Molecular Gastronomy is not Molecular Cooking

35 views
Skip to first unread message

herve...@paris.inra.fr

unread,
Aug 14, 2008, 3:35:32 AM8/14/08
to Molecular Gastronomy
I m sorry to have seen again the confusion between molecular
gastronomy and molecular cooking.

Molecular Gastronomy is science, i.e. the production of knowledge,
more precisely looking for the mechanisms of phenomena, using the so
called experimental method.

Any cook using results from Molecular gastronomy is not doing
molecular gastronomy, as he or she is not doing science, but rather
doing cooking. This is why the word "molecular cooking" was
introduced.

By the way, the expression "scientific cooking" is a big mistake, as
there is nothing in common between science (production of knowledge)
and cooking (production of food).
And "applied sciences" is also a mistake, as if it is science, it's
not applied, but if it is applied, it's not science.

Long life to science! Celebrate cooking !

John Placko

unread,
Aug 14, 2008, 12:00:05 PM8/14/08
to molecular-...@googlegroups.com

Herve,
Thanks for the clarification.

John

John Placko
Corporate Chef
Research and Development
Campbell Company of Canada
416 251-1131 ext. 8802
Fax: 416 253-8659
www.cookwithcampbells.ca
www.rethinksoup.ca

**********************************************************************
This e-mail and any files transmitted with it may contain 
confidential information and is intended solely for use by 
the individual to whom it is addressed.  If you received
this e-mail in error, please notify the sender, do not 
disclose its contents to others and delete it from your 
system.

**********************************************************************

Roy

unread,
Aug 14, 2008, 4:44:35 PM8/14/08
to Molecular Gastronomy


On Aug 14, 3:35 pm, herve.t...@paris.inra.fr wrote:

> And "applied sciences" is also a mistake, as if it is science, it's
> not applied, but if it is applied, it's not science.

There is a distinct difference between pure and applied science and
anybody that had attended genuine scientific training should know
that….

Roy

kindageeky

unread,
Aug 15, 2008, 2:53:06 PM8/15/08
to Molecular Gastronomy
So denotatively, no argument that what we do in the kitchen is
molecular cooking ... however, despite the best efforts of many of the
well known Chefs out there, conotatively, "Molecular Gastronomy" as a
term is, in my opinion, doomed to come to mean what we do in the
kitchen. It's kind of like saying "more granular" ... denotatively
this means less fine grained, but 95% of the population thinks it
means more fine grained; the phrase is not deterministic, but
contextually we understand what people mean when they say it.

Unfortunately, just because something is accurate doesn't mean that it
will be observed accurately in our common language and in our
dictionaries. Personally, I've given up clarifying in conversations
with foodie friends, and contextually allow the term to mean either
the science or the cookery.

Just my 2 cents

Roy

unread,
Aug 15, 2008, 4:50:10 PM8/15/08
to Molecular Gastronomy
> > Roy- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -
Molecular cooking is about understanding what happened during your
cookery in a molecular or atomistic level; regardless if you’re a
food chemist or an ordinary chef.

If a chef can think like a scientist in the kitchen and food
scientist can think like a cook in his work then in all likelihood he
is practicing genuine molecular cooking.
For a molecular minded cook a kitchen is his food laboratory; while
for the food chemist his lab is his kitchen.

It’s all about creating good food in a higher level and as much as
possible to eliminate the art and mystique of creating the right
flavors by being able to comprehend the interactions in his cookery in
the molecular level.

Therefore even if you use fancy tools and ingredients but you don’t
comprehend in the molecular level how such thing influence the quality
of your prepared food but just doing for the heck as others are
practicing it succesfully , you are not a molecular cook but just
another dumbass pretender regardless of your rankings in the culinary
organization.

If you can attain that level of simultaneous technical understanding
and cooking competence then you are already a molecular chef.
A title of a research chef , culinologist, and other fancy names
means nothing if its just a name or rank in your organization and your
doing administrative work and not doing any job befitting to the
name.



Roy

chefunk

unread,
Aug 15, 2008, 5:23:37 PM8/15/08
to Molecular Gastronomy
I may be in the minority but I got into cooking AND gastronomy because
I found it fun. It might be even more fun if you don't take yourself
too seriously. Lighten up.

Roy

unread,
Aug 15, 2008, 5:35:55 PM8/15/08
to Molecular Gastronomy


On Aug 16, 5:23 am, chefunk <chef...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I may be in the minority but I got into cooking AND gastronomy because
> I found it fun.  It might be even more fun if you don't take yourself
> too seriously.  Lighten up.
>

Well a lot of people are into cookery and gastronomy ...
Besides
plain cookery is fun...I agree with that...
...but its totally different matter if you are both a food chemist
and a chef.....


Roy

Roy

unread,
Aug 15, 2008, 5:48:04 PM8/15/08
to Molecular Gastronomy
....Oh I forget to tell..... its fun to be geek in the kitchen and
to be jester in the lab <grin>

Hervé THIS

unread,
Aug 18, 2008, 2:06:45 AM8/18/08
to molecular-...@googlegroups.com

Thanks for the thanks, it means that my post was clear.

