Comments on: "Molecular Gastronomy" – Nils weighs in http://www.cookingissues.com/2009/06/05/molecular-gastronomy-nils-weighs-in/ The International Culinary Center's Tech 'N Stuff Blog Thu, 09 Jan 2014 18:17:16 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 By: Roger L http://www.cookingissues.com/2009/06/05/molecular-gastronomy-nils-weighs-in/#comment-14126 Fri, 28 Jan 2011 08:48:47 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=898#comment-14126 I think people are lost in what molecular gastronomy is doing and will eventually do. For years the products you buy in grocery isles have all these strange things in them and nobody seemed to care too much about this, even fast food restaurants have incorporated preservatives and “MG” ingredients and techniques for years. I think most chefs using this style have more control on what they put in. Like Agar agar for example is healthier for you than gelatin. It comes for seaweed and the other from pig fat. I feel that most people in north-america are either lazy or clueless on food and farming. Julia child brought french style here but forgot that most people in france care about where there food comes from first not just some shit on a plate that looks pretty.

]]>
By: slkinsey http://www.cookingissues.com/2009/06/05/molecular-gastronomy-nils-weighs-in/#comment-1897 Thu, 11 Jun 2009 17:04:09 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=898#comment-1897 Clearly there is much more to “MG food” than simply the use of technology. All you have to do is look at Keller’s “Under Pressure” book, and you can see dishes that are, for example, made of bacon and rabbit flap layered together, bound with Activa and cooked sous vide, or fennel cooked sous vide with Pernod and a herb sachet. And yet, it seems clear to me that no one would describe the cuisine at French Laundry/Per Se as “molecular gastronomy.”

What there seems to be in the MG movement is a certain range of shared aesthetics around which the chefs working in this style cohere. I would suggest that one element of this aesthetic is the use of technology to produce overtly novel and heretofore unachievable effects, and often with the goal of challenging the diners’ paradigm of the dining experience.

Like many things, it is hard to define what is MG other than to rigorously apply the Justice Potter Stewart Standard. My general rule of thumb is that if it seems like “regular food” and is presented within the traditional Western paradigm of cuisine and dining, then it is not MG. The dish you served at the Taste of NY event, which I tried, did not strike me as MG, despite the fact that some advanced techniques were used to produce it. However, were that same dish served within the context of an Alinea-like meal, then it becomes MG by virtue of the context.

]]>
By: Erik http://www.cookingissues.com/2009/06/05/molecular-gastronomy-nils-weighs-in/#comment-1896 Tue, 09 Jun 2009 11:23:27 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=898#comment-1896 sorry. The last comment should probably be in the previous MG-discussion post. Simply a result of me starting to read the blog from the top (the most recent posts first). Embarrassing… Anyway, great blog. Apparently, I have to kick out some other blog from my regular to-read list

]]>
By: Erik http://www.cookingissues.com/2009/06/05/molecular-gastronomy-nils-weighs-in/#comment-1895 Mon, 08 Jun 2009 11:26:36 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=898#comment-1895 Nils,

it’s interesting to note that your standpoint seems in fact to coincide with one of the founding fathers og MG, Hervé This. His opinion is indeed that MG is NOT something that is done in a restaurant, because MG is indeed a science. And in restaurants you’re not served science but food, preferably delicious food. However, a chef might very well adopt knowledge from MG to develop his or her cooking. I tend to agree. Unfortunately, MG has been made a label in which someone do want, and others don’t want, to be associated with. Look up Hervé’s writings on molecular gastronomy vs molecular cooking for first hand info (i.e. in his blog, a simple web search will bring it up). Also, there was a somewhat heated debate on the molecular gastronomy google discussion group at some point last year or so.

]]>
By: Dave A http://www.cookingissues.com/2009/06/05/molecular-gastronomy-nils-weighs-in/#comment-1894 Sun, 07 Jun 2009 14:15:11 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=898#comment-1894 Whole Foods is funny. They sell straight xanthan gum (because vegans and gluten-free bakers need it). They also sell agar (and I believe carageenan) because they are traditional ingredients. They won’t sell products with msg, but they DO sell straight glutamic acid in the vitamin aisle (who knows if its in its sodium salt form ha ha). They don’t sell products cured with nitrites, even though the process is completely traditional and has been used for hundreds of years (thousands if you include the use of natural salts with nitrite impurities. Our ancestors knew which salts cured best), but DOES allow the use of celery extracts concentrated to the point that their nitrite levels are sufficent to provide bacon’s proper taste and anti-bacterials properties. Go figure.

]]>
By: chad http://www.cookingissues.com/2009/06/05/molecular-gastronomy-nils-weighs-in/#comment-1893 Sun, 07 Jun 2009 14:00:56 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=898#comment-1893 Maybe many of these ‘additives’ that you would consider ‘unsafe to eat’ are not available at Whole Foods in their pure forms, but I would wager I could find every single one listed on some ingredient lable within the store… my first glance at a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream label sold there contains guar gum, soy lecithin, and carageenan… of course, that’s just at first glance. There are thousands of foodstuffs within the store.

]]>
By: JuneBug http://www.cookingissues.com/2009/06/05/molecular-gastronomy-nils-weighs-in/#comment-1892 Sat, 06 Jun 2009 19:38:04 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=898#comment-1892 I love the extreme comparisons of the pictures!
I think people are afraid of the term GM is due to lack of understanding and knowledge. May be simply explaining things in layman’s term is best.
We need to embrace technologies and techniques, but we also need to remember the famous quote “We are what we eat”.

]]>
By: jk http://www.cookingissues.com/2009/06/05/molecular-gastronomy-nils-weighs-in/#comment-1891 Sat, 06 Jun 2009 17:07:18 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=898#comment-1891 That is not easy to define for me, I don’t know enough about the topic to draw that line. I do enough though that I want a line for myself. I don’t want anything process manufactured or modified ingredients that are sold like chemicals. Also, if it says “do not swallow” on the box, the warnings on transglutaminase label are scary and even if considered safe I don’t want anything like this in my food.
What is the point of a shrimp noodle when MCD does the same thing with their chicken mac nuggets for years? (I don’t want to diss Wylie, I ate his tasting menu recently and enjoyed every bite)

Let’s put it this way, if I can buy an additive at wholefoods or a farmers market I am OK with it. If it is coming from a lab supply store, I skip. I like labeling for that.

]]>
By: chad http://www.cookingissues.com/2009/06/05/molecular-gastronomy-nils-weighs-in/#comment-1890 Sat, 06 Jun 2009 13:33:04 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=898#comment-1890 JK… define where the line is drawn for what you call ‘additives.’ Cornstarch? Flour? Gelatin? Spices?
Would you please line out what your definition is. Is is anything that isn’t plucked straight from the ground or ripped off it’s four legs?
This is as futile as trying to discern what is ‘natural’ or not.
What about sugar… is anything else processed to such an extent?
About 99% of what you call additives are derived straight from seaweed, seeds, roots, starches, or fermentation of microbes… sounds pretty natural to me.

]]>
By: cookiejesus http://www.cookingissues.com/2009/06/05/molecular-gastronomy-nils-weighs-in/#comment-1889 Sat, 06 Jun 2009 06:27:30 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=898#comment-1889 I hate labels. After all, it’s all about good food!

]]>