Week 12: Contrast in Modern Cuisine – Molecular Gastronomy and Macrobiotics

This was an interesting week where we spent two days each in seemingly different end of the spectrum in modern day cuisine – molecular gastronomy versus holistic nutrition and macrobiotics: clean artsy plates versus good for you vegetarian burgers. However there is one thing that is common – good food takes time. With molecular food there are the different parts in food preparation to bring a plate together such as braising meat sous vide for 36 hours on a circulator. With holistic nutrition we talked about soaking, sprouting and fermenting. I love the differences in each and we were able to marry the two together in our Friday menu development with a combo dish with modern techniques and macrobiotics.

As a bonus Chef Katie from this season’s of Top Chef (also a previous grad of Northwest Culinary Academy) was in town for our two days in Modern Cuisine study and gave us insight to her take on molecular gastronomy.

Here is my attempt with a vegan miso soup with a tomato spheres. I had the hankering to make a tomato soup all week. 😉

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The tomato soup was prepared first thing in the morning with calcium lactate added and frozen in large circles. The miso soup was made using miso that was prepared by the class from January. Frozen spheres where dropped in a warm solution of sodium alginate that should form a gel skin around the tomato spheres. I had trouble executing the spheres. Besides getting the correct ratio of calcium to liquid volume, I have also later learned that the pH balance is also important to form a successful sphere. Tomato soup by default is quite acidic. Now you know if you plan to do the same thing in the near future. 🙂

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