Best.

 

 

 

 

Annonce : les prochains Cours de gastronomie moléculaire se tiendront les 19 et 20 janvier 2009, à AgroParisTech, sur le thème :

« Les précisions culinaires ». 

(par « précisions culinaires », on entend dictons, tours de main, trucs, astuces, modes d’emploi, adages, maximes…)

Ces cours sont publics, gratuits, non diplômants (une attestation peut toutefois être délivrée). Les inscriptions se font à :

http://www.agroparistech.fr/-Annonce-Cours-de-gastronomie-.html


Hervé THIS

Directeur Scientifique de la Fondation Science & Culture Alimentaire (Académie des sciences)

Membre correspondant de l'Académie d'agriculture de France

Conseiller Scientifique de la revue Pour la Science

 

Équipe INRA de Gastronomie Moléculaire

Laboratoire de Chimie

 

 

     

__________________________________________
UMR 214 INRA/Institut des sciences et industries du vivant et de l’environnement (AgroParisTech)
16 rue Claude Bernard, 75005 Paris

tel: +33 (0)1 44 08 72 90
tel : + 33 (0)6 86 49 89 01
Courriel :
herve...@paris.inra.fr

Sites :

 

 
http://www.inra.fr/la_science_et_vous/apprendre_experimenter/gastronomie_moleculaire

http://www.inra.fr/fondation_science_culture_alimentaire

http://www.academie-sciences.fr/fondations/FSCA.htm

 

Cours de gastronomie moléculaire :

http://www.agroparistech.fr/spip.php?rubrique1085

 

 

 

 


De : molecular-...@googlegroups.com [mailto:molecular-...@googlegroups.com] De la part de John Placko
Envoyé : jeudi 14 août 2008 18:00
À : molecular-...@googlegroups.com
Objet : [MG] Re: Molecular Gastronomy is not Molecular Cooking

Hervé THIS

unread,
Aug 18, 2008, 2:26:00 AM8/18/08
to molecular-...@googlegroups.com
Sorry, having attended genuine scientific training (and hopefully more), I
don't know the difference... as applied science cannot exist : if it is
applied, it's no longer science, and if it is science, it's not applied. The
fruit is not the tree holding it.
However, there are certainly "applications of science"!
Best






Annonce : les prochains Cours de gastronomie moléculaire se tiendront les 19
et 20 janvier 2009, à AgroParisTech, sur le thème :
« Les précisions culinaires ».
(par « précisions culinaires », on entend dictons, tours de main, trucs,
astuces, modes d’emploi, adages, maximes…)
Ces cours sont publics, gratuits, non diplômants (une attestation peut
toutefois être délivrée). Les inscriptions se font à :
http://www.agroparistech.fr/-Annonce-Cours-de-gastronomie-.html


Hervé THIS

Directeur Scientifique de la Fondation Science & Culture Alimentaire
(Académie des sciences)
Membre correspondant de l'Académie d'agriculture de France
Conseiller Scientifique de la revue Pour la Science

Équipe INRA de Gastronomie Moléculaire
Laboratoire de Chimie





__________________________________________
UMR 214 INRA/Institut des sciences et industries du vivant et de
l’environnement (AgroParisTech)
16 rue Claude Bernard, 75005 Paris
tel: +33 (0)1 44 08 72 90
tel : + 33 (0)6 86 49 89 01
Courriel : herve...@paris.inra.fr

Sites :


http://www.inra.fr/la_science_et_vous/apprendre_experimenter/gastronomie_mol
eculaire
http://www.inra.fr/fondation_science_culture_alimentaire
http://www.academie-sciences.fr/fondations/FSCA.htm

Cours de gastronomie moléculaire :
http://www.agroparistech.fr/spip.php?rubrique1085





-----Message d'origine-----
De : molecular-...@googlegroups.com
[mailto:molecular-...@googlegroups.com] De la part de Roy
Envoyé : jeudi 14 août 2008 22:45
À : Molecular Gastronomy
Objet : [MG] Re: Molecular Gastronomy is not Molecular Cooking




Fabien A. P. Petitcolas

unread,
Aug 18, 2008, 2:29:32 AM8/18/08
to molecular-...@googlegroups.com
Where can we find scientific publications on the subject? All I find are list of courses explaining known cooking techniques...

Hervé THIS

unread,
Aug 18, 2008, 2:45:27 AM8/18/08
to molecular-...@googlegroups.com
You're right, in a way. But let's fight!
For example, here, in France, I am trying to make people understand that
gastronomy is not haute cuisine, that gourmet (who loves wine) is not
gourmand (who loves eating), that technology is not technique, etc.
I don't know if it works, but isn't it the role of intellectuals to discuss
such matters?
best
[mailto:molecular-...@googlegroups.com] De la part de kindageeky
Envoyé : vendredi 15 août 2008 20:53
À : Molecular Gastronomy
Objet : [MG] Re: Molecular Gastronomy is not Molecular Cooking

Hervé THIS

unread,
Aug 18, 2008, 2:46:42 AM8/18/08
to molecular-...@googlegroups.com
You're right! Smile!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[mailto:molecular-...@googlegroups.com] De la part de chefunk
Envoyé : vendredi 15 août 2008 23:24
À : Molecular Gastronomy
Objet : [MG] Re: Molecular Gastronomy is not Molecular Cooking


Hervé THIS

unread,
Aug 18, 2008, 2:48:45 AM8/18/08
to molecular-...@googlegroups.com
One cannot be both a scientist and a chef, or rather, I would say that if
you want to be such as a good chef (everyone's ambition, for chefs?), you
have to devote yourself to cooking day and night.
And if you want as good as a chemist as Jean-Marie Lehn (Nobel prize in
chemistry), be sure that you have to do chemistry day and night.
Then, both together????????
Celebrate discussion!
[mailto:molecular-...@googlegroups.com] De la part de Roy
Envoyé : vendredi 15 août 2008 23:36
À : Molecular Gastronomy
Objet : [MG] Re: Molecular Gastronomy is not Molecular Cooking




Hervé THIS

unread,
Aug 18, 2008, 2:59:49 AM8/18/08
to molecular-...@googlegroups.com
It depends what you need exactly. Here are some papers.

Have a nice day.
[mailto:molecular-...@googlegroups.com] De la part de Fabien A. P.
Petitcolas
Envoyé : lundi 18 août 2008 08:30
À : molecular-...@googlegroups.com
Objet : [MG] Re: Molecular Gastronomy is not Molecular Cooking
A_publi gm.pdf
A_pigments in beans.pdf
A_publi CDS formalism.pdf

Klaus Dahlbeck

unread,
Aug 18, 2008, 3:11:40 AM8/18/08
to molecular-...@googlegroups.com
Yes, moleculare gastronomy is science. In our new book "Verwegen
kochen" (in English it means "daring cuisine") we try to describe the
difference between moleculare cooking, moleculare gastronomy and
moleculare inspired cuisine. Last term means the way of cooking,
ferran adrià, heston blumenthal and all the other modern cooks prefer.
I think, moleculare cuisine isn't the right term to describe, what
modern cooks are doing, because they are cooking with ingredients not
molecules ;-)

Klaus Dahlbeck

Am 18.08.2008 um 08:06 schrieb Hervé THIS:

> Thanks for the thanks, it means that my post was clear.
> Best.
>
>
>
>
> Annonce : les prochains Cours de gastronomie moléculaire se
> tiendront les 19 et 20 janvier 2009, à AgroParisTech, sur le thème :
> « Les précisions culinaires ».
> (par « précisions culinaires », on entend dictons, tours de main,
> trucs, astuces, modes d’emploi, adages, maximes…)
> Ces cours sont publics, gratuits, non diplômants (une attestation
> peut toutefois être délivrée). Les inscriptions se font à :
> http://www.agroparistech.fr/-Annonce-Cours-de-gastronomie-.html
>
> Hervé THIS
>
> Directeur Scientifique de la Fondation Science & Culture Alimentaire
> (Académie des sciences)
> Membre correspondant de l'Académie d'agriculture de France
> Conseiller Scientifique de la revue Pour la Science
>
> Équipe INRA de Gastronomie Moléculaire
> Laboratoire de Chimie
>
>
> <image001.jpg> <image002.jpg>
>
> __________________________________________
> UMR 214 INRA/Institut des sciences et industries du vivant et de
> l’environnement (AgroParisTech)
> 16 rue Claude Bernard, 75005 Paris
> tel: +33 (0)1 44 08 72 90
> tel : + 33 (0)6 86 49 89 01
> Courriel : herve...@paris.inra.fr
>
> Sites :
>
>
> http://www.inra.fr/la_science_et_vous/apprendre_experimenter/gastronomie_moleculaire
> http://www.inra.fr/fondation_science_culture_alimentaire
> http://www.academie-sciences.fr/fondations/FSCA.htm
>
> Cours de gastronomie moléculaire :
> http://www.agroparistech.fr/spip.php?rubrique1085
>
> <image003.gif>

John Placko

unread,
Aug 18, 2008, 9:09:26 AM8/18/08
to molecular-...@googlegroups.com

Herve,
Thank you very much for sharing this info with the group.

