samedi 10 novembre 2012

From NYC

Here is what I get from NYC friends :

Hello all,
All of us at the Experimental Cuisine Collective hope that you were not too personally affected by last week's hurricane. Please let us know if you are organizing relief events and/or need volunteers---we'll post information on our website. 
Our November ECC meeting will take place on Monday, November 19, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Chemistry Department at NYU, room 1003 (31 Washington Place, between Washington Square Park and Greene Street). You will need a photo ID to enter the building.    

In this session, Francisco Migoya will be officially presenting The Elements of Dessert, his latest, just released cookbook. He will discuss his motivation for writing this book, the process itself, the book's content, design, and format, and go through recipes that are particularly necessary to dissect and discuss. To understand these principles through practice, we will conclude by sampling some of the chocolates featured in the book!

Francisco J. Migoya is an associate professor at the Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, New York. He is the author of Frozen DessertsThe Modern Café, nominated for a James Beard Award, and The Elements of Dessert. He was named one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America in 2011 by Dessert Professional. Before the CIA, Francisco was the executive pastry chef for The French Laundry, Bouchon Bakery, and Bouchon Bistro. 

Please RSVP at A link is also posted on our website. If you RSVP and can no longer make it, please let me know right away so that your seat can be released---thank you! 

All my best,


Anne E. McBride
Director, Experimental Cuisine Collective 

The Experimental Cuisine Collective is a working group that assembles scholars, scientists, chefs, writers, journalists, performance artists, and food enthusiasts. We launched in April 2007, as a result of the collaboration of Kent Kirshenbaum of the chemistry department and Amy Bentley of the nutrition, food studies, and public health department at New York University with Chef Will Goldfarb of WillPowder. Our overall aim is to develop a broad-based and rigorous academic approach that employs techniques and approaches from both the humanities and sciences to examine the properties, boundaries, and conventions of food.

Visit the ECC online at 

dimanche 21 octobre 2012

Many podcasts are in English

Les podcasts de Gastronomie moléculaire 
sur le site d'AgroParisTech

1. Des objets de connaissance pour tous les publics

Podcasts audio
En français :

Vrai ou faux ?
Cinq minutes pour raconter l'histoire d'un mets et répondre à une question  technique
Comment avoir des frites moins grasses : un bain ? Deux bains ?
Comment rattraper une mayonnaise qui  a tourné ?
Faut-il des bassines en cuivre pour faire des confitures ?
Faut-il vraiment un bain-marie pour cuire les terrines ?
Comment obtenir des oeufs durs au jaune bien centré ?
Comment éviter d'avoir des lentilles trop dures ?
Peut-on faire la sauce mayonnaise à la cuiller en bois ?
Les règles féminines font-elles tourner les sauces ?
La mayonnaise, sauce fragile ?
Comment avoir des cochons de lait rôtis à la peau croquante ?
Faut-il du jus de citron pour avoir des blancs d'oeufs en neige ferme ?
Les échaudés, notamment les gnocchis, sont-ils cuits quand ils viennent flotter à la surface ?
Faut-il éviter de piquer la viande grillée ?
Faut-il du jaune d'oeuf pour faire une sauce aïolli ?
Comment saler les viandes que l'on grille ?
Est-il vrai que le bouillon ne doit pas bouillir ?

Podcasts vidéo :
En français :

Les Cours annuels de gastronomie moléculaire INRA/AgroParisTech. Ces cours durent deux jours, et ils sont intégralement filmés. Les enregistrements sont divisés par demi journées.
Le  Cours 2009 : Science, technologie, technique (culinaires) : quelles relations ?
Le Cours 2010 : les précisions culinaires (2 jours de cours, 8 parties)
L'annonce du Cours 2011 (2 jours complets  de cours, en plusieurs podcasts)
Le Cours 2011 : Cuisson des légumes et téléenseignement (2 jours complets de cours, en plusieurs parties)
Le Cours 2012 : La cuisine note à note (2 jours complets de cours, en plusieurs parties)
La cuisine note à note : présentation du manifeste/manuel de cette cuisine révolutionnaire

Des débats
L'art culinaire existe-t-il ?
Débat avec Pierre Gagnaire, Pierre Dominique Cécillon, animé par Vincent Olivier (L'Express) (débat, 3 parties)

Des questions techniques illustrées par le calcul et l'expérience
Des jeux avec de la mayonnaise
Les émulsions

