The Kitchen as Laboratory: Reflections on the Science of Food and Cooking

The Kitchen as Laboratory: Reflections on the Science of Food and Cooking

by Cesar Vega
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Eating is a multisensory experience, yet chefs and scientists have only recently begun to anatomize food's components, introducing a new science called molecular gastronomy and a new frontier in the possibilities of the kitchen. In this global collaboration of essays, chefs, scientists, and cooks put the innovations of molecular gastronomy into practice, advancing a

Overview

Eating is a multisensory experience, yet chefs and scientists have only recently begun to anatomize food's components, introducing a new science called molecular gastronomy and a new frontier in the possibilities of the kitchen. In this global collaboration of essays, chefs, scientists, and cooks put the innovations of molecular gastronomy into practice, advancing a culinary hypothesis based on food's chemical properties and the skilled use of existing and cutting edge tools, ingredients, and techniques. As their experiments unfold, these pioneers create, and in some cases revamp, dishes that answer specific desires, serving up an original encounter with gastronomic practice.

From the seemingly mundane to the food fantastic, from grilled cheese sandwiches, pizzas, and soft-boiled eggs to sugar glasses and gellified beads, these essays cover a range of creations and their history and culture. They discuss the significance of an eater's background and atmosphere, the importance of a chef's methods, and strategies for extracting and concentrating aromas, among other intriguing topics. The collection will delight experts and amateurs alike, as restaurants rely more on "science-assisted" cooking and recreational cooks increasingly explore the chemistry behind their art. Contributors end each essay with personal thoughts on food, cooking, and science, offering rare insight into their professional passion for playing with food.

Editorial Reviews

Nature
serious and substantive anthology

— Harold McGee

Scientist

Refreshingly, the Kitchen conveys simple and attainable advice...

Yum.fi

Engaging, thought-provoking and accessible

Choice

Highly recommended.

Robert Wolke

Behind today's celebrity chefs and starred restaurants is a mostly unsung army of dedicated food and science lovers working to uncover the scientific principles that make our modern gastronomical marvels possible. In offering thirty-three highly readable and often amusing essays by warriors in this multinational kitchen army, the editors of this anthology have accomplished the great service of filling a much-needed gap in the public's understanding and appreciation of twenty-first-century culinary 'magic.' Where else can one have fun pondering the acoustics of crunchy foods or the texture of an ice cream that stretches like a rubber band?

Will Goldfarb

The editors of The Kitchen as Laboratory provide not just intimate and fascinating anecdotal insights but also the scientific principles that inspired them. They have created a new altar for chefs and gourmands to worship: the poetry of science.

Peter Barham

The Kitchen as Laboratory provides good perspective on the scientific approach to cooking while reflecting the interests and passions of each essay's author. Readers are likely to come away with a lot of new ideas to use in the kitchen, as well as some recognition of the breadth of contemporary applications of science in the kitchen.

Maxime Bilet

Cesar Vega, Job Ubbink, and Erik van der Linden have assembled a complete document that seamlessly bridges the inherent connection of the science of cooking and the art of cooking. They have created a testament to the fact that precise understanding and open minded observation are invaluable tools for creative cooking. Kitchen as Laboratory: Reflections on the Science of Food and Cooking is a thought provoking, insightful and approachable resource for professional chefs and home cooks alike.

Nature - Harold McGee

serious and substantive anthology

Chef Wylie Dufresne

The Kitchen as Laboratory is not only an in-depth study of many areas of food science, but also an entertaining read. For someone like me, who relishes understanding more about cooking from the inside out, it's heartening to see this area of literature expanded.

Chef José Andrés

Nothing is more difficult to master in the world than science itself. The Kitchen as Laboratory creates a beautiful synergy between food and science while amazingly representing difficult concepts in colloquial language. It is a powerful book.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231526920
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
02/07/2012
Series:
Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Will Goldfarb

Only Cesar Vega could produce this wonderful edition of new classic stories of science and the kitchen. MFK Fisher referred to two kinds of food books: those that imitate Brillat Savarin and those that don't. Well, the editors of The Kitchen as Laboratory provide not just intimate and fascinating anecdotal insights, but also the scientific principles that inspired them. Cesar, Job and Erik have created a new altar for chefs and gourmands to worship: the poetry of science.

Will Goldfarb, Willpowder, Experimental Cuisine Collective

Maxime Bilet

Cesar Vega, Job Ubbink, and Erik van der Linden have assembled a complete document that seamlessly bridges the inherent connection of the science of cooking and the art of cooking. They have created a testament to the fact that precise understanding and open minded observation are invaluable tools for creative cooking. Kitchen as Laboratory: Reflections on the Science of Food and Cooking is a thought provoking, insightful and approachable resource for professional chefs and home cooks alike.

Maxime Bilet, head chef for recipe research and development at The Cooking Lab, co-author of Modernist Cuisine

Chef José Andrés

Nothing is more difficult to master in the world than science itself. The Kitchen as Laboratory creates a beautiful synergy between food and science, and amazingly represents difficult concepts in colloquial language. It is a powerful book.

Chef José Andrés, James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Chef

Chef Wylie Dufresne

The Kitchen as Laboratory is not only an in depth study of many areas of food science, but also an entertaining read. For someone like me, who relishes understanding more about cooking from the inside out, it's heartening to see this area of literature expand.

Chef Wylie Dufresne, wd~50

Peter Barham

The Kitchen as Laboratory provides a number of useful insights. As the book is multi-authored, it provides a good perspective on the scientific approach to cooking while reflecting the interests and passions of the individual authors. Readers are likely to come away with a lot of new ideas to use in the kitchen, as well as some recognition of the breadth of the contemporary applications of science in the kitchen

Peter Barham, author of The Science of Cooking

Meet the Author

César Vega holds a Ph.D. in food science and a culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu and is research manager at Mars Botanical, a division of Mars, Inc. He has consulted with several avant-garde restaurants on aspects relating to science-based cooking, and he regularly teaches seminars on the relation between science and cooking.

Job Ubbink is a senior consultant at Food Concept and Physical Design in Flüh, Switzerland. Trained as a physical chemist and biophysicist, he has more than twelve years of R&D experience in the food industry. Along with his research on food material science and food biophysics, he is a passionate cook devoted to developing sustainable food practices and culture.

Erik van der Linden is professor of physics and physical chemistry of foods at Wageningen University. From 1991 to 1997, he worked at the interface of science and industry at Unilever Research in the Netherlands and in the United States, leading innovation projects on structural and sensory aspects of detergents, cosmetics, and foods. He earned his M.Sc. degree in theoretical physics and his Ph.D. at Leiden University and was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at Emory University, where he focused on the stability of oil in water emulsions.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >