The Molecular Gastronomy – Part I

The Molecular Gastronomy - Part I

The Molecular Gastronomy – an immersion in the past and present of Vanguard Cuisine
Part 1 – The Technoemotional Cuisine
Talking about Molecular Gastronomy is confusing. I tried for many years to teach the discipline: I gave lectures, classes, demonstrations; and I was hardly able to put on people’s minds what it really was [sim, era!] Molecular Gastronomy. I don’t know if he hears a brainwashing on account of the media – he made a big mistake when trying to inform the public about GM – or if everyone was amazed by the new techniques that emerged.
In November 2013 I was grateful and surprised to be invited to the 10th SLACA – Latin American Symposium on Food Science – at Unicamp; to lecture on a subject that I carry – along with my confectionery career – in my heart: Science in the Kitchen!
The topic of the lecture was simple, and I had no doubt what I was going to talk about, until….
[Pausa – aquelas que me levam para looonge, beeem longe.]…
Until I realized that talking to food engineers about science would not be complicated, but explaining to them that science in the kitchen is not complicated, it is neither university nor bibliographic … Well, that would be.
When I talk to people about the term Molecular Gastronomy, I see that they understand everything that is complicated, everything that is difficult to talk, hear and write – less than what Molecular Gastronomy really says. If I enter the middle of the speech and say: no, the Molecular KITCHEN does not exist. Oh my friends, it’s potatoes! “Ok, the Tecnoemocional Kitchen”. It only takes a few seconds for a new term to be used.
[Por que será que temos que ter rótulos para tudo? Divago…]Does that term still exist? I don’t even know … I need to ask the guy who created it – a guy Pau Arenós.
Pau Arenós is a journalist from the Spanish magazine Apicius who coined the term Technoemotional Cuisine to try to explain that, in a way that people understood, what the Spanish cooks were creating in the kitchens in order to influence the world, it had nothing to do with the Molecular Gastronomy of Hervè This.
Kitchens don’t really need labels. How many kitchens in the world should there be that we don’t know about? Great cooks spread around each corner making signature kitchens, creating their essences and influencing small portions of people. So why do we need to name kitchens? My only answer: history.
That is why Pau Arenós coined the term: technoemotional cuisine. It facilitates understanding and thus makes it much easier to deal with the dynamics of the history of the kitchen. And he didn’t stop there – he wrote a book – La Cocina de los Valientesin order to explain clearly and once and for all what contemporary cuisine is.
pau arenos molecular gastronomy ickfdphoto: Food and Travel
But you must be asking yourself: why Tecnoemocional? Or the answer is already very clear: TECNO + EMOTION = technology at the service of emotion.
Technology has always been present in the kitchen – forks and spoons are technological materials. The blender, the processor. Induction cooker, combined ovens, Rotaval, Freeze Dryers, Encapsulators, Gastrovac, Termomix… history shows us!
Machines and their techniques. Machines and their technologies.
Cooks deal with emotion. When we leave the premise that we eat to survive and start eating to celebrate, for satisfaction, we enter the emotional gastronomy; where chefs and pastry chefs dedicate their lives to creating new dishes and sensations.
No machine makes sense in gastronomy without the purpose of generating emotion. The revolution in the kitchen is not the machines or the powders, but the feeling. This one is revolutionary!
It was the feeling of restless chefs who were the drivers of modern cuisine that we live in today. And not the machines that were mere instruments – like knives, pans and stoves – in the hands of people with a feeling that even today, few have.
The novelty of our century is sensitivity. The utensils are at our service, at the service of our feelings and our emotion. What matters today is to feel, is to shiver and melt with a new dish, with techniques never seen before.
And that’s why the term gained strength and managed to categorize chefs as Ferran Adriá, Rene Redzepi, Thierry Marx, Jacques Decoret, Grant Achatz, Wylie Dufresne, Carlo Cracco, Massimiliano Alajmo, Enrico Crippa, Paolo Lopriore, Seiji Yamamoto…, Joan Roca and so many others who started to create a sensitive kitchen, with dishes that managed to shake our senses and whet our curiosity.
Therefore, Tecnoemocional Cuisine is NOT Molecular Gastronomy. And it’s not even a type of cuisine. Nobody calls themselves a techno-emotional cook. What we are experiencing is a movement, a period to be dated, remembered and remembered in the historical line of gastronomy. So was the Nouvelle Cuisine!
Therefore, Tecnoemocional Cuisine is a worldwide culinary movement from the beginning of the 21st century, whose main representative is the cook Ferran Adriá. It is a movement formed by chefs whose objective is to create emotion through their dishes, and for that they use new technologies and techniques, in addition to seeking scientists, plastic artists, poets, journalists, historians, anthropologists and various professionals in order to help them in the search by the unknown.
What is important to note is that this movement under no circumstances seeks to face, diminish or reevaluate traditional cuisine, on the contrary, the movement shows respect for tradition. They are evolutionary dishes and not the other way around!
With that term briefly demystified, we can now talk a little better about what Molecular Gastronomy is all about. But that’s talk for a new post!
So I look forward to seeing you in our next conversation!
Up until!

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