A book from the father of molecular gastronomy.
I’ve been kicking around this whole “molecular gastronomy” thing for quite some time. When I first heard about it I was reading about at all the cool presentations, shapes, and textures that were being displayed by chefs at numerous restaurants around the world. I thought, “I want to cook like that one day…..I want to create art through food”. I didn’t realize what these chefs were actually doing. I just thought it was for presentation purposes only. I saw a video on youtube that showed Jose Andres hanging out with Ferran Adria and Chef Adria was explaining his spherification of olive puree, I was amazed.
A few months later I saw Mario Batali and Anthony Bourdain talk in Seattle. Mario Batali called molecular gastronomy fake, I was confused. I respect all these chefs and what they do. I’m so far down the totem pole in this chef world that I’m a random bush that is hanging out across the field from the chef totem pole. What to do?
Looking back at the whole thing I realize one thing. Mario Batali wasn’t talking about molecular gastronomy at all. He was talking about the chefs that turned “molecular gastronomy” into elaborate presentations, shapes, and textures. He had no issue with Ferran Adria but he had a problem with the guys trying to be like Ferran Adria without understanding the science behind what Chef Adria was doing.
Heston Blumenthal set me straight when he had Harold McGee on his show, “Kitchen Chemistry”. Harold McGee wrote a book called:
(I have more information on the book coming shortly….not finished yet)
and Heston Blumenthal said that this book changed cooking for him. It was written in 1984, I have the revised version that was written in 2004. This book answered the why’s, how’s, and debunked all those things you have probably heard growing up, “sear the meat it traps in the juices”……these book say, “no, that’s not true”……the books are correct, you are not (I believed the same thing, I suck…haha). Chef Blumenthal listened, learned, and innovated so did Ferran Adria….look where they’re at now.
I did my research, bought my books, and started to read them (I have a lot more on the way). I began reading Harold McGee’s book and then I started doing more research about how the term “molecular gastronomy” came to be. It was an easy way for Herve This and his science partner to market this science of cooking easily. What you have probably heard from the mainstream is that molecular gastronomy is the crazy presentations, shapes, and textures of food. The mainstream doesn’t get it…..it’s like Elvis when he first came out. The teenager’s loved him and parents immediately thought he was the devil. We often shun the things we do not understand or feel uncomfortable with.
My ignorance lead me to this world of molecular gastronomy………OH PRETTY COLORS!!!! My curiosity has lead me to understand and respect it. Herve This’s book, “Building a Meal from Molecular Gastronomy to Culinary Constructivism” has broken down all of these things into plain English for me. Call it stupid, call it ridiculous, call it what you want. There is a science behind cooking. The days of me looking at something and saying, ‘it’s done”, are over. The days of believing someone simply because they have been doing it that way forever are over…..if they can’t tell me WHY then I will question them…..woo hooo I’m 4 years old all over again!
Herve This labeled it molecular gastronomy to make it easy to understand and market but he has also debunked over 25,000 culinary beliefs since he has started his research. This book shows how to boil an egg to perfection, you might say, “well you just boil it for 10 minutes with a soft boil/hard boil/or whatever technique I’ve been using for years”. Do you want to perfect this process? I do, so I listen. Chefs have listened to the words of Herve This and they have become extremely successful in the culinary world, I want the same.
Full speed ahead, let’s build a meal “molecularly”!
BUY THIS BOOK…………..now!