molecular gastronomyAll of this below can be found on chefsworld.net
Molecular Gastronomy. What is it exactly ?
message posted 27-Oct-06 12:35:14
Molecular gastronomy is the application of science to culinary practice and more generally gastronomical phenomena.
The term was coined by the French scientist Hervé This and by the Hungarian physicist Nicholas Kurti. Both had investigated food preparation scientifically: Nicholas Kurti had given a presentation in 1969 at the Royal Institution called "The physicist in the kitchen"), and This had been testing culinary old wives's tales since March 1980.
The idea of using techniques developed in chemistry to study food was not a new one: it has a history back to the 18th century . Hervé and This decided that a new, specific discipline should be created within that of food science, and looked for a name. The initial proposal by This was "Molecular Gastronomy", but Kurti, being a physicist, insisted on adding "and physical". This is why the discipline was at first called "Molecular and Physical Gastronomy" (also the title of This's PhD).
When Kurti died, This dropped the "and physical" to arrive at "Molecular Gastronomy", but Kurti's name was given to the continuing series of workshops that Kurti and This had directed every two years in Erice, at the Majorana Centre for Scientific Culture.
The fundamental objectives of molecular gastronomy were defined by This in his PhD thesis as:
Investigating culinary and gastronomical proverbs, sayings, old wives tales
Exploring existing recipes
Introducing new tools, ingredients and methods into the kitchen
Inventing new dishes
Using molecular gastronomy to help the general public understand the contribution of science to society
TonyDmessage posted 27-Oct-06 12:40:14
Molecular Gastronomy Resources.
Columns, Forums and Blogs
Organizations, Companies and Events
Restaurants and Stores
Columns, Forums and Blogs
eGullet: The Alinea Project
Food for Design
Hungry In Hogtown
Molecular Gastronomy and the Science of Cooking
The Guardian: Heston Blumenthal
The Times: Heston Blumenthal
BBC Radio 4: Kitchen Cornucopia (6/2001)
eGCI: Science of the Kitchen: Taste (4/2004)
eGCI: Science of the Kitchen: Texture (6/2004)
eGullet Q&A: Ferran Adrià (12/2004)
eGullet Q&A: Grant Achatz (3/2003)
eGullet Q&A: Harold McGee (11/2004)
eGullet Q&A: Heston Blumenthal (10/2002)
INRA: Recent Advances in Molecular Gastronomy (1/2005)
Cookwise (Shirley Corriher, 1997)
El Bulli 1983-1993 (Spanish) (Ferran Adrià, Juli Soler, Albert Adrià, 2005)
El Bulli 1994-1997 (Spanish) (Ferran Adrià, Juli Soler, Albert Adrià, 2005)
El Bulli 1998-2002 (Ferran Adrià, Juli Soler, Albert Adrià, 2003)
El Bulli 2003-2004 (Spanish) (Ferran Adrià, Juli Soler, Albert Adrià, 2005)
Kitchen Chemistry (Ted Lister, Heston Blumenthal, 2005)
Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor (Hervé This, 2005)
On Food and Cooking (Harold McGee, 2004)
Sous-Vide Cuisine (Joan Roca, 2005)
The New Kitchen Science (Howard Hillman, 2003)
The Science of Cooking (Peter Barham, 2001)
What Einstein Told His Cook (Robert Wolke, 2002)
What Einstein Told His Cook 2 (Robert Wolke, 2005)
MG in Copenhagen (Thorvald Pedersen, 2004)
Molecular Gastronomy: a scientific look to cooking (Hervé This, 2004)
Workshop On Molecular Gastronomy (Harold McGee, 2004)
Eat This: Extreme Cuisine (Week 1, Episode 2)
Organizations, Companies and Events
Asociacion Argentina de Gastronomia Molecular
International Workshop on Molecular Gastronomy
Lo Mejor de la Gastronomía
