possibly eat if they’re good. The fries in Balthazar are unbelievably perfect. The proper way to cook the perfect French fry is not an easy task. These guys have just got it down. They take their fries seriously which is important. Chef: It’s a simple potato. We do take the time to make it right and make it perfect. We need tons of potatoes and special people just to work on the fries. We’re in potato hell sometime, they like to call it. Male: The fact that the chefs at Balthazar give the respect the French fry deserves, that’s what makes them the best. Chef: Here we have what we call Idaho potatoes. They have a softer texture. We just peel those. Male: Then you cut it into French fry shape. Chef: It’s been the same cutter for 12 years now, so every single fry that anyone has eaten has gone away through there, every single fry. We soak this in water overnight and that helps get rid of some of the starch. And then they are drained and they go to the first blanch. Male: You blanch them in oil so that they cook through but they don’t get brown. Chef: We use peanut oil. Peanut oil is actually very nice flavor. It’s expensive but it’s worth it. Male: You then take them out. Chef: See, they’re nice and tender to the touch but with no color. Male: Then, when you get an order for French fries a couple hours later, throw those blanched French fries back into the fryer and you crisp them up. And then you take them out. Chef: Got to do this waterfall of salt so we get a nice, even coating. Male: There’s no truffle oil in these fries. There’s no garlic on these fries. It’s French fries. You know, when they come to the table, they’re perfectly golden brown and you serve them and then you have an addicted French fry here. They are at the right length. They are perfectly crisp on the outside, incredibly fluffy on the inside and they’re always hot and they’re always well seasoned. I’d never thought I’d describe French fries in such a dramatic way. You know it’s just a French fry but it’s not just a French fry.