In late August, Relae chef/founder Christian Puglisi took the stage at the third-annual MAD Symposium to talk about how an image of Johnny Cash giving the middle finger embodied the ethos of his Michelin-starred restaurant. "Why was it so that every creative kitchen was set up in that same fine-dining environment?" Puglisi asks rhetorically, eschewing luxury tablecloths and uncomfortable Scandinavian chairs. "We wanted to strip down the great meal to its essence."
Puglisi uses Google Maps to illustrate the once-shady location of Relae (in a neighborhood where "hash was sold by the truckloads"), and speaks at length about the ability to take risks and the conceptualization of a shorter and more-accessible molecular menu (as a diner, "you should just be able to come in, get great food, and get the hell out of there"). Go, watch: