INTRODUCTION: TO WHAT EXTENT IS CUISINE LINKED TO SCIENCE?
CHAPITRE 1: MOLECULAR GASTRONOMY
Molecular gastronomy is a subdiscipline of food science that seeks to investigate the physical and chemical transformations of ingredients that occur in cooking. Its program includes three areas, as cooking was recognized to have three components, which are social, artistic and technical. Molecular cuisine is a modern style of cooking, and takes advantage of many technical innovations from the scientific disciplines. The term « molecular gastronomy » was coined in 1988 by late Oxford physicist Nicholas Kurti and the French INRA chemist Hervé This. Some chefs associated with the term choose to reject its use, preferring other terms such as multi-sensory cooking, modernist cuisine, culinary physics, and experimental cuisine.
London’s best molecular food
Molecular and experimental gastronomy describes a style of cuisine in which chefs embrace sensory and food science, borrowing tools from the science lab and ingredients from the food industry and concocting surprise after surprise for their diners. Most commonly, this is manifest as a pretty arrangement of multi-coloured gel balls which sit on your place as a garnish. It’s mostly a bit of fun, but when it’s done well… it’s fantastic.
A)How to Improve Your Home Cooking with the Power of Science
Alan Harry in Food,
Cooking is chemistry, and every time you set foot in your kitchen, you walk into a laboratory, packed with high-tech gear and stocked with supplies, made just for you. People say cooking is an art, and that’s true, but the science of cooking is easier to grasp and repeat. Understanding it will make you a better cook and help you have a little fun in the process. Cooking is chemistry, and every time you set foot in your kitchen, you walk into a laboratory, packed with high-tech gear and stocked with supplies, made just for you. People say cooking is an art, and that’s true, but the science of cooking is easier to grasp and repeat. Understanding it will make you a better cook and help you have a little fun in the process…/…If you know how to follow instructions, you can follow a recipe. The key is to pay attention, learn to interpret and understand measurements, and make sure you have the basic tools to help you succeed: Measuring cups or spoons, a timer, a thermometer, and a kitchen scale
Cooking brings about chemical changes in food. The texture and taste changes when food is cooked. Baking powder contains sodium hydrogencarbonate. This breaks down when heated, releasing carbon dioxide that helps cake mixtures to rise during baking.
Food additives are included in food to improve their shelf-life, appearance and flavour. Antioxidants such as ascorbic acid prevent food from going off by reacting with oxygen. Emulsifiers help oil and water to mix – for example, in mayonnaise.
Cooking and chemical changes
Cooking involves chemical changes:
- new substances are made
- the process is irreversible
- an energy change occurs.
For example, bread turns brown as it is toasted. Sugars in the bread break down to form carbon. This change needs heat energy from the toaster, and it cannot be reversed.
Everything in food is made from chemicals. Some of these are natural, and some are artificial. Processed foods, including vegetable oils, may have chemicals added to them. These additives have different roles, including extending a product’s shelf-life and improving its taste and appearance.
The table below describes some of the main types of food additives.
Types of food additives
|type of additive||reason for adding it|
|antioxidants||stop food from reacting with oxygen|
|colourings||improve the colour of food|
|flavour enhancers||improve the flavour of food|
|emulsifiers||help oil and water mix, and not separate out|
Emulsions and emulsifiers
Immiscible liquids do not mix together. For example, if you add oil to water, the oil floats on the surface of the water. Then if you shake the two together, tiny droplets of one liquid become spread through the other liquid, forming a mixture called an emulsion.
Mayonnaise and emulsion paints are emulsions. In an emulsion, the oil and water gradually separate out again. Tiny droplets join together until eventually the oil is floating on the water again. To stop the two liquids separating, we need a substance called an emulsifier.
CHP 2: HOW AN EXPERIMENTAL CHEF GOT A STAR.
A1. Watch the movie and explain how this chef managed to win a star.
A2. COOKING ART AND SCIENCE
Read the following documents to highlight the relation between cuisine, art and science.
Is Cooking An Art ? What Makes A Chef An Artist, Craftsman and visionary ?
By Colt TaylorJuly 3 2014
To be an artist in the kitchen, an individual must take all of the foundation techniques, and combine those with a progressive mindset that is willing to take risks. The most accomplished chefs of the modern era, such as Ferran Adria, Grant Aschatz, Michel Bras and Thomas Keller all found a way to blaze a trail through new approaches to familiar ingredients.
Food, as an art form, is unique in many ways. While painting appeals to sight, and music appears to the sense of sound, food, when created at its highest form, appeals to all five senses at once. Textures, flavors, colors and aromas all have to play a role in a successful dish.
The intricacies of being a chef do not end here, however, as the palate has its own maze to navigate. Merrying the perfect balance of unique flavors and textures is the most highly sought after accomplishment of a given dish.
On top of all of that, food as a form of art, is temporal. Created plate by plate, for each customer, and carefully executed in its eye appealing presentation, only to be consumed moments later.
Since I became an Executive Chef, and even before, when I was cooking my way around the world, I have been called many different things by different people: an artist, a craftsman, a visionary and, at times, a servant.
The one certainty, however, is that as a chef, your work and your life cannot be separated. You become your career or your career never leaves port.
Is cooking an art or a science?
Scarlet Rose, software developer
Cooking is a great example of a melting pot between art and science. The science process starts when you collect ingredients, identifying which works well, blends into amazing flavors to come up with your dish. One could say cooking is like a chemical equation – you add all the ingredients, apply heat and you get a chemical reaction. So the equation would look like this: ingredient A + ingredient B … + ingredient N = product A + product B … + product N.
On the other hand, cooking is also an art. It is symphony of taste, aroma and colors that tickles the senses. The cooked product appeals to the senses – eyes, if you like how a dish looks like; nose, if you like the smell; touch, if you like it hot or cold; and especially the tongue, for tasting whether the dish tastes good.
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B) Going further
Watch the best examples of food made by molecular or experimental cuisine.
CHP 2. MOHAMMAD: THE HOTEL MANAGER
B1. Watch the movie and elaborate on the stages of Mohammad’s career. What do you think about Mohammad’s choice ?
CHP 3: THE ART OF THE CRAFT
C1. To what extent do you think that this woman is happy? How can you assert that?