Posts Tagged ‘travel report’

The Flemish Primitives: Glowing lollipops (part 4)

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Bruce Bryan demonstrated a glowing cocktail drink (top left), and tempted us with fluorescent cake frosting (top right). The chocolate surprise boxes included a lollipop (bottom left) and I was quite busy sucking the lollipop, listening to the translation of the Belgian/French/Spanish contributions, taking notes and photographing at the same time (bottom right).

The chocolate surprise box was one of the highlights at The Flemish Primitives that I’ve blogged about three times already. As I promised you in the last post I’d come back to the lollipop that was included in the box. Between chocolates number 2 and 3 Bruce Bryan entered the stage. The lights went off, we were instructed to suck intensely on the lollipos and then – when I took the lollipop out of my mouth it was glowing! (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.
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The Flemish Primitives: Chocolate surprise (part 2)

Monday, January 12th, 2009


Chocolatier by profession, Shock-o-Latier by reputation! I bought this box the next day at Dominique’s shop “The Chocolate Line” to bring back home.

As I mentioned in part 1 of the travel report from Brugge, the highlight (for me at least) of The Flemish Primitives seminar was the surprise box presented to us by Dominique Persoone (owner of The Chocolate Line) and his team which included James Petrie (pastry chef at The Fat Duck), Tony Conigliaro (mixologist, bartender at Roka, blogger) and Bruce Bryan (medical doctor and inventor). As the box was distributed in the auditorium (more than 1000 present, mostly chefs) the instructions were kept very simple: DO NOT OPEN THE BOX! Makes you wonder of course what is inside.
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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.
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Molecular gastronomy at EuroFoodChem XIV

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007

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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!