Archive for the ‘recommendations’ Category

Copenhagen MG seminar: Ice cold world record attempt (part 7)

Friday, April 29th, 2011


Peter Barham on his way to beat the current world record for the fastest ice cream

In case you didn’t know the current world record for the world’s fastest ice cream is 10.34 seconds! To obtain the record you have to make one liter of ice cream from milk, sugar and flavoring (no eggs). Liquid nitrogen is used to rapidly cool and freeze the ice cream mixture. The current record was achieved by Andrew Ross (UK) at Cliffe Cottage in Sheffield,”‹ South Yorkshire,”‹ UK, on 6 June 2010. Prior to that the world record belonged to Peter Barham who in 2005 shaved two seconds of his previous record, ending at 18.78 seconds. To conclude his presentation on how food can be used to make students interested in physics and chemistry Peter decided to beat the current world record. Here’s a video of how it went:
(more…)

Perfect egg yolks

Monday, April 18th, 2011


Maybe I have a hangup on soft boiled eggs, but I’m deeply fascinated by how something simple as an egg can be transformed into such a wide range of textures. I’m talking about pure eggs – no other ingredients added. Playing around with temperature and time can result in some very interesting yolk textures – yolks that are neither soft nor hard, but somewhere inbetween. Two examples from the blogosphere are Chad Galliano’s 90 min @ 63.8 °C egg yolk sheets and David Barzelay’s 17 min @ 70.0 °C egg yolk cylinders (both bloggers giving credit to Ideas in food and Wylie Dufresne respectively).

In 2009 I wrote about my journey towards the perfect soft boiled eggs. Equipped with a formula I knew what I wanted, but it wasn’t so easy after all. Since then I’ve tried to model experimental data from Douglas Baldwin as well as data from my own measurements of egg yolk tempereatures when cooked sous vide (pictures of how I did this at the end of this blog post). I never got around to blog about the results, and now there’s no need for it anymore: The egg yolk problem has been solved! And the question that remains is: How we can utilize this in the kitchen?

The break through came this year (more…)

Yet another journal looking for MG contributions

Monday, April 18th, 2011


Juan Valverde (a former student of Hervé This) who is now on the editorial board of the Journal of Culinary Science & Technology informed me that they are looking for new contributions in the molecular gastronomy field. The scope and coverage of the journal is as follows (quoting from their webpage):

  • Culinary innovation
  • Blurring lines between food technology and culinary arts
  • Issues and trends related to human nutrition
  • The collaboration between food science and culinary innovation
  • Techniques and technology and their role in quality of life/guest satisfaction associated with culinary, wine and food experiences
  • Trends in molecular gastronomy and its derivates
  • Annual review of trends in culinary science and technology
  • Applied research
  • Relevant research notes
  • Management styles, methods and principles
  • Techniques and innovations

While you wait for Flavour and International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science to appear you can always browse through some back issues of this journal.

New journal to launch soon: Flavour

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

While we’re still waiting for the first edition of International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science to appear: I learnt in the Copenhagen MG seminar that yet another journal is to launch soon – the Flavour journal published on BioMed Central. It’s open source (= free) which is good news for chefs and other enthusiasts without an academic afficiliation that gives access to journals. The chief editors are Per Møller and Peter Barham (co-authors of the highly recommended molecular gastronomy review). – I am passionate about good food and cooking, so I hope that the articles in Flavour will not only further our understanding of all the processes that go to developing and appreciating the flavour of the food we eat, but will also provide me, and many others with new ideas to try out in our own kitchens so we can prepare ever better dishes, says Peter Barham.
(more…)

The Flemish Primitives 2011 (part 1)

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

The Flemish Primitives aims to bring together chefs and scientists to promote culinary innovation. The last two editions held in Brugge focused on food pairing and new technologies. This year the event had moved to Oostende and the more spacious Kursaal (a good choice!). The event had also been stretched over two days, starting with 10 master classes in five parallel sessions on Sunday followed by a Gala dinner prepared by 13 Belgian chefs. The second day followed the format from previous years. The focus was on a group of Belgian chefs, the so-called Flemish Primitives as well as specially invited guests from abroad including René Redzepi and Michel Bras. All chefs prepared food live on stage. In between the chefs there was also time for two sessions with researchers from KU Leuven and a presentation of Modernist Cuisine by Chris Young. (more…)

Modernist Cuisine presented at The Flemish Primitives

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Flown in directly from Seattle, Chris Young presented Modernist Cuisine at The Flemish Primitives today. In the picture: presumably the first copy in Europe 🙂 It’s backordered now (see Nathan’s long posts on this) due to high sales. It actually reached as high as #38 on Amazon’s overall sales rank.  I had 5 minutes to take a look at the books today and I can only say wow! These books mark a new era for everyone interested in a scientific and technological approach to cooking! Immediately the feeling struck me: there is nothing more to blog about now. But Chris reassured me (as he also did in my recent interview with him) that there is plenty more to dig into. Phew. Expect more about The Flemish Primitives 2011 in the coming days.

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…)

Molecular gastronomy seminar at the University of Copenhagen (part 1)

Friday, March 4th, 2011


Homepage of the molecular gastronomy project at the University of Copenhagen (sorry – only in Danish as far as I know)

The research project Molecular gastronomy – the scientific study of deliciousness and its physical and chemical basis (Danish homepage) funded by The Danish Research Council was started in 2006. Led by prof. Leif Skibsted people from the Food Chemistry (Jens Risbo, Pia Snitkí¦r Nielsen, Louise Mørch Mortensen) as well as the Sensory Science group (Michael Bom Frøst, Wender Bredie, Per Møller, Line Holler Mielby, Ditte Hartvig) at the Department of Food Science at Copenhagen University have been involved. In addition gastronomic entrepeneur Claus Meyer (noma co-founder) and physics professor Peter Barham (Bristol University) have contributed, as well as the chefs Thorsten Vildgaard (noma/Nordic Food Lab) and Bo Frederiksen (Meyers Madhus). Any of the names sound familiar? They should if you’ve read the recent review published in Chemical Reviews: Molecular Gastronomy: A New Emerging Scientific Discipline where several of the people involved in the project contributed as authors. This landmark paper summarizes and lays out research opportunities in molecular gastronomy, the branch of food science that deals with The art and science of choosing, preparing and eating good food to quote Thorvald Pedersens definition – he is a professor emeritus in chemistry that played an important role helping to establish molecular gastronomy as a research field at the University of Copenhagen.

To mark the end of the project a seminar was organized on March 2nd 2011. The program included the following presentations:
(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…)

The Flemish Primitives 2011

Friday, January 7th, 2011

It’s soon time for the third edition of The Flemish Primitives and registration has now opened. The Flemish Primitives wants to challenge Belgian gastronomy and bring together chefs from all over the world to meet and exchange ideas built on innovation. The top name this year is without doubt the chef René Redzepi of Noma, the world’s best restaurant according to Restaurant magazine, but “the Flemish primitives” will be present (a group of Belgian chefs) as well as guests and scientists. And there are a lot of new things going on as well. (more…)