Posts Tagged ‘Heston Blumenthal’

Books for your Christmas wish list

Friday, December 16th, 2011

A couple of books have caught my eye during the year and have naturally made their way into my Christmas wish list (and some I’ve already ordered myself). Please let me know if there are books you belive should be on this list that I have missed.
(more…)

Copenhagen MG seminar: Flavor pairing (part 2)

Friday, March 4th, 2011


Wender Bredie presented results from experiments designed to test the flavor pairing hypothesis

A topic that I was particularily excited to hear about at the molecular gastronomy seminar in Copenhagen was flavor pairing. Since Heston Blumenthal presented his white chocolate and caviar combination based on amines in 2002 and Francois Benzi of Firmenich the pork liver-jasmine combination based on indole the idea has been further elaborated by Bernard Lahousse and Lieven De Couvreur who launched the foodpairing website and by me in the TGRWT food blogging event. Despite the interest and fascination it is fair to say the flavor pairing is still controversial – see for instance the discussion with in particular Jorge Ruiz. What is clearly lacking in the field is a more stringent scientific approach (as well as someone with time, interest, a sensory panel and the money to finance the activities…). It was therefore great to hear that sensory science professor Wender Bredie together with PhD student Ditte Hartvig actually set out to test the flavor pairing hypothesis formulated as: if major volatiles are shared between two foods it may very well be that they go well together. To achieve this they used a sensory panel to assess the odor of food pairs mixed and unmixed. Bredie proposed that a hyper addition of odor intensities would perhaps be the holy grail of flavor pairing – that is if the intensity of the mixed odors would be more than the sum of the unmixed intensities. Or even better: if there would be a hyper additive effect on pleasantness(more…)

Interview with Chris Young

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

The authors of Modernist Cuisine: Maxime Bilet, Chris Young and Nathan Myhrvold

In 2003 Chris Young had an epiphany of a meal at The Fat Duck outside London, and by the end of the meal he knew he had to work with Heston Blumenthal. Things worked out well and after a stage he was hired to build and lead the experimental kitchen at The Fat Duck. In 2007 he returned to Seattle to work with Nathan Myhrvold who at that time was very active on the eGullet forum sharing his research on the sous vide cooking technique. The project that started off as a book on sous vide eventually grew into Modernist Cuisine with 6 volumes spanning more than 2400 pages. After many delays (one being due to Amazon’s drop test which showed that the casing wasn’t sturdy enough for the books totaling 20 kg) Modernist Cuisine is ready for release in March, and will be presented at The Flemish Primitives event in Oostende, Belgium on March 14. That’s one more reason to visit the event!

Martin Lersch: Congratulations with Modernist Cuisine – it is a truly amazing accomlishment! Will you be present in Oostende?
(more…)

Interesting books to appear in 2010

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

In addition to Modernist Cuisine and Keys to Good Cooking there are so many new books appearing this fall, so to save you from too many blog posts I’ve collected them here in a single posting. These are all books that I find interesting from my popular food science perspective combined with a strong interest for the actual cooking! The books are, in order of appearance: (more…)

(Too many?) New books

Friday, September 11th, 2009

books-2008

Last year’s book bonanza (Remember The Big Fat Duck Cookbook, Alinea and Under pressure right? Not to mention BakeWise, The Flavor Bible (not science, but I love their systematic approach), Cooking – The Quintessential Art, A day at el Bulli, the bilingual Sous-Vide, the German Verwegen Kochen and the Danish Molekylær gastronomi – did I miss any?) will be difficult to beat, but several interesting books will appear this fall as well. It’s as if this field is exploding with books now. When I first set up the webpages which later evolved into Khymos only a handful of books were available (you can travel back in time and view the single page from 2003 – only in Norwegian, sorry), but even I have a hard time now keeping track with all the books which cover the interesting intersection between cooking and science, aka molecular gastronomy. Sometimes I think – is this book really necessary? Do we need it? What does it add? But addicted as I am, I can’t help it – so I’ll probably get hold of most of these books as they become available :)

(more…)

Has molecular gastronomy reached the plateau of productivity?

Monday, January 26th, 2009

pipa
Loquat fruit (known as pipa in Chinese) piled up at Mercat St. Joseph in Barcelona.

