Today, the idea of American cuisine includes local foods, regionalism, and different cultures. According to a study by the James Beard Foundation, many Americans believe that American cuisine can be better defined by its characteristics than by specific dishes. The great majority of survey respondents believed that an American cuisine does in fact exist. While not as many agreed on a proper definition, a majority chose to describe American cuisine with the words "region," "regional," or "culture." According to the respondents, the primary characteristics of food in America were similarly general, including descriptions of American cuisine as "mom's cooking," "adapted from different cultures," and "very regional." The foundation's study went on to conclude that at its core, American cuisine reflects the fusion and diversity that characterizes the country itself.
Progressive American cuisine builds on this understanding. Some world-class chefs who define their cooking as progressive American cuisine represent a style that uses regional American ingredients to interpret classical European techniques. Yet progressive American cuisine remains a consistently evolving work in progress, and all of us understand fusion and diversity in different ways. At Chris's American Restaurant, our American cuisine included ingredients from all over the world, a nod to the time I spent studying with a chef from Europe who had cooked in kitchens worldwide. However, I also relied on classical techniques and well-known dishes such as filet mignon and New York strip. Our appetizers included duck liver pâté, steamed mussels, and crab cakes, while our dinner entrees encompassed Bourbon Street chicken, veal porcini, and tortilla-wrapped tuna. The very reason we reopened Fiddler's Restaurant as Chris's American Restaurant was to give our customers a better sense of the story we told, and our menu spoke to a sophisticated diversity that maintained the highest standards of quality.
Chris's American Restaurant (Fiddler's Restaurant in Brookfield, CT) delivered progressive American food enlivened by international and domestic regional influences to customers throughout the Brookfield, Connecticut, area.