The red sheet (in the not yet finished dish) is made by heating Campari, beet root juice, salt and sugar, followed by addition of agar agar. The color and texture look marvelous!
Chow has a nice picture-by-picture guide (featuring photos by Stephanie Willis) to the dish “Short rib – beets, cranberry, Campari” served at Alinea.
…If only it were that simple. Chef Grant Achatz says the actual ingredients are “short rib, beet-Campari juice, roasted baby golden beet, beet-green marmalade, braised beet greens, beet pí¢te de fruit, beet chips, three different types of fennel garnish, cranberry sauce, caramelized fennel purée … man, I guess that is a lot.” A colleague reminds him about fennel pollen, cranberry powder, and Murray River salt.
It reminds me of George Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London which I read a hundred years ago so I could be very wrong.