Cooking School Secrets: Con Fusion

I'm a Food Network devotee. I love the Iron Chef challenges. The pressure is thrilling but mostly I'm blown away by the way chefs like Hiroyuki Sakai, Masaharu Morimoto and Bobby Flay combine traditions and ingredients.

Fusion cuisine. It's innovative...and a big part of why I wanted to go to culinary school. Unfortunately, I learned recently that the war between the traditional and contemporary chefs is ongoing.

Each school day, the baking class makes a different type of filled croissant as part of the break-time snack. I've seen bacon and egg, ham and cheese, potatoes and egg.

In an attempt to switch things up a bit, a few bold budding chefs tried a new filling: sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese and spinach. The flavors go well together and they made a phenomenal stuffing for a beef rouladen we learned how to make a few weeks ago.

It didn't take long before the buzz began. Who made the croissants? Chefs So-and-So said Mediterranean ingredients don't belong in French dough. Brie and apple would have been more appropriate.

One deemed the dish what happens when fusion goes bad - con"fusion." I liked the terminology but I can't wrap my head around the philosophy.

And the war rages on.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.