HTH Amsterdam, 20 September 2012
Molecular gastronomy and science
‘Molecular gastronomy’ was invented late 1980s by scientists to apply physics and chemistry to restaurant and home cooking, and is best known today through the world’s number one restaurant, elBulli, in Spain. In order to develop a thorough understanding of the science of molecular gastronomy, it needs to be examined not only in the context of the restaurant (as most media commentary do), but also in the other locations in which it is practiced: the scientific laboratory, where it originated, and the home, where it has been taken up recently by amateur ‘foodies’.
Expert systems are coming to dominate more areas of the everyday life, such as food and cooking. It shifts from the hands of professional scientific ‘experts’ in the laboratories into another type of ‘expert’, the professional chef in the kitchen, and from there to amateur foodies at home. In each location it is tied to a different goal. In the laboratory, molecular gastronomy is harnessed to the professional scientist’s goal of ‘culinary enlightenment’; in the restaurant, it is tied to the professional chef’s goal of ‘culinary creativity’; and in the home, it is tied to the amateur foodie’s goal of ‘gastronomic education’..
From the laboratory
The Scientifics, Kurti and This, integrated science form the industrial food production (food science) into the small-scale culinary realms of the restaurant and home. Therefore they developed molecular gastronomy – originally called ‘molecular and physical gastronomy’ and bringing bringing scientific enlightenment to the kitchen, “culinary enlightenment”. The main reason for the Kurti and This, is that they feel that people have been cooking the same way already from the Middle Ages, using the same methods. The entire word has been experiencing innovation and therefore also the gastronomy should experience...