The Future of Cooking

Anyone seen Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen on SyFy?  I’ve been watching faithfully – it’s a fascinating concept.  It’s a catering reality show, but Marcel creates or reinvents food using… well, science, yes, but in unexpected ways.  It’s called “molecular gastronomy” and there aren’t any recipes for you to try at home, because quite frankly, unless you have access to some fairly esoteric equipment (um, cryovac machine, anyone?) and things like dry ice, you won’t be able to recreate these dishes.  I think they go through more agar than a microbiology lab!

Some of the things I’ve seen so far have included making noodles from cheese or wine (NO flour of any description that I saw), tomato foam, tuna-flavored watermelon (to mimic sushi), hot ice cream, edible sea shells and diamond rings.  As an example, the cheese noodles were made by mixing up some cheese mixture, then dipping frozen copper wire into the mixture and sliding the congealed tube off the wire.  In another example, they sphericalized beer to pop it into an adult root “beer” float.  Jellification is also a popular method on this show.

For some bizarre reason, it seems as though they come up with all these weird and wonderful ideas… food experimentation that they’ve never tried before… and start the whole catering shebang TWO DAYS before the event.  There are failures – things break or don‘t congeal, or simply taste like crap.  There’s a lot of yelling and stress.  But somehow, they manage to keep the clients happy.

Regardless, the real appeal of the show is how they reinvent food using various chemical properties.  I don’t generally watch cooking shows, but this one is utterly captivating.  I do hope, however, that this is not the “cooking of the future” because it looks like even MORE work.

KC Burn

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7 comments

  1. I love cooking shows but haven’t watched this one yet. I need to give it a look-see. Not to gleen recipes, obviously. My cryovac is in the shop 😉

    While I can appreciate modern appliances that make cooking faster and easier, I hope that we don’t arrive at any kind of “press a button and voila! a six course meal” sort of advancement. Creating a meal like that would lose its heart and artistry.

    1. Those cryovacs are pesky, aren’t they? I agree, there is something to be said for artistry when it comes to cooking (and Marcel does have a good grasp of that, I gotta say) but I wouldn’t say no to the “press a button” approach after a long work day! 🙂

  2. I don’t get this show – or at least I have never seen it. I wonder if this can be found online? You’ve totally caught my interest. 🙂

    Lilly

    1. Hmmm… as I recall, Space would often carry stuff from SyFy… but this particular show may not have enough universal appeal 🙂 Still, I find it pretty cool, so yeah, try to find it online if you can.

      1. Well I have Space but haven’t seen it listed. I’ll do a search. 🙂

      2. Mark · ·

        All the shows are on Hulu. My son and I watch – he’s a huge fan. We’ve tried some things around the house using the creativity and imagination from the show. And we’ll be ordering a Dewar for liquid nitrogen soon; some of those processes are too cool to pass up!

      3. Really? You’re going to play around with liquid nitrogen? I’m impressed – I’d be interested in how it works out.

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