Molecular Gastronomy Discussion List
Monell Chemical Senses Center
Research Chefs Association
Seminar INRA on Molecular Gastronomy
Peter Barham (University of Bristol)
Davide Cassi (Universita' di Parma)
David Gray and Andy Taylor (University of Nottingham)
Nicholas Kurti (Oxford University)
Thorvald Pedersen (Royal Veterinary and Agricultural Unversity of Denmark)
Jorge Ruiz (Universidad de Extremadura)
Hervé This (INRA/Collège de France)
Restaurants and Stores
Fenix (Richmond, VIC; Chef Raymond Capaldi)
DC Duby (Richmond, BC; Chefs Dominique and Cindy Duby)
Lobby (Toronto, ON; Chef Robert Bragagnolo)
Pierre Gagnaire (Paris, Chef Pierre Gagnaire)
Amador (Langen, Chef Juan Amador)
Remake (Berlin, Chef Cristiano Rienzner)
Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni (Como Lake, Chef Ettore Bocchia)
Tapas Molecular Bar (Tokyo, Chef Jeff Ramsey)
Saint Pierre (Chef Emmanuel Stroobant)
Alkimia (Barcelona, Chef Jordi Vilà)
Comerç 24 (Barcelona, Chef Carles Abellan)
El Bulli (Rosas, Chef Ferran Adrià)
Espai Sucre (Barcelona, Chef Jordi Butrón)
Mugaritz (Otzazulueta, Chef Andoni Aduriz)
Restaurante Arzak (San Sebastian, Chef Juan Mari Arzak)
Anthony's (Leeds, Chef Anthony Flinn)
The Fat Duck (Bray, Chef Heston Blumenthal)
Alinea (Chicago, IL; Chef Grant Achatz)
Antidote (Sausalito, CA; Chef Eric Torralba)
Café Atlántico (Washington, DC; Chef Jose Andres)
Cru (New York, NY; Chef Shea Gallante)
davidburke and donatella (New York, NY;Chef David Burke)
Gilt (New York, NY; Chef Paul Liebrandt)
Minibar (Washington, DC; Chef Jose Andres)
ONE.Midtown Kitchen (Atlanta, GA; Chef Richard Blais)
Restaurant L (Boston MA; Chef Pino Maffeo)
Room 4 Dessert (New York, NY; Chef Will Goldfarb)
Moto (Chicago, IL; Chef Homaro Cantu)
wd-50 (New York, NY; Chef Wylie Dufresne)
Venue (Hoboken, NJ; Chef James George)
Clifton Food Range
Electrolux Cook Chill System
iSi Profi/Gourmet Whip
Rational SelfCooking Center
Paris Gourmet: Cuisine-Tech
Texturas | Albert y Ferran Adrià
Hide | Delete tcappermessage posted 27-Oct-06 12:48:49
Another Molecular Article With Things to Try Youreself
To me a kitchen is just like a science laboratory and cooking is just another experimental science. Imagine a chemistry laboratory. You will find chemicals of course, but also containers to mix and react them as well as devices to control the temperature of the reactions and measure out the quantities of the chemicals for each reaction. Then, perhaps less familiar, you will find machines to determine the reaction products - to tell you the results of your experiments.
Your kitchen is full of apparatus - devices to heat and cool, tools to mix, cut and grind, and measure out ingredients - and materials that you react together (the food ingredients). Every time you follow a recipe you are conducting an experiment. You measure out the ingredients, mix (or react) them together following the instructions and then test the result - by eating the resulting dish. Then you follow the scientific method by testing the result of your experiment (the flavour and texture of your dish) against your model (the photo in the cookery book). Usually we are disappointed - the photos in the cookery books always looks better than our first effort. So we try again, changing what we do. A good cook will use their experience to vary the temperature, or the proportions of the ingredients to get the next attempt to come out better. A scientific cook will read the instructions in the recipe and ask whether they make sense and if not change them.
