Molecular Gastronomy

What is molecular gastronomy? It is the scientific study of cooking and the application of science to advance modern cuisine. When I first heard about molecular gastronomy, I had trouble trying to get a solid grasp of all the interesting discoveries the field had accomplished. There was information on the Internet and, even, in books, but because molecular gastronomy is a relatively new field, it can be overwhelming trying to understand everything it has to offer.

One of my goals with Toastable.com is to explores the food science and molecular gastronomy but, more importantly, to allow my readers to easily understand molecular gastronomy.

However, this page is still under construction, so bear with me. When the page is done, it will be a compendium of molecular gastronomy knowledge.

Techniques and phenomena

  • Anti-griddle
  • Anti-griddle hack — Frozen CO2 method
  • Emulsification
  • Foams and Espumas — Cream whipper (iSi) method
  • Gelation
  • Leidenfrost effect
  • Sous-vide
  • Spherification
  • Rotary evaporator
  • Thickening
  • Torching

Ingredients

  • Agar (Agar agar)
  • Calcium chloride (Calcic)
  • Calcium gluconate (Gluco)
  • Calcium lactate
  • Carrageenan (Iota, Kappa)
  • Guar gum
  • Lecithin (Lecite)
  • Low acyl gellan gum (Gellan)
  • Maltodextrin
  • Methyl cellulose (Metil)
  • Mono/diglyceride
  • Pectin
  • Sodium alginate (Algin)
  • Sodium citrate (Citras)
  • Transglutaminase (Meat glue)
  • Xanthan (Xantana)

Toastable Articles

  • Simple sous-vide chicken breast
  • Watermelon Tuna
  • Recipe: Mozzarella Balloon
  • Sous-vide and electricity consumption
  • Grant Achatz’ Harvard lecture
  • 48-hour sous-vide top round beef
  • Miraculin, a sugar alternative
  • Liquid nitrogen ice cream
  • Sous-vide
  • Modernist Cuisine and the future of cooking
  • Examples of futuristic meat cooking aka “Sous-vide”
  • Anatomy of Easy Cheese
  • Strawberry yogurt ravioli
  • WD~50: Part Two
  • WD~50: Part One
  • TIME Profile on Grant Achatz (Molecular Gastronomy Chef)
  • Deconstructing a Clementine
  • Mango Ravioli, Like Watermelon Caviar
  • Shark Fin Soup Harms Shark Population
  • Milk Kills Odor; Edible Dirt
  • Watermelon Caviar, an Introduction to Molecular Gastronomy
  • New Year Resolution Reflection and Molecular Gastronomy
  • The Science of Menu Creation
  • Articles, lectures, papers, etc.

    • Harvard Science & Cooking Lecture Series — Harvard University teamed up with the Alicia Foundation to host a Harvard College course on science and cooking. The course later transformed into a public lecture series with guest speakers including molecular gastronomy chefs such as Ferran Adrià and Wylie Dufresne. While the course apparently focuses heavily on the science, the lecture series focuses almost completely on recipes. Some speakers are not enjoyable to listen to, but others—notably José Andreas and Grant Achatz—are great speakers.
    • “Food for tomorrow?” by Hervé This — Gives an overview of the emerging science of molecular gastronomy, voiced by the man who, along with Nicholas Kurti, coined the term molecular gastronomy in the 1980s.
    • “The Harvard Center for Gastrophysics?” by Elizabeth Gudrais (Harvard Magazine) — An account of Ferran Adriá’s visit to Harvard which led to the creation of a science and cooking course at the Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Images of food in this article are brilliant.
    • “The New Chef’s Whites: A Lab Coat?” by Anne McBride — Overview of molecular gastronomy movement. Details growth of restaurants and key figures. Also predicts the future of molecular gastronomy.
    • Dessert Demonstration by Alex Stupak — Former WD~50 pastry chef Alex Stupak gives a demonstration of making desserts using molecular gastronomy techniques or ingredients. Great video for recipes. Stupak makes jokes too, but the audience seems unresponsive.

    Blogs

    • Khymos — Comprehensive website and blog about molecular gastronomy by Martin Lersch. Home to Texture: a hydrocolloid recipe collection.
    • Seattle Food Geek — Tons of applicable science and food content. Famous $75 DIY sous-vide system.
    • Fooducation — General science and food articles. Less applicable but nonetheless interesting.
    • JoCooking — Discontinued but still has useful molecular gastronomy articles and recipes.
    • Alinea at Home — Carol Blymire cooks her way through the Alinea cookbook. Alinea is a molecular gastronomy restaurant in Chicago.
    • Cooking Issues — French Culinary Institute’s tech blog. Food technology and culture.
    • The Food Lab at Serious Eats — MIT graduate Kenji Lopez-Alt conducts meticulous experiments for the sake of perfecting recipes.

    Print

    • Modernist Cuisine — Comprehensive, multi-volume book on molecular gastronomy. Co-written by Dr. Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, and Maxime Bilet. Most ground-breaking book on molecular gastronomy to date.