As the work of chefs like Ferran Adria at elBulli, Heston Bluementhal at The Fat Duck and Grant Achatz at Alinea. Becomes more widely known a question about the element linking these chefs and their restaurants begins to get asked more frequently.
What is Modernist Cuisine?
In short Modernist Cuisine is a style of cooking that exists with a single purpose. That purpose being make food as good as it possibly can be.
The term Modernist Cuisine is often confused with the term Molecular Gastronomy, often brings images of spherification, gels and cooking things sealed in plastic to the minds of most people.
So to start lets look at the term Molecular Gastronomy, the term was coined by the scientists Nicholas Kurti and Herve to describe a series of events they held in which scientists and chefs would collaborate with the intention of improving there understanding of food.
Now that a distinction has been drawn between the two terms we can start to answer the question. What is Modernist Cuisine?
Modernist Cuisine exists with one goal and one goal only. To make the best food possible it isn’t what many people believe about.
- Rejecting traditional methods
- To make silly dishes or gimmicks
But this raises the question of why are the various chemicals used or the lab equipment such as centrifuges or rotary evaporators? The simple answer is that these ingredients and techniques give the best outcome.
Take peas for example using modernist equipment and techniques we are able to make one of the most flavourful and pure juice that you could taste, and from that same pea it is possible to make a pea puree that resembles butter in texture but with the freshest pea taste imaginable.
So with Modernist Cuisine being focused on making food the best it can be, in my opinion its future looks bright. With it only getting better as the technology available to us and out knowledge improves.
As for today with the work of cooks like Kenji Lopez Alt and the team at serious eats and more recently a supermarket in the UK beginning to carry a ranges of Sous Vide cooked ready meals. The idea of Modernist Cuisine is starting to become more mainstream leaving the restaurants and labs and entering the home.
So eventually we may reach the point of what we see as modernist now in 2017 will eventually become normal with the modernist cuisine movement having moved forward to even greater things.
LEWEB, (2013), LE WEB PARIS 2013 – CONFERENCES – PLENARY 1 – FERRAN ADRIA [ONLINE]. Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/leweb3/11315101065/ [Accessed 27 July 2017].
Brian Minkoff, (2010), Hestonregentspark [ONLINE]. Available at: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/97/Hestonregentspark.jpg/800px-Hestonregentspark.jpg [Accessed 27 July 2017].
Star5112, (2011), Alinea – Grant Achatz [ONLINE]. Available at: http://flickr.com/photos/24509941@N00/6079704076 [Accessed 27 July 2017].