“Classical cooking and molecular gastronomy should remain separate. You can mix two styles and get fusion; any more, and you just get confusion.”
Working as a chef for over 11 years, I’ve had the pleasure of learning a variety of cooking techniques. From sautéing, blanching and searing, to baking, boiling and basting, I’ve used them all. However, culinary techniques are evolving every day. The way we look at food today is not the way we viewed food in the past.
A good example of this would be molecular gastronomy. The term molecular gastronomy was first coined in 1988 by Hungarian physicist Nicholas Kurti and French physical chemist Herve This. Some chefs refuse the use of this term, instead preferring phrases like, “modernist cuisine” or “experimental cuisine”.
The actual process of using molecular gastronomy in cooking, is a science that involves the physical and chemical transformation of ingredients during the cooking process. As more and more chefs are leaving the protective bubble of traditional cooking, we are now seeing some real stars emerge. The best example of chefs in this field would be Grant Achatz. Achatz is an American chef and restaurateur, best known for his contributions in progressive cuisine.
Achatz, owner of Chicago restaurant Alinea, has won several awards for his culinary skills including “Best Chef in the United States” in 2008. With chefs like Achatz bringing the spotlight to molecular gastronomy, it is a rapidly growing field. You can even catch glimpses of these techniques in modern culinary films such as the 2014 film, “The 100 Foot Journey”.
Interested in doing a culinary experiment at home? You can buy your very own molecular gastronomy kit! These kits come in a variety of combinations, but most include everything you’ll need as a beginner to start experimenting with food and the majority of these DIY kits are affordable. From the lower $40.00 range to the $600.00 range, the kits vary depending on how complex you would like to get.
If you would like to see me try my very own molecular gastronomy kit at home, leave a comment below! Let me know if you have tried any crazy culinary experiments.