What is Molecular Gastronomy?

Food preparation, like any art form, is a medium through which a chef, the artist, expresses themselves. Molecular gastronomy, also known as modernist cuisine and experimental cuisine is a sub discipline of food science that focuses on the physical and chemical processes that occur during cooking. It has three aspects to it: social, artistic and technical. It borrows scientific discoveries and innovations from other disciplines to add to a chef’s creative expression while improving the dining experience of restaurant goers across the globe.

The term was first coined by Hungarian physicist Nicholas Kurti in the 1980’s and later popularized by French scientist Herve This. Today, Heston Blumenthal is one of many renowned chefs known to be experimenting and exploring the field of molecular gastronomy. Closer to home, Masala Library by Jiggs Karla is experimenting with marrying the concept of molecular gastronomy to traditional Indian cuisine. Though some of the ingredients used to create such food may seem scary and industrial, they have a biological origin and are safe for consumption in small measured doses.

Applying the concepts of molecular gastronomy to food does not necessarily mean creating a superior product with regard to flavour and / or texture. The focus lies more on discovering new ways of preparing, presenting and consuming food. It is theatrical in nature, meant to be fun, and contributes to the overall plethora of various art forms. Therefore, while it might be gaining traction and popularity as a concept and form of cuisine, molecular gastronomy can never completely replace traditional cuisine or even cooking methods.

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