Regards

John

John Placko
Corporate Chef
Research and Development
Campbell Company of Canada
416 251-1131 ext. 8802
Fax: 416 253-8659
www.cookwithcampbells.ca
www.rethinksoup.ca

Roy

unread,
Aug 18, 2008, 10:14:39 AM8/18/08
to Molecular Gastronomy


On Aug 18, 2:48 pm, Hervé THIS <herve.t...@paris.inra.fr> wrote:
> One cannot be both a scientist and a chef, or rather, I would say that if
> you want to be such as a good chef (everyone's ambition, for chefs?), you
> have to devote yourself to cooking day and night.
> And if you want as good as a chemist as Jean-Marie Lehn (Nobel prize in
> chemistry), be sure that you have to do chemistry day and night.
> Then, both together????????
> Celebrate discussion!
>
>I think it can be….its just a matter of perspective and acuity for the concerned person…Supposing there is an individual say a chef that can think scientifically in his cooking as he work this way to earn a science degree…, likewise… at the same time having attended scientific training in the university, his mind is more flexible , and playful, he can also think in a light hearted way ( like a cook/chef) in conducting of some his experiments…or formulating new concepts for a certain scientific project.?
I think that should be the ideal training of the chef in the 21th
century and the future…. To learn his craft in a methodical and
scientific way( not just by apprenticeship) and at the same time
being able to understand the innerworkings of his recipes and
methods so that he can have both a broader and deeper perspective of
his craft.
Its not enough that the chef have the skills but should be at the
same time you had in-depth understanding of the molecular side of his
creations.

If you still disagree that the kitchen were no place for scientific
experiments …
Think about it the alchemist of yore were just doing their experiments
in the same kitchen that they and even their wives prepare their
food….
A kitchen therefore can be considered as the laboratory of the chef,….
And likewise the laboratory can thought of as the kitchen of the
scientist….They do the same thing the formulate recipes for each of
their creations ( either its food or a chemical compound in their
respective work areas- kitchen or laboratory).


Having a scientifically minded chef in the kitchen is advantageous to
the culinary group as they have more depth in their cooking...They
thoroughly understand what they are doing instead of just relying on
empirical knowledge and lore...Analytical mind is a must in the
kitchen! And only a scientifically inclined and trained cook can have
that mindset...
On the other hand...
Having a culinary trained scientist is also advantageous in the lab as
its also promote freewheeling creativity in their research work...They
can think that their projects and experimental design is a sort of a
menu hence makes their work more interesting.....
There is more creativity and hence expectedly,,,,,, better
productivity....

Roy

Hervé THIS

unread,
Aug 18, 2008, 10:37:42 AM8/18/08
to molecular-...@googlegroups.com
Dear Roy

Thanks for this long answer. I finally decided to make a cut and copy, in
order to answer more in depth.

YOU WRITE :
I think it can be….its just a matter of perspective and acuity for the
concerned person…Supposing there is an individual say a chef that can
think scientifically

I ANSWER :
I fear a confusion. Science is "looking for the mechanisms of phenomena
using the experimental method", and the "experimental method" is not just
doing experiments. It is a whole loop of observing the phenomenon, making
quantitative characterization, looking for quantitative relationships
between the measured parameters, looking quantitatively for an "explation",
making a prediction, making an experiment in the hope that the theory is
wrong, and going again in the loop".
You can trust me taht there is not time for cooking, in this lengthy
process.
Of course, I don't deny that some individual can do science, and cook (not
at the same time!), but mind that a science degree is generally not a way of
being a scientist. This is a frequent confusion also: generally, at the
university, you learn the result of science, and you don't do science
yourself.
Moreover, someone who trained in science is not a scientist. He or she is
someone having an education in science,, which is very different.


YOU WRITE :
in his cooking as he work this way to earn a science degree…, likewise… at
the same time having attended scientific training in the university, his
mind is more flexible , and playful, he can also think in a light hearted
way ( like a cook/chef) in conducting of some his experiments…or formulating
new concepts for a certain scientific project.?

I ANSWER :
I don't deny that individuals can be smart in any carreer, either in science
or in technology, or in technique or in art.
But science is not technology, technology is not technique, and technique is
not art!


YOU WRITE :
I think that should be the ideal training of the chef in the 21th century
and the future…. To learn his craft in a methodical and scientific way (
not just by apprenticeship) and at the same time being able to understand
the innerworkings of his recipes and methods so that he can have both a
broader and deeper perspective of his craft.

I ANSWER :
I don't agree! If cooking is first love, then art, and then technique, the
best way to be a good chef is to learn first love, then art, and then
technique (the easiest!).
Trust me: I am a very good technician, but a very poor artist... and I would
love to learn how to say "I love you" with dishes. This is the content of
the book "Cooking, a quintessential art", by California University Press.


YOU WRITE :
Its not enough that the chef have the skills but should be at the same time
you had in-depth understanding of the molecular side of his creations.

I ANSWER :
Of course, I agree that if chefs understand what they do, it's better!!!!!!
But it would not make them scientists.


YOU WRITE :
If you still disagree that the kitchen were no place for scientific
experiments Think about it the alchemist of yore were just doing their
experiments in the same kitchen that they and even their wives prepare their
food….

I ANSWER :
May I say that alchemy was no science? Science was born from Bacon, Galilei,
Descartes... when it became quantitative, and with the introduction of the
so called "experimental method".
And sure, both activities have in common energies that are more or less only
heating. But the comparison stops here, sorry.


