What inspires Graham Elliot when he's creating a menu?

First, the season. Not like the farmers markets and all that stuff. But literally the idea that you should be able to close your eyes and what you're eating should tell you what's going on outside and in nature. I'm inspired by music and art, by walking outside and seeing a red stop sign and thinking rhubarb and cherries. I think you really have to commit to this relationship with ingredients and go from there. Everything has to be balanced. If you have something soft like foie gras, you need something crunchy or acidic to cut through the fattiness. Sweet and salty, things like that. You have ideas for dishes and you can interchange everything with the actual ingredient or technique. 

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