The application of science to domestic and restaurant cooking has developed into the new science of Molecular Gastronomy - the application of scientific principles to the understanding and improvement of gastronomic food preparation. Its form has largely been determined by a series of meetings between chefs, scientists and food writers held at the Ettore Majorana Centre for Scientific Culture in Erice, Sicily over the course of the last 10 years. These meetings (The International Workshops on Molecular and Physical Aspects of Gastronomy) were founded by the late Nicholas Kurti (who was one of the foremost low temperature Physicists of the 20th Century) following an initial suggestion from Elizabeth Thomas who runs her own cooking school in California.
Since Nicholas Kurti passed away I have helped Dr Hervé This of the Ecolé de Paris to organise the Erice Workshops. The diverse discussions at these workshops have helped to define the new science of Molecular Gastronomy The main questions that those of us involved in Molecular Gastronomy are trying to address are strongly interdisciplinary, as is only to be expected in a subject which is concerned with the whole process of the preparation of food, from the raw ingredients to the actual dish on the plate. Molecular Gastronomy encompasses such diverse issues as:
· How and why we evolved our particular taste and flavour sense organs and our general food likes and dislikes?
· How do production methods affect the eventual flavour and texture of food ingredients?
· How are these ingredients changed by different cooking methods?
· Can we devise new cooking methods that produce unusual and improved results of texture and flavour?
· How do our brains actually interpret the signals from all our senses to tell us the "flavour" of food?
· How is our enjoyment of food affected by other influences - the environment in which we eat the food, our mood, etc?
Although at the moment there is only one research group (that of Hervé This in Paris) that is devoted entirely to Molecular Gastronomy, there are a several groups working on individual aspects of Molecular Gastronomy especially the mechanisms of aroma release and the perception of taste and flavour. Two of most important are those of Prof Andy Taylor at the University of Nottingham and the Monell Chemical Senses Centre in Philadelphia, USA. Both have been involved in the Erice meetings.
The main driving force to develop Molecular Gastronomy at the moment are collaborations between scientists and chefs. In France Hervé This works with several Michelin starred chefs including Pierre Garganier and Phillipe Conticini. Here in the UK my own collaboration with Heston Blumenthal, of the Fat Duck, has been very fruitful and influential (see the article "A scientist in the kitchen"). My own interest in Molecular Gastronomy derives from my interest in understanding the physical and chemical process involved in cooking. Together with Heston Blumenthal we are using our increasing understanding to develop new dishes and cooking processes. The cooking of meat and fish at low temperatures (see the article "A scientist in the kitchen") is one good example of a new technique that has already found its way into the restaurant.
Further developments in the pipeline include a filtration system for stocks and consommés that will reduce preparation time by many hours or even days and produce crystal clear sauces and jellies. The use of ultrasonic mixing has the potential to make novel emulsions - how about a vodka mayonnaise? The possibilities are endless and some will surely soon escape from the restaurant to the domestic kitchen. But there is much more to Molecular Gastronomy than just the physical and chemical changes during food preparation. One area that fascinates me is how all the senses play their own roles in our appreciation of food. Even our sense of touch can affect our perception of flavour.
Try this experiment for yourselves. Try tasting some ice cream - it should taste good, like ice cream. Now take the same ice cream and while putting a spoonful in your mouth close your eyes and fondle a piece of velvet cloth. It will taste creamier than before! But even more astonishing if you rub your hand over a piece of fine sandpaper while taking yet another spoonful, the ice cream will seem to become gritty. It seems that what we feel with our hands with our eyes closed can be transferred in our brains to the tongue.
Another truly astonishing fact is that the sound of food changes our expectations. One simple example comes from the humble potato crisp. The marketing people have known for a long time that they need to sell crisps in packets that themselves crackle - if they try to market crisps in packs that don't have the right sound then we consumers think the crisps are stale. Today we are just beginning to realise the important roles all our senses play in affecting the way in which our brains interpret flavour. But we have a great deal to learn before we fully understand the complexities of how we taste food and perceive and appreciate flavour and texture. This journey of discovery which is the new science of Molecular Gastronomy will be a stimulating and exciting one.