September 24th, 2013
01:15 PM ET
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Toronto BarChef co-owner Frankie Solarik shows CNN Deluxe the art of making beautiful cocktails.

Filed under: Molecular Gastronomy • Sip • Spirits

December 28th, 2012
08:00 AM ET
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Editor's note: Nathan Myhrvold is CEO of Intellectual Ventures, author of "Modernist Cuisine" and "Modernist Cuisine at Home." Sanjay Gupta hosts The Next List on Sundays at 2 p.m. ET, only on CNN

CNN: For people who don't know anything about cooking, how would you define modern cuisine?

Myhrvold: So modern cuisine is the movement of chefs that are trying to create new kinds of food, new food experiences. And they don't care if they have to break some of the traditional rules of cooking to do so.

Sticking red wine in the blender - for science
September 24th, 2012
12:15 PM ET
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Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.

The other day, I felt the time had come to Vitamix some Bordeaux. Any reasonably sane person, of course, might wonder why. After all, the Vitamix (or at least the Vitamix Professional Series 750) whizzes its razor-sharp steel blades around at 24,000 rpm, which is fast enough to liquify pretty much anything. You could toss a license plate and some pool balls in there and end up with a smoothie; a weird one, but a smoothie nonetheless.
The reason I decided to frappé my French red, though, was to check out the idea of “hyper-decanting,” which is the inspiration of Nathan Myhrvold, ex–chief technology officer of Microsoft, all-around mad-scientist foodie and author of the monumental (meaning it weighs 50 pounds) book Modernist Cuisine. Myhrvold’s idea is pretty straightforward: Ordinary decanting - i.e., pouring your wine into a decanter - achieves its benefits because the wine is exposed to air. Blending it intensifies the exposure, and thus the benefits.
Before we get to the results, I should answer a basic question, which is: “Why the heck decant a wine in the first place?”

Heston Blumenthal's snail porridge obsession
September 14th, 2012
10:30 AM ET
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Editor's note: Heston Blumenthal is widely recognized as one of the world's greatest living chefs. A proponent of molecular gastronomy, his scientific approach to cooking has earned his flagship restaurant, The Fat Duck, three Michelin stars, bringing him as much attention as esoteric dishes like bacon-and-egg ice cream and snail porridge. Here, he reveals the early experiences that helped form his multi-sensory cooking philosophy.

Think about the most memorable meal you ever had. Was it just the taste you remember, or everything else around it?

To me, food is as much about the moment, the occasion, the location and the company as it is about the taste.

It is the only thing we do that involves all the senses. It has the ability to generate so much emotion and so much memory. It has endless possibilities. It is one of those subjects where the more you learn about it; the more you realize you don't know.

May 22nd, 2012
12:30 PM ET
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Also creepy-sounding, but not actually harmful or especially weird: sodium stearoyl lactylate, xanthan gum, soy lecithin and more. Read 6 scary-sounding food additives – and what they really are

A bit more on Transglutaminase (a.k.a. "meat glue") from the smart folks at the French Culinary Institute's blog "Cooking Issues"

5@5 - Molecular gastronomy at home
October 21st, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Molecular gastronomy: It's a term that’s been bandied around since the late 1980s that more or less describes the intersection of science and cuisine.

From sea urchin foams to spherified olives, some of the best restaurants in the world - like Alinea in Chicago, the now closed elBulli in Spain and wd~50 in New York - have become famous and lauded for challenging diners with their delicious experiments and overall definition of what food can be.

So if you feel like embracing your own inner Bill Nye while donning an apron, Chef Josh Hebert of POSH Improvisational Cuisine in Scottsdale, Arizona, has got you covered.

Gird your centrifuges - things are about to get molecular.

Five Molecular Things You Can Do at Home: Josh Hebert

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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Cuisines • Molecular Gastronomy • Think

September 6th, 2011
10:00 AM ET
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Nathan Mhyrvold is a polymath inventor and avid chef. But his kitchen isn't your normal operation. It has "centrifuges and freeze driers and spray driers and rotary evaporators" that he uses to cook and analyze what he cooks. Mhyrvold studies the science behind cooking, and has written a 2,438 page, $600 book called Modernist Cuisine that is the touchtone for what is known as molecular gastronomy, which melds science and cooking to create incredible concoctions.

In the video above, Mhyrvold describes how to create the perfect French fry. And in the interview transcript in the link below, he also discusses the motivations behind the book and what his kitchen looks like.

Read the rest of "How to make the perfect French fry" on CNN's Global Public Square.

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Filed under: Molecular Gastronomy • Think • Video

May 4th, 2011
10:15 AM ET
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For dining devotees and fans of innovative cuisine, a reservation at chef Ferran Adria's elBulli restaurant in Roses, Spain is something of a Holy Grail. It's said that there are several million requests annually for the restaurant's 8,000 seats during their dining season - and even those are no longer available.

On July 30th 2011 elBulli - often cited as one of the world's best restaurants - will cease to serve the dining public and instead begin a transformation into a "creativity center" and "think-tank for creative cuisine and gastronomy" which will open in 2014.

For her book The Sorcerer's Apprentices, journalist Lisa Abend spent a season in the kitchen with Adria and his team of chefs and stagiaires to explore and document the dedication, innovation, bravado, sweat and tears it takes to craft the meal of a lifetime.

We spoke with Adria and Abend about process, creativity, fear and what's coming up next.

"Molecular gastronomy" is off the menu
March 4th, 2011
04:45 PM ET
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Anyone who follows food has likely heard of "molecular gastronomy," a term that’s been floated around for the two last decades to describe a scientific exploration of food and the cooking process.

Some of the best restaurants in the world, such as Chicago’s Alinea and Spain’s El Bulli, have become famous for their out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to mixing food, science and technology in this way.

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