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Nuno Bacharel
Nuno Bacharel

Hi everybody,

As promised, I’ve flown to Dublin to attend the Euroscience Open Forum. So far the sessions have been really inspiring. People are bursting with energy, going from the sessions, to the speakers’ corner and from there to the side events. You can find science everywhere!

It seems these days that the word “ESOF” has become more important than Guinness beer! (By the way I haven’t had the opportunity to try one yet – I hope that will happen soon  )

 

 

Yesterday I attended a very interesting session on Cuisine (yes, I´m still talking about ESOF). In this session, “Science and the future of Cuisine”, speakers looked at the progressive role that science is playing in the advancement of cuisine and the way we look at food.

Bill Yosses, Executive Pastry Chef from the White House, USA, made a stimulating presentation, and he showed us in a live class some tricks in cuisine made  possible with science.   An international expert in molecular pastry, Bill is a teacher at Harvard and UCLA on the topic of science in food.

Check out this video of one of his lectures

President Obama’s favourite pie maker is committed to exploring the intersection of food and science to promote a better understanding of both fields. In fact, today’s molecular cooking techniques (also known as molecular gastronomy) rely on the same methods, and even the same equipment found in the lab.

If you think that’s  already awesome, wait until you  read the rest.

Hervé This, the father of molecular gastronomy, joined the conversation. This French physical chemist with a PHD in molecular gastronomy has  done amazing work in this field. For example, he discovered the perfect temperature to cook an egg (around 65° C), and he also invented the recipe for Chocolate Chantilly.

He has been very engaged in studying eggs too: “When you make a mayonnaise you have an egg that is liquid and the oil that is also liquid, and you make a mayonnaise emulsion that is solid, why?” Watch this video and you will discover the answers as well as some of Hervey This’s molecular cuisine techniques.

Defining himself as a scientist, Hervé says  thatmolecular gastronomy not only uses science to explore the technical aspect of cooking but also the ‘art’ and ‘love’ components, both of which are important for the main aim of cooking: to delight guests”.

 Hervé This

 

 

 

 

But how can molecular gastronomy help solve the challenge of food security and sustainability?

Hervé   said, “We’re still eating roasted chickens and cooking with pans, just as we were in the Middle Ages. We need to progress, and we need chemistry for that!”  “If by 2050 we want to feed 9 bn people, we will need to think about solutions, and “Note by Note Cuisine, using and combining compounds, is the solution”.

Note by Note Cuisine is not using meat, fish, vegetables or fruit, but rather compounds – either pure compounds or mixtures. The feasibility of this new cuisine has already been   shown by many meals, for instance   at the launching event of the International Year of Chemistry, at UNESCO, Paris, by the team of Potel & Chabot.

But how could the energy crisis contribute to the development of such a new way of cooking? Hervé  says that, “For example, boiling wine to make a sauce uses a great deal of energy as the latent heat of water is high. What is more, odour molecules are lost through steam evaporation. Instead, if you mix the right compounds (tartaric acid, phenolics, glucose…) in the right amounts, you could get an ‘equivalent’ of a reduced wine in seconds.”

Interesting, don´t you think?

Well, joining the conversation on sustainability, I also had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Mark Post, a Dutch researcher who’s growing the world’s first test tube burger, which  marks a milestone in future meat-eating.

He affirmed that “Meat consumption will double in the next 40 years and right now we are using 70% of all our agricultural capacity to grow meat through livestock”. To face this challenge,  I want to demonstrate  that “with in-vitro methods, out of stem cells we can make a product that looks, feels  and hopefully tastes like meat”.

If you want to know more about the test tube burger project, take  a look at  this  article from the Guardian.

Well, as you can see I had a very interesting session there, and science couldn’t have left a sweeter taste in my mouth!