YOU WRITE :
A kitchen therefore can be considered as the laboratory of the chef,….
And likewise the laboratory can thought of as the kitchen of the scientist….

I ANSWER :
The word "laboratory" comes from "labor, and then it means only a place
where you work. That's all, and in the same room, you can do very different
activities, which does not mean that the activities are the same because of
the room. For example, in a bar, I can calculate, but it does not mean that
all beer drinkers of the bar are mathematicians!


YOU WRITE :
They do the same thing the formulate recipes for each of their creations (
either its food or a chemical compound in their respective work areas-
kitchen or laboratory).

I ANWER :
No, it's not the same!


YOU WRITE :
Having a scientifically minded chef in the kitchen is advantageous to the
culinary group as they have more depth in their cooking...They thoroughly
understand what they are doing instead of just relying on empirical
knowledge and lore...Analytical mind is a must in the kitchen! And only a
scientifically inclined and trained cook can have that mindset...
On the other hand...

I ANSWER :
I shall certainly not say that I disagreee. Only a question about the
"scientifically minded chef". I would rather say : " a chef who is curious
about the mechanisms of culinary transformations".


YOU WRITE :
Having a culinary trained scientist is also advantageous in the lab as its
also promote freewheeling creativity in their research work...They can think
that their projects and experimental design is a sort of a menu hence makes
their work more interesting.....

I ANSWER... that I don't understand this sentence, sorry.



Best regards
Envoyé : lundi 18 août 2008 16:15
À : Molecular Gastronomy
Objet : [MG] Re: Molecular Gastronomy is not Molecular Cooking




sketchy

unread,
Aug 18, 2008, 9:25:22 PM8/18/08
to Molecular Gastronomy
I've edited this many times.. I hope it still makes sense.

> Unfortunately, just because something is accurate doesn't mean that it
> will be observed accurately in our common language and in our
> dictionaries. Personally, I've given up clarifying in conversations
> with foodie friends, and contextually allow the term to mean either
> the science or the cookery.

I think this is the main problem. It's becoming common lexicon to
describe what should properly be considered Molecular Cuisine. Wylie
Dufresne is known for Molecular Gastronomy to the world, not Molecular
Cuisine; even his wiki entry says this. Do these chefs do research,
yes, but they are mostly known for the food they produce, not the work
that was put into the food they produce.

I've not been trained on how to use these new techniques, and the
sparse amount of documentation and recipes don't explain when things
don't work. Where does the line blur between cooking and scientific
work? Before I started tinkering with molecular cooking, I was pretty
well read in Molecular Gastronomy. After my trip to WD~50, I decided
to give molecular cooking a try. Now I find myself using PH testing
strips, chemicals, NO2, CO2, and other contraptions. When new
techniques come out - we usually don't have recipes, so there is a lot
of experimentation in the kitchen. I find myself using the scientific
method when I try something for the first time. Sometimes I have to
try it three, four, -- nine times before I figure out how and why it
works. I look to all my references, and the little notebook I
document everything in when I try something again. Each time I learn
new things, and can rule out possibilities on how it was accomplished
by the chef.

The 65 degree egg is molecular cooking (just a preparation), but there
was a bevy of science work that determined how to cook the egg and why
it reacts the way it does. This is where the line blurs. My 'goal'
is molecular cooking (the end product), but the process falls more
into a different area. When I started posting about Molecular Cooking,
I decided to use the term Molecular Gastronomy. In my mind, the term
covers the food scientist, research chef, and the molecular cook.
Food scientists might do research work on the bonding of protein
strands. But the exact research is not very useful to the molecular
chef until an applied use is tested in a cooking application. By that
point, the person is creating a dish, so the outcome of the test is
molecular cooking. How do you draw the line between the disciplines
that fall loosely under the banner of molecular gastronomy? Is the 65
degree egg Molecular Cooking, Molecular Gastronomy, or the application
of research done by food scientists and research chefs in Molecular
Gastronomy applied to a Molecular Cooking application?

When you cook something, it is MC, but if you have to explain it, you
end up explaining the science behind the hydrocolloid and the
molecular aspects of the cooking process. Maillard reaction, etc.
How do you classify the entire picture?

The Molecular Cooks are splitting hairs over molecular mixology. I
you use foams for a dish, it's molecular cooking, but if you use a
foam for a drink, it's molecular mixology. It's the same exact
preparation. Do we need two classifications to describe the exact
same preparation?

Dave
------------
Heh -- Just heard on Iron Chef America - the other chef was doing
"Molecular Gastronomy" (he used Activa to bond some skin to meat). If
high exposure chefs use the term wrong, I think it is a losing
battle. Similar to the Kleenex, Windex, Zerox, Thermos, band-aid, zip
lock, saran wrap, etc. The meme happened. The average person no
longer cares. Many chefs mix the terms without care, if they even say
molecular cooking.

Even the Hydrocolloid collection suffers this generalization of terms.

