Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Molecular Gastronomy - What is this ? What does it mean ? Don’t worry I was as confused as you might be when I first heard this term. My first thoughts were - Molecular is obviously science based and Gastronomy I associated with Gastronorm Pans - ha ha ? Therefore assuming it was food related ? ‘Science Food’….. I thought to myself and then I searched for more information. So Wikipedia states
Molecular gastronomy is a sub discipline of food science that seeks to investigate the physical and chemical transformations of ingredients that occur in cooking. Its program includes three areas, as cooking was recognised to have three components, which are social, artistic and technical.
This makes perfect sense when you think of Chef’s like Heston Blumenthal and Grant Achatz - Naturally I knew of these chefs and their creations however the term itself Molecular Gastronomy I hadn't been exposed to. I recently watched a creation of Grant's online - I shared it with you all on our FB page Tuesday night and I had goosebumps. I don't know if it resonated more with me coming from a food and beverage background or if it truly was as wonderful as I thought it, I watched it a second time immediately with my almost seven year old and he didn't seem as taken by it but in his words 'I like it though mum'.. If you do happen to watch it via our FB page @hospitalityproducts share your comments and thoughts with me in the comments.
I recall years ago watching Heston's show and I was in awe of his creations, one episode in particular when he created an under the sea feast that was almost interactive. Another a house, and actual house, hang on in saying 'actual' I don't mean to scale and one can live in it, but you get what I mean - it was built out of food and looked real like. The guests were able to smash into it and enjoy the amazing tastes he created. Stained glass jelly windows, caramel chocolate slate tiling on the roof and a sponge chocolate welcoming mat at the main entry. To view this creation yourself go to he link below.
Closer to home Executive Sous Chef Stephen Lech has been known to offer interactive desserts at the Intercontinental in Sydney partnering a mortar and pestle with this one of his creations allowed guests to create their own crumble to enjoy. How fun to be part of the whole experience. Quoting Stephen from the Open Table - “Our restaurants are some of the best in the world and to constantly keep chefs’ minds ticking with things such as this will only keep the industry on an upward trend.”
I couldn't agree more Chefs of today are certainly creative, I often feel I don't want to destroy what beauty has been presented on the plate put before me - Instagram I am sure has shown many a shots where people want to simply capture the art before the creation is destroyed ... I mean - enjoyed.
So with all that we have seen in the above and the knowledge we already have I guess this is all a scientific discipline with physical and chemistry transformation of food. In other words 'Science of Food'... whilst the simplicity of this term may work for some, many Chefs adopting this way of cooking and presenting food do disapprove of the term 'molecular gastronomists.' Many in this field would prefer to be known as 'Modernists' As there is concern that patrons may have a preconceive idea of a 'mad scientist' in the kitchen. I think anyone with this mindset had been hiding under a rock for far too long... The creations I have seen and the ability that these Modernists have to combine flavours is truly amazing. Like any Chef the right tools are required and we can of course help in this area with our recently new Molecular Gastronomy category on our website. We have combined this with Mixology as often there is a crossover of the two when it comes to tools of the trade. So when you are in need of a hand smoker, mini vaporiser, titanium sushi tongs and more within the kitchen you know we can help you put your creations on the plate, tile, bowl, stand etc...
Allison - Hospitality Products