Podcasts vidéo en anglais :

Des cours en anglais
Cours de gastronomie moléculaire à l'attention des auditeurs des Hautes Etudes du Goût (cours de gastronomie moléculaire pour les Hautes Etudes du Goût, plusieurs parties)

2. Des documents pédagogiques pour les étudiants et les professionnels (science)

Collèges, lycées

Des conférences pour les collèges et lycées, avec des expériences

Conférence pour les collégiens et lycéens : dans la cuisine, il y a une foule de métiers.
La cuisine et la science : quelles relations ? (3 parties)

Pour les enseignants de l'Education nationale :

Des formations pédagogiques
Une formation à la mise en oeuvre des Ateliers expérimentaux du goût et des Ateliers Science & Cuisine
Une formation à la mise en oeuvre des Ateliers expérimentaux du goût et des Ateliers Science & Cuisine

Pour les étudiants d'université :

Des cours filmés

Cours de communication scientifique
Débat sur le métier d'ingénieur, la science et ses relations avec la technique et la technologie
Cours de calcul et de chimie physique : comment calculer le volume maximal d'une émulsion, et comment utiliser un logiciel de calcul formel tel que Maple
Journée scientifique à AgroParisTech : 20 ans de gastronomie moléculaire
Une présentation des progrès méthodologiques en chimie, à partir d'un article de Lavoisier sur les bouillons de viande. On y montre que Lavoisier a introduit la méthode du zéro

En anglais :

For students mostly : celebrate physical chemistry !
A short calculation : how much mayonnaise can you make from one egg
A long calculation : how to calculate, how much mayonnaise can you make from one egg, and how to use a formal calculation software for the study of this kind of questions
Two differents sessions with the same goal.
Introduction of the Molecular Gastronomy Programme of the Eramus Mundus Master Programme « Food Innovation and Produc Design » (FIPDes) : theoretical aspects
Introduction of the Molecular Gastronomy Programme of the Eramus Mundus Master Programme « Food Innovation and Produc Design » (FIPDes) : chefs meet scientists
Introduction to the Molecular Gastronomy Programme of FIPDes, session « Chefs meets scientists » 2012

Introduction to the Molecular Gastronomy Programme of FIPDes 2012-2013

How to use « FMS » for doing scientific research

Note by Note Cuisine

Disperse Systems Formalism

Molecular Gastronomy and Formulation

samedi 4 août 2012

Note by note cuisine: an explanation

Some friends ask me about Note by Note Cuisine, and here are some explanations, before the publication of the book on Note By Note Cuisine, by Columbia University Press (publication due end of September)

From Molecular Gastronomy to its applications :
« Molecular Cuisine » (it is over)
and « Note by Note Cuisine» (don't miss this next world culinary trend!)

Hervé This

1. The scientific work

In 1988 Nicholas Kurti and I created the scientific discipline that we called « Molecular gastronomy» (remember that the word « gastronomy » means « knowledge », and not cuisine, even haute cuisine ; in the same way, Molecular Gastronomy does not stand for cooking!).
The aim of Molecular Gastronomy was, is and will be forever :
looking for the mechanisms of phenomena occcuring during dish preparation and consumption.

2. An application in the kitchen

In the beginning of the 80's, we introduced also «Molecular Cuisine », whose definition is :
« Producing food (this is cuisine) using « new » tools, ingredients, methods ».

In this definition, the word « new » stands for what was not in kitchens of the western countries in 1980.
For example : siphon (to make foams), sodium alginate (to get pearls with a liquid core, spaghettis of vegetables, etc.) and other gelling agents (agar-agar, carraghenans, etc.), liquid nitrogen (to make sherbets and many other innovative preparations), rotary evaporator, and more generally, the whole set of lab's equipment when they can be useful ; another of new « method », finally, the prepration of the Chocolate Chantilly, of beaumés, gibbs, nollet, vauquelins, etc. ( Cours de gastronomie moléculaire n°1 : Science, technologie, technique (culinaires) : quelles relations ?, Ed Quae/Belin)
Of course all these items are not completely new (many gelling agents are used in Asia for millenia, and many tools are used daily in chemistry labs), but the goal was to modernize the technical component of cuisine.
Yes, the expression « Molecular Cuisine » is poorly chosen, but it had to be introduced at some time... and it is not within the Encyclopedia Britannica Dictionnaly. And Molecular Cuisine will disappear... because of... see below !