Hervé THIS

unread,
Aug 19, 2008, 2:37:55 AM8/19/08
to molecular-...@googlegroups.com
May I say that during some lecturing trips in the US, in Canada, in Brasil,
in Germany, in the Netherlands, in France of course, etc., people changed
they way of speaking. If some like Wylie say that they do molecular
gastronomy, it's a mistake, and no mistake should be promoted. By the way, I
am going to propose to wikipedia a correction asap.

Another point: no, the line does not blurr between science and cooking.
Please read carefully what I wrote. Cooking is always cooking, i.e producing
food, and the ai mis very different than looking to the mechanisms of
phenomena using the experimental method. In one case (cooking), you have the
appliction in mind, and you never use the so called experimental method
(more or less solving differential equations!); in the other case, you don't
care about producing food, because this is application of science, not
science (remember that there are no applied sciences ; see a previous post).


Another detail, in order to show that the line does not blurr at all.
Explaining thinks is NOT science. Science is the activity of looking for the
mechanisms of the phenomena, not bibliography (by the way, this is not my
own definition, but the one given by Bacon, Galilei, Lavoisier, etc.).

Finally, I don't know why it would be so difficult for chefs to admit that
they are doing "molecular cooking" rather than molecular gastronomy.... but
I know that I am, with Kurti, parly responsible of the fact, because our
initial program was wrong, as it mixed science, technology, communication!
Sorry.



PS. By the way, as I write in my new (in English) book, "Cooking, a
quintessential art", cooking is first love and art, so that we should study
scientifically those two components of the culinary activity. Making eggs at
65, or using gelling agents, etc. is really so simple that it is nothing...
but saying "I love you" with a dish?
[mailto:molecular-...@googlegroups.com] De la part de sketchy
Envoyé : mardi 19 août 2008 03:25
À : Molecular Gastronomy
Objet : [MG] Re: Molecular Gastronomy is not Molecular Cooking


Fabien A. P. Petitcolas

unread,
Aug 19, 2008, 3:52:18 AM8/19/08
to molecular-...@googlegroups.com
Yes. This sort of publications. I was hoping there was some online biography.

Just trying to get feel of the state of the art.

Thanks

Fabien

________________________________________
From: molecular-...@googlegroups.com [molecular-...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Hervé THIS [herve...@paris.inra.fr]
Sent: 18 August 2008 07:59
To: molecular-...@googlegroups.com
Subject: [MG] Re: Molecular Gastronomy is not Molecular Cooking

Hervé THIS

unread,
Aug 19, 2008, 4:07:43 AM8/19/08
to molecular-...@googlegroups.com
For the publications of our group, I invite you to see the attached CV
(please don't print it: it would waste paper)!

best
Envoyé : mardi 19 août 2008 09:52
cv principal.DOC

markdesl

unread,
Aug 19, 2008, 1:37:44 PM8/19/08
to molecular-...@googlegroups.com
I too find that the term molecular gastronomy is not suited as a moniker
for either the cooking or the cuisine. A much better term, that has been
used at different times throughout history to describe radical changes
in the perception of a medium or field, would be to the term
"Postmodern" applied to the cooking or cuisine. If the cooking of the
1970's by Chefs such as Bocuse and Guerard i.e. "Nouvelle" was
considered a modernization wouldn't what we are doing today truly
qualify as the first postmodernist movement in cooking?

Roy

unread,
Aug 19, 2008, 5:39:09 PM8/19/08
to Molecular Gastronomy
Thanks for your reply Herve!
Your remarks happen to remind me of Aristotle...<grin>
Regards
Roy
> Courriel : herve.t...@paris.inra.fr
>
> Sites :
>
> http://www.inra.fr/la_science_et_vous/apprendre_experimenter/gastrono...
> eculairehttp://www.inra.fr/fondation_science_culture_alimentairehttp://www.academie-sciences.fr/fondations/FSCA.htm

Jack

unread,
Aug 19, 2008, 7:12:35 PM8/19/08
to molecular-...@googlegroups.com

> I ANSWER :
> I don't agree! If cooking is first love, then art, and then technique, the
> best way to be a good chef is to learn first love, then art, and then
> technique (the easiest!).

I must say that I think to say "cooking is love" is b*s of the highest
order.
Maybe something is missing in translation.

Certainly food will affect the senses and emotions of the diner, hopefully
in a positive way, but that is not love, it is a carefully calculated effect
and an understanding of the physiology of taste. Appealing to some ill
defined emotion is ducking the issue, and simply says that you don't
understand the reason, or the mechanism or the logic of the creation behind
a new dish.

I have known plenty of emotional chefs, and usually the emotion both spoils
the food and makes them hard to work with.
Cranking out 100 covers a night is not love. Making hundreds of identical
plates for a banquet is not love, at least not in any conventional sense.
Escoffier describes the person who cooks as "the operator" and with good
reason. No mention of love.

Love is in part internal: the chef may love their creation or feel their
creation reflects their love, but to other people without that internal
narrative, or with a different internal narrative its just pretension.

