Wednesday, June 22, 2011

CHEMISTRY IN KITCHEN-By Chef Rajiv Dutta- Faculty at CAI


Chemistry in gastronomy is the trendy new chapter of ever progressing culinary genre and the scientific study of deliciousness.
Where the science of food is not new and liquid nitrogen, pectin, spherification, syringes are now well placed term of post modern cooking and chef s laboratory. The arena of kitchen in which duo of culinary enthusiasts and scientists came together to define the art and science of modern eating. Ultimately the applications of science and vein of culinary art running squarely across.
The transformation of technique and application is the key to the progressing journey of food. While the tastes and flavours remain familiar, it is the form, the presentation, and the manner of preparation and consumption that are unique. Despite the ultra-modern equipment and strangely presented food, the goal is not to completely alter the concept of cooking, but rather to find a new way of expanding on a foundation that has been building for centuries. The concept was perhaps presaged by Marie-Antoine Crème one of the most famous French chefs, who said in the early 19th century that when making a food stock "the broth must come to a boil very slowly, otherwise the albumin coagulates, hardens; the water, not having time to penetrate the meat, prevents the gelatinous part of the osmazome from detaching itself."

The term “molecular gastronomy" was coined in 1992 by Hungarian physicist Nicholas kurti and French physical chemist Hervé The It became the title for a set of workshops held in Erice, Italy (originally titled "Science and gastronomy")that brought together scientists and professional cooks for discussions on the science behind traditional cooking preparations. Eventually, the shortened term Molecular gastronomy also became the name of the scientific discipline co-created by Kurti and Harve. This to be based on exploring the science behind traditional cooking methods. . His hobby was cooking, and he was an enthusiastic advocate of applying scientific knowledge to culinary problems the idea of using chemistry to study food is not a new one, for instance the discipline of food science has existed for many years. Kurti and this acknowledged this fact and though they decided that a new, organized and specific discipline should be created within food science that investigated the processes in regular cooking

The term molecular gastronomy conjures images of laboratory derived experiments more than a dining experience, but in most cases it's actually both. Many practitioners do create in laboratories, which are simply modern kitchens outfitted with new high-tech equipment. Now kitchen is just like a science laboratory and cooking is just another experimental science.

The intent of molecular gastronomy is consistent with the chapters of the culinary movement that have prece

ded it--innovation, amusement, inspiration, and ultimately pleasure for instance imagine an orb shaped dish brimming with fluorescent orange foam is placed in front of you. As you place the spoon on your tongue, the foam vanishes leaving behind nothing more than the essence of fresh, sweet carrots lingering in the back of your throat it elicits at once the comfort of familiarity and the shock of the completely unexpected.

As the meal progresses, the facial expressions alone seemingly capture the essence of the entire philosophy. With each bite expressions shifts from fear to curiosity to confusion and ultimately morphs into to a huge smile that at once exudes the whimsy of childlike wonderment and the realization that the concept does make sense. You cannot help but smile along with ….

There has been a recent face of molecular gastronomy in the culinary world, and it has definitely intrigued the food endeavours is to deconstruct dishes to their simplest forms and reconstruct them in tasteful and artistic ways, combining science, food and art.
Learn to deconstruct a dish. Understand the different components of a dish and how they work together. Without knowing the basics, how can you rebuild it to your own interpretation? For instant Strawberries and Cream – Deconstructed, The idea of this dish is to transform how you taste strawberries and cream. With the traditional dish, you taste strawberries then the cream. Using spherification, you taste the cream first and then the strawberry caviar burst, reversing the order in which we are used to as well as the over all texture of the dish. Chefs today are magically transforming liquid oils into powder, sometimes even replicating the flavours complexity of a whole course. The “secret” ingredient is tapioca malt dextrin. In the avant –garde restaurant kitchen, highly flavoured oil is blended with tapioca malt dextrin to transform the oil from liquid to powder. “Powder oil,” having a high affinity for water, pleasantly coats them out while releasing the flavours of the oil. Some chefs have used this ingredient to turn peanut butter into a granular powder that reconstitutes in the mouth. Lecithin is a staple ingredient used to emulsify sauces like mayonnaise and vinaigrettes. Spherification helps to create an oval sushi product with a core of “pearls” surrounded by traditional rice and an avocado wrap. The pearls are made from a solution containing flavours, colours, and about 1% sodium alginate. Droplets of this solution are added to a 1% calcium chloride solution to form the pearls.

Photo courtesy of Zoya Rozet and Gum Technology. This new technology to elicit new emotions." one which is at once both familiar and jolting.

…cooking was the last of the ‘chemical arts’ to become the object of scientific scrutiny and it still solid science rather than anecdotal knowledge