Molecular gastronomy was recently chosen as word of the month (not quite sure exactly which month this was). They give the following definition:

the art and practice of cooking food using scientific methods to create new or unusual dishes

This is not the best definition I’ve seen, to be honest. Why should one limit it to new or unusual dishes? When taken to extremes this only results in gimmickery. Strangely enough there are no hits when I search for “molecular gastronomy” at www.askoxford.com, so one might wonder whether they changed their mind? Personally I feel that molecular gastronomy should strive to improve both home cooking and restaurant cooking. That’s also what I tried to convey with my 10-part series with tips for practical molecular gastronomy.

The Webster’s New Millennium dictionary has this definition:
(more…)

The Flemish Primitives: Heston Blumenthal (part 3)

Friday, January 16th, 2009


Heston Blumenthal welcomed on stage by Gene Bervoets

To the music of Queen’s “We will rock you” Heston Blumenthal (HB) entered the stage, welcomed by Gene Bervoets (GB) and Bernard Lahousse (BL). Heston started of by telling about his childhood and how Britain in the 60′s was not the place to go for food. You could only get olive oil at the chemist’s because it was not used for consumption! Heston basically grew up without experiencing anything related to gastronomy. However this all changed at the age of 15 when he went to France for a holiday with his familiy. A visit to a Michelin restaurant was to become a decisive moment for Heston. He described it as if it were yeasterday – the sound of the waiters walking on gravels, the lavender smell, how they carved legs of lamb – the whole atmosphere. It was also the first time ever he tasted oysters. He felt a little like Alice in wonderland.
(more…)

The Flemish Primitives: A travel report (part 1)

Friday, January 9th, 2009

I had a wonderful trip to Brugge/Bruges to attend the foodpairing seminar The Flemish Primitives. I got to meet many interesting people including Heston Blumenthal, Peter Barham, Andrew Dornenburg, Karen Page, Ben Roche and Tony Conigliaro to mention a few. I also finally had the opportunity to talk to my fellow Swedish food bloggers Lisa Förare Winbladh (Matälskaren, Swedish only but Google can translate) and Malin Sandström (Matmolekyler, Swedish only but Google can translate) who’ve recently been awarded money to write a Swedish book about molecular gastronomy for home cooks. I even talked to several people who read Khymos! It’s always nice when I can attach some faces to the crowd out there in the big, unpersonal blogosphere.

As you see from this long post the day was packed and believe it or not – there will be a couple more posts in the next few days. One on the surprise “chocolate box” (for me this was the highlight), a summary of the interview with Heston Blumenthal and some info on the chemistry behind the glowing lollipops! I’ll also try do dig up the recipe for the chocolate dip that came with our lunch fries.
(more…)

Food pairing seminar update

Friday, November 7th, 2008


The food pairing seminar is named “The Flemish Primitives” after the 15th and 16th century artists who were combining talent with new techniques.

I’ve blogged about the upcoming food pairing seminar in Belgium on January 5th previously, but there are a couple of important additions to the programme: Albert Adrià (El Bulli, Spain) and Ben Roche (Moto, USA) will also participate. Given the extensive list of other chefs and notabilities within the realms of molecular gastronomy and science inspired cooking that will be present, this is definitely the place to be on January 5th. Registering is online, and the early bid registration fee is €245 (rises to €295 from November 16th). More information is available from the website (also in html format).

The Big Fat Duck Cookbook

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

I recently blogged about the Alinea cookbook, and then in a Q&A with both Grant Achatz and Heston Blumenthal I discovered that there is another great cook book coming up this fall: The Big Fat Duck Cookbook! It’s quite amazing that these two books will be released within weeks of each other this fall.

This is what the publisher promises us:

In the first section of The Big Fat Duck Cookbook, we learn the history of the restaurant, from its humble beginnings to its third Michelin star (the day Heston received the news of this he had been wondering how exactly he would be able to pay his staff that month). Next we meet 50 of his signature recipes – sardine on toast sorbet, salmon poached with liquorice, hot and iced tea, chocolate wine – which, while challenging for anyone not equipped with ice baths, dehydrators, vacuum pumps and nitrogen on tap, will inspire home cooks and chefs alike. Finally, we hear from the experts whose scientific know-how has contributed to Heston’s topsy-turvy world, on subjects as diverse as synaesthesia, creaminess and flavour expectation.

With an introduction by Harold McGee, incredible colour photographs throughout, illustrations by Dave McKean, multiple ribbons, real cloth binding and a gorgeous slip case, The Big Fat Duck Cookbook is not only the nearest thing to an autobiography from the world’s most fascinating chef, but also a stunning, colourful and joyous work of art.

Compared to the Alinea cookbook this one is one is more expensive and has fewer recipes. But hey – who buys cookbooks based on the price/recipe anyway?
;)