Apr 26, 201207:00 AM
Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene
Ideas Destined for Greatness
I was thinking the other day about how I could make a great deal of money in a very short time. I rejected ideas involving firearms or the sale of recreational pharmaceuticals, as I am a family man and past the age where such ideas are even remotely appealing. Also, I am a coward and have no idea where to procure recreational pharmaceuticals for resale.
The advice given to young people trying to decide what to do with their lives often includes something along the lines of, “do what you love, because when you do what you love for a living, work isn't work!” This is good advice. I am still pursuing a way to monetize my love of drinking, cooking, and watching soccer on television, but to date I have not found anyone willing to pay me for these activities.
So my thoughts turned to the food industry more broadly. Someone came up with frozen yogurt, right? What if I came up with a similar concept? I'd like to run a few of these concepts past you, dear readers, in the hopes that you can give me a little advice, or possibly massive amounts of venture capital.
What do people love? Puppies. But the US market is not ready for deep-fried puppies-on-a-stick, even if they're wrapped in bacon. I know, because I did some market research. Well, I asked my wife, and she just gave me that look. You know, the one that says, “Christ on a cracker, dude, quit talking about frying puppies.”
People also love coffee, and people love lemonade. Iced coffees in particular come in all sorts of flavors, so my thinking is to combine coffee and lemonade. It's already been done with iced tea. The drink is called an Arnold Palmer, named after the famous Lithuanian chessmaster, I believe. I figure the idea can't miss, unless the lemon juice causes the milk in the iced coffee to curdle, resulting in a slurry of cheese-like bits floating in an acidic, brown liquid. Anybody know how to prevent lemon juice from curdling milk?
I was reading an article in a food-porn magazine last month about the popularity of the cuisine of Iceland. Chefs are using ingredients native to that tiny, northern country to prepare some incredible dishes. They're eating moss and lichens, reindeer and God knows what else. I think I can go one step further. I want to open a restaurant serving only the cuisine of Antarctica. Yes, it will mainly be snow, ice, and rocks, but I'm pretty sure some molecular gastronomist or other has figured out a way to make powdered granite edible. I mean, I saw a television program once about a woman who was obsessed with eating dirt. Same thing, right? Now I just need to sell people on the idea that the “obsessed with dirt” market is under-served here in New Orleans. I'm working on a marketing plan now.
My concept for a restaurant serving only ice was rejected by everyone to whom I pitched it. I thought I could build some momentum after the the whole Galatoire's “hand-chipped ice” thing, but it could also have been the absence of any alcohol or flavoring that did me in. I still find it hard to believe that people won't pay for frozen water sourced from far away places. I mean, hell, they'll pay for water from Fiji, or France, or Abita Springs. Could be my price point was the problem. $3 a cube may, in retrospect, have been a bit steep.
My final idea is to sell myself as a consultant. Not to restaurants, but to diners. I will eat a meal for you, then tell you how you liked it. In addition to picking up the tab, you'll need to pay me $250 an hour, and there's a minimum of 2 hours per meal. 4 at Galatoire's.
It can't fail.