Molecular gastronomy at EuroFoodChem XIV

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The conference venue was right next to the Eiffel tower

I’ve just returned from the conference Euro Food Chem XIV which took place in Paris from August 29th to 31st 2007. One of the topics was “Molecular Gastronomy: objectives, development, international collaboration”, which as you might have guessed, was the reason I went there. There were several oral presentations and a whole number of poster presentations of interest to molecular gastronomists. It was great meeting again people who attended the 2004 Erice meeting. I also had the pleasure of interacting with several of Hervé This’ former and present students who share the same enthusiasm for molecular gastronomy and the application of scientific thinking to home cooking.

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Hervé This and myself at the conference dinner (Photo by Daniel Kalnin)

Molecular gastronomy was only one of four topics at the conference, but fortunately Hervé This had arranged a special “Chefs meet scientists” session on the second day of the conference which attracted a large number of people in addition to those attending the EuroFoodChem conference.

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The auditorium was packed for the “Chefs meet scientists” session

Following an introduction by Hervé This, there were presentations of molecular gastronomy activities in France, Spain and Portugal. These activities are directed towards both chefs and the general public. Representatives from Air liquide, a manufacturer of liquid nitrogen, had a presentation of various uses of liquid nitrogen for “cooking” purposes, followed by shorter presentations of tools, techniques and ingredients. The molecular gastronomy blogging community was well represented, and I was delighted to meet the people behind Food for design (Bernard Lahousse from Belgium), Jocooking (Joana Moura from Portugal) and Lamargueritaseagita (Jorge Ruiz Carracal from Spain) – their blogs are hereby recommended!

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Hervé This fills in on Joana Moura’s presentation

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Representatives from Air liquide demonstrating liquid nitrogen applications. In the picture a stainless steel disk has been cooled and is then used as an “inverted griddle”

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Anne Cazor from Cuisine Innovation explains clarification of stock using traditional organic chemistry glass ware

All in all the conference and in particular the “Cheefs meet scientists” session and talking to people was truly inspiring and an excellent opportunity for me to catch up on what is moving in molecular gastronomy these days!

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Filed under: molecular gastronomy, science, tips & tricks

Comments

  1. chadzilla Says:

    Very cool, and I wish I was there, but a lot of it would have probably went over my head.
    It’s all completely enthralling, but I am most curious of the clarification process you mentioned towards the end. Is it something that could be done in a kitchen? and what is the exact process?
    How was Jorge Ruiz’s presentation? He has helped me to understand so much more about curing processes of meats and the use of transglutanimase although it is only scratching the surface of his knowledge.

  2. Martin Lersch Says:

    Chad,

    I’ve drawn a quick sketch to show the principles in a separate post.

    Jorge had a great presentation plus several posters. I was particularily fascinated by the combination of transglutaminase and gelatin. Also, it was a great surprise to see that you were a co-author on one of his posters!