Reluctantly, I believe that molecular gastronomy is here to stay. I have resisted many of the trappings of the “movement.” Foams, vapors, and airs don’t do a lot for me, at least from a cheffing point of view. I very much like to eat in this manner and have had great meals from some of the best in the field like Comerc24 in Barcelona. But my cooking is rooted in French technique, which is tried and true and continues to excite me and teach me new things everyday.
This is not to say that I have not dabbled in some of the dark arts, as it were. I use meat glue or transglutaminase on a weekly basis to make whole rib eyes center-plate presentable (I don’t like giant steaks on a plate). But really, that is the extent of my sorcery. I am, however, intrigued by the science of MG and how it all works. Luckily, there is an introductory guide for the home cook that I commandeered from one of my prep cooks: Molecular Gastronomy, Exploring the Science of Flavor by Herve This. It’s a captivating (depending on your idea of captivating) resource with 101 chapters covering 334 pages, so each chapter gives a concise overview of the topic. The best aspect of the book is that it does not languish on dry subjects with overly scientific terminology, such as On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee (while a priceless book I often use, it is just not a book that most of us can sit down and read; it’s a reference). Herve This spells out the basics of, say, deep fat frying and why and how French fries need to be cooked twice to get the crispy results we all love.
With summer upon us, this is a good back porch, hammock, or beach reader with very little commitment. Jumping from one chapter of interest to another is perfectly acceptable and, in my case, necessary.
Saturday, May 16
Join us for shrimp tacos, pulled pork sandwiches, and Guinness ice-cream sandwiches. We will have a stage featuring 10 bands, including the Twilight Hours and First Communion After Party. The beer, food, and music starts at noon.