  1. The next culinary trend : Note by Note Cuisine !

The next proposal is much more exciting, and its name is NOTE BY NOTE CUISINE.
It was first proposed in 1994 (in the magazine Scientific American) at a time when I was playing at using compounds in food, such as paraethylphenol in wines and whiskeys, 1-octen-3-ol in dishes, limonene, tartaric acid, ascorbic acid, etc.
The initial proposal was to improve food... but the next idea was obvious, it is to make dishes entirely from compounds.
Let's say it differently. Note by Note Cuisine is not using meat, fish, vegetable or fruits, but rater compounds, either pure compounds or mixtures, such as electronic music is not using trumpets or violins, but rather pure waves which are mixed in sounds and in music.
Here, for Note by Note Cuisine, the cook has to :  :
  • design the shapes of the various parts of the dish
  • design the colors
  • design the tastes
  • design the odors
  • design the temperatures
  • designe the trigeminal stimulation
  • design the consistencies
  • design the nutritional aspects
  • etc.
The feasability of this new cuisine was already shown by many meals :
  • first Note by Note meal (called Note by Note N°1) shown to the international press in Hong Kong by Pierre Gagnaire in April 2009
  • two dishes shown at the French-Japanese Scientific Meeting (JSTS) in Strasbourg, in May 2010
  • whole Note by Note Meal served by the chefs of the Cordon bleu School in Paris in October 2010
  • Note à Note meal served the 26th of January 2011, as a launching event of the International Year of Chemistry, at UNESCO, Paris, by the team of Potel&Chabot
  • Note by Note cocktail serve in April 2011 to 500 French chefs freshly starred at Michelin, in Espace Cardin, Paris
  • Note by Note Meal served in October 2011 by the team of the chefs of the Cordon bleu Schools Paris
  • Note by Note dishes made by chefs of the Toques Blanches International Association, in Paris, 3 Decembre 2011
Many questions arise from this new cuisine:
  • land development
  • economy
  • sensorial
  • technique
  • art
  • politics
  • nutrition
  • toxicology
  • etc.
  1. humankind is facing an energy crisis : it is not sure that traditional cuisine is sustainable (it is not!)
  2. the New will always beat the Old
  3. cracking products from agriculture and farming is already done for milk and wheat ; why not carrots, apples, etc. ?
  4. The objections made to Note by Note cuisine were done half a century ago against electronic music, and guess what you hear at the radio today ?

In other words, are not we at the equivalent of 1947, when musicians such as Varèse and some others were investigating electronic music ?

lundi 9 avril 2012

Consumers ? No : citizens!

Let's fight fiercely the word "consumer". We are (should be) citizens, first, not buyer of the product of the industry!

jeudi 23 février 2012

Forum Note by Note Cuisine

During the 2012 Courses on Molecular Gastronomy, the possibility of a forum for discussing Note by Note Cuisine was decided.

It is not open at :

Vive la gourmandise éclairée!

dimanche 8 janvier 2012

Building flavors

A culinary contest displays a topic including the expression "building flavours".

What is it all about ?

I invite you to see in my book "Cooking, a quintessential art" (California University Press) that a possibility of interpretation lies in considering that flavour is a sensation with time course evolution, just as language. Taking words to linguistic, one should say that there are paradigmatic and syntagmatic aspects. In other words, flavour should be built for any time, and at various successive times.

At any time first: one could start from simple facts, such as sweetness increase and bitterness decrease by salt, or the fact that ordinary strawberry and orange flower water make wild strawberries. When mixing ingredients, one has to understand which supports which, how flavours are organised, and how they influence one another.

Then, with time: depending on the particular material building of food, on the presence of fat, on the colloidal structure (foam, emulsion, gel, suspension...) the various flavours appear and disappear at various times of eating.
For example, an emulsion which energetically mixed has more odor, and a "raw emulsion" has more taste. For example, the presence of fat is increasing the duration of odor. For example, various molecular associations can help to control better appearances and disappearances of flavours, as it is well explained in the book (in French only) "Traité élémentaire de cuisine" (Belin).

All this is "culinary constructivism" !

samedi 7 janvier 2012

Ill informed journalism

I see this

It is not true : my friend Heston Blumenthal did not contribute to the invention of the Chocolate Chantilly. I invented it in 1995, and showed it at the Chocolate Fair, in Paris !