Who is this love for? The customer? The creative process? The food and
eating (in the sense of "I love food")? Self love of chef for themselves?
Humanity? A food critic? (I am reminded of the probably apocryphal love
story of a male chef and a female food critic, and a lot of olive oil)

Maybe you mean love in the sense of mother love: that food should conjure
images of nostalgia for childhood comforts, perhaps a favourite dish, or
like Proust's Madeleine recall a moment in time. That seems both limiting
and specific to the individual diner.

Jack


Chef Shane

unread,
Aug 19, 2008, 9:16:12 PM8/19/08
to molecular-...@googlegroups.com
Dear Hervé,
your CV is like a book itself.
But your reputation precedes you :-)

Thanks for your interest, involvement and contribution with this group.

To move beyond the semantics of names and existentialist debate - I am very keen as a chef to gain some more insight into the practical applications of these techniques, ingredients and strategies.

I am a plain old chef, not a "food scientist", researcher or any other form of academic - or applied academic :-)
Now I'm looking after bar & service and extending a bit beyond kitchen.
I am finding some interesting applications tableside with guests as well as providing some pleasing textures, appearances and tastes with cocktails, bar, and more.
 

I'm very interested in any achievable outcomes with techniques and ingredients that can be applied with some thought and study by non-specialist teams - ie stuff I can learn/play/experiment with, then perfect and train my staff to use here in Asia in a 'normal' kitchen environment.
So from my 'plebian' perspective - techniques to enhance the food and/or make it more palatable/interesting/different are what I hope to gain and share from involvement here.

I wouldn't hope or pretend to be as committed as Wylie, Ferran or Heston in terms of focusing my career towards experimental food - I'm just another guy who provides tasty food from good ingredients suited to his target market - who happens to have an interest in new techniques and developments, and the hope to implement some in order to evolve the food and beverage to a HIGHER level.
ie - tasting and looking better than if one hadn't applied such techniques.

Great to see some debate evolving, and involvement from different arenas of the culinary, scientific and food technology sectors.

regards all,
(and really - I am generally more conciliatory than my first post would indicate. I also enjoy food!)

Shane


2008/8/19 Hervé THIS <herve...@paris.inra.fr>



--
best regards
Shane Brierly
F&B and Guest Operations
The Village, Coconut Island
Phuket, Thailand
+66810028035
http://www.thevillage-coconutisland.com
Latitude 7°56'25.15"N
Longitude 98°25'38.51"E

Hervé THIS

unread,
Aug 20, 2008, 5:09:51 AM8/20/08
to molecular-...@googlegroups.com
Aristotle!!!!!

More seriously, I take advantage of this email for saying to all that one
"innovation" is introduced every month (since 2000) on the interneti site of
Pierre Gagnaire. Go to "art and science" (sorry it's in French)!

best




Annonce : les prochains Cours de gastronomie moléculaire se tiendront les 19
et 20 janvier 2009, à AgroParisTech, sur le thème :
« Les précisions culinaires ».
(par « précisions culinaires », on entend dictons, tours de main, trucs,
astuces, modes d’emploi, adages, maximes…)
Ces cours sont publics, gratuits, non diplômants (une attestation peut
toutefois être délivrée). Les inscriptions se font à :
http://www.agroparistech.fr/-Annonce-Cours-de-gastronomie-.html


Hervé THIS

Directeur Scientifique de la Fondation Science & Culture Alimentaire
(Académie des sciences)
Membre correspondant de l'Académie d'agriculture de France
Conseiller Scientifique de la revue Pour la Science

Équipe INRA de Gastronomie Moléculaire
Laboratoire de Chimie





__________________________________________
UMR 214 INRA/Institut des sciences et industries du vivant et de
l’environnement (AgroParisTech)
16 rue Claude Bernard, 75005 Paris
tel: +33 (0)1 44 08 72 90
tel : + 33 (0)6 86 49 89 01
Envoyé : mardi 19 août 2008 23:39
À : Molecular Gastronomy
Objet : [MG] Re: Molecular Gastronomy is not Molecular Cooking


Hervé THIS

unread,
Aug 20, 2008, 5:25:03 AM8/20/08
to molecular-...@googlegroups.com

Hi and thanks

For those like Chef Shane who want to move (slightly) toward introducing new coktail, I can tell to go to the site by Bols, because this company invited 20 bartenders two or three years ago, for some « molecular mixology » initiative, and they asked me to make a full day training session in Paris.

All the event was filmed, and part of it is on the site.

In particular, the Welcome Coffee coktail that I invented, and it is alson on Pierre’s site.

 

But as I said (and I shall answer Jack asap), the main points are love and art, as technique is easy.

Moreover, as molecular cooking is fashionable, it’s over. One should probably move to something else, and this is why I proposed « culinary constructivism », or « note by note cooking », but also non figurative cooking, etc.

