Ahhhh, there has always been something quite intriguing to me about the ‘mad scientist’, perhaps it’s the lure of being evil or perhaps just the craziness of experimenting and trying things new. As a child I was always raiding the food colouring to create bizarre results in my cooking. Either way, the world of Molecular Gastronomy combines my inner mad scientist and cook all in one. Yes I love Heston Blumenthal for bringing the world of Molecular Gastronomy into the light, certainly now it has inspired many a chef to branch out and be more creative, merging the world of science with the world of food to create dishes with that special something.
Cooking is a science, but this takes it to a whole new level. Foams, spheres, gels and things that go bump in the night …well maybe not the latter. I wasn’t quite sure of what to expect with my evening at ‘Cookn with Class’, but with any luck I’d get a better insight into the world of Molecular gastronomy and the ability to release my inner mad scientist!
We began working with gels. Delicate liquids that set or dissolve depending on pH ..and when dripped appropriately form ‘caviar’. Vary the flavour of your liquid and change the ‘caviar’ you get, now appearing as components and garnishes of dishes in many a restaurant. Ours was a pink grapefruit recipe, used in a rather delicious cocktail.
We moved on to ‘Ravioli’ made from a carrot gel, a refreshing change from the usual pasta doughs. With apple foams and ‘poached egg’ souffles, the finished dishes had amazing flavours and presentation that you just can’t do at home, not without some extreme grocery shopping anyway.
In the end I had a great night, it was so much fun ‘playing’ in the kitchen. Whilst the likes of Heston have a refinement and art to what they do it’s certainly possible with a bit of effort to be a bit more creative at home …can’t wait to give it a go myself!