 

best

 

 

 

 

Annonce : les prochains Cours de gastronomie moléculaire se tiendront les 19 et 20 janvier 2009, à AgroParisTech, sur le thème :

« Les précisions culinaires ». 

(par « précisions culinaires », on entend dictons, tours de main, trucs, astuces, modes d’emploi, adages, maximes…)

Ces cours sont publics, gratuits, non diplômants (une attestation peut toutefois être délivrée). Les inscriptions se font à :

http://www.agroparistech.fr/-Annonce-Cours-de-gastronomie-.html


Hervé THIS

Directeur Scientifique de la Fondation Science & Culture Alimentaire (Académie des sciences)

Membre correspondant de l'Académie d'agriculture de France

Conseiller Scientifique de la revue Pour la Science

 

Équipe INRA de Gastronomie Moléculaire

Laboratoire de Chimie

 

 

     

__________________________________________
UMR 214 INRA/Institut des sciences et industries du vivant et de l’environnement (AgroParisTech)
16 rue Claude Bernard, 75005 Paris

tel: +33 (0)1 44 08 72 90
tel : + 33 (0)6 86 49 89 01
Courriel :
herve...@paris.inra.fr

Sites :

 

 
http://www.inra.fr/la_science_et_vous/apprendre_experimenter/gastronomie_moleculaire

http://www.inra.fr/fondation_science_culture_alimentaire

http://www.academie-sciences.fr/fondations/FSCA.htm

 

Cours de gastronomie moléculaire :

http://www.agroparistech.fr/spip.php?rubrique1085

 

 

 

 


De : molecular-...@googlegroups.com [mailto:molecular-...@googlegroups.com] De la part de Chef Shane
Envoyé : mercredi 20 août 2008 03:16

Hervé THIS

unread,
Aug 20, 2008, 5:35:38 AM8/20/08
to molecular-...@googlegroups.com
Yes, "cooking is first love" is a short way of saying: "inviting someone, it
means taking care of his or her as long as he or she is under our roof", as
said Brillat Savarin.
More precisely, it means that simple food shared with good friends can make
the best meal of your life, and, on the other hand, that very "good" food
consumed with ennemies is always bad (I tried both).
Grand mothers were not good technicians, but their food is "good" because
they don't serve nutriments, but love.
And I see cooking as a way of saying "I love you".
When you consider things analytically, you realize that builing food is
building food for someone. And this is why cooking means "loving people", or
giving the impression that you love your guests...
All this is (and more!) is the content of my new book, sorry to be short
here.

Of course, love is a poor word, and "social link" should be probably better.
But I love the idea of "love".
And no, this love is not that the chef loves cooking.
Remember also the paradox of the player: you are a good player (comedien) if
you pretend well to die in the play, not if you die really! The same could
be said about this love in cooking, and the philosopher Diderot made a full
essay on it.

By the way, I don't agree in reducing the pleasure of the guest to
physiology. Or you should include physiological changes due to social
communication. For exemple, when you meet some smiling people, you are not
in the same "mood" than when you see a boring one. This is of course
translated into physiology, brain modifications, neurotransmitters and
hormons release, but it's only later... and not understood.
I forgot also to say that i twas measured that the same dish consumed alone
or in group is appreciated differently; it was in particular called the
"beer and tabacco effect".

Finally, just for the fun, did you know that the madeleine of Proust was not
in a madeleine, in the beginning? In his novel "Jean Santeuil", which was
the prefiguration of La Recherche, Proust was mentioning a small grilled
biscotte (dry bread)! It was pure literature to make it later into a
mythical madeleine.

Bon appétit.
[mailto:molecular-...@googlegroups.com] De la part de Jack
Envoyé : mercredi 20 août 2008 01:13
À : molecular-...@googlegroups.com
Objet : [MG] Molecular Gastronomy is not Molecular Cooking

Jack

unread,
Aug 20, 2008, 5:53:15 AM8/20/08
to molecular-...@googlegroups.com
So restaurant cooking is pretend love? Surely not.

The technique may be easy for you, but for most of us that is the hard part.
That is what we hope to learn from you and each other.

Btw there is no need to repeat all the previous posts in the thread. Please
truncate the tails of your post to save bandwidth

Jack


Fabien A. P. Petitcolas

unread,
Aug 20, 2008, 6:04:14 AM8/20/08
to molecular-...@googlegroups.com
I can see love in the cooking of chefs of small restaurants (from the *** down to the small pub or bistro), mums, friends, family, etc.

But, I agree with Jack that there is a very large part of the catering industry where Chefs simply have to produce loads for simple nutrition purposes. Think of all the distasteful cafeterias in universities, companies or in fast-food chains, etc. They *cook* food for millions of people each day. Yet I fail to see any love in there.

________________________________________
From: molecular-...@googlegroups.com [molecular-...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Hervé THIS [herve...@paris.inra.fr]
Sent: 20 August 2008 10:35
To: molecular-...@googlegroups.com
Subject: [MG] Re: Molecular Gastronomy is not Molecular Cooking