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  • pinitbutton The End of Culinary Alchemy?
ferranadria1 The End of Culinary Alchemy?

Ferran Adrià of elBulli

 

A recent health scare at the world-renowned Fat Duck in England has forced the prestigious restaurant to shut its doors. Owner Heston Blumenthal, referred to as a “culinary alchemist” issued the closure when over 40 customers reported cases of illness after having dined at his establishment. These events have caused quite a stir in the culinary world, as many are now questioning the safety of molecular gastronomy – a cooking technique that relies heavily on chemicals that are intended to “deconstruct” the ingredients and transform the flavor and presentation of dishes. One of the most famous molecular gastronomists, Spanish-born Ferran Adrià (named best chef in the world by British publication Restaurant Magazine), implements similar techniques at his restaurant elBulli and has stood firm ground in support of cooking with chemicals.

 

Reports from countries including Spain, Germany and the U.K. have confirmed a universal fear – are these chemicals really safe? Spanish book ¡No Quiero Volver al Restaurante!  (I Don’t Want to go Back to that Restaurant!) and influential German news magazine Stern both offer strong cases against molecular cooking, stating that chefs are gambling unnecessarily with the health of their clients. Both the book and article make reference to the fact that molecular gastronomy is heavily funded by chemical industries that offer inexpensive additives capable of creating unusual flavors and appearances.

 

Santi Santamaria, another star chef from Spain, strongly disagrees with the usage of additives and has thus pointed fingers at his Catalonian peer Ferran Adrià. Santamaria insists that restaurants using additives be required to list these substances directly on the menu, so the diner knows what he is eating. With such opposition, could this be the end of molecular gastronomy? Has the newly popularized cooking style already hit its peak? Ultimately it’s up to the diners to decide the fate of molecular gastronomy.

 

 

Learn more about molecular gastronomy.



5 Comments »

  1. [...] the world’s best for the past few years were still battling it out. At number 2 there was Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck at Bray. And the winner is…of course, who else but the supreme magician of the [...]

    Pingback by GAYOT’s Blog The S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards — April 21, 2009 @ 4:00 pm

  2. [...] all this becomes a whole lot more fun at the micro level. Some of you have heard of molecular gastronomy and chefs such as Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck near London, Thomas Keller at the French [...]

    Pingback by GAYOT’s Blog My Life as a [molecular] Blog — May 19, 2009 @ 12:57 pm

  3. [...] Ferran Adria announced that the world’s center of molecular gastronomy, elBulli in Spain, is to close for 2012 and [...]

    Pingback by GAYOT’s Blog elBulli Restaurant Closing — January 28, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

  4. [...] With respect to the Michelin guide, which each year proves itself stingy in offering its highest score to Spanish restaurants, Millau points out that the problem is that the guide was created in the twentieth century and appears as a relic of the past. Now its clientele mainly consists of a middle class of a certain age. He explains that, on the contrary, the guide that he created together with Henri Gault and Andre Gayot always has looked to the future and the humanity of the establishments more than to the technical perfection of the restaurant. According to Millau, this guide has always presented the Spanish culinary geniuses in a positive light, and especially their pioneer, Ferran Adrià. [...]

    Pingback by GAYOT’s Blog The “Nouvelle” is Alive — February 8, 2010 @ 5:55 pm

  5. [...] The reason? Apparently the cost of running the restaurant was losing him and his partner, Juli Soler, upwards of half a million Euros each year. Adrià will now devote that money towards opening a culinary academy. [...]

    Pingback by GAYOT’s Blog BREAKING NEWS: Ferran Adrià To Close ElBulli Restaurant Permanently — February 12, 2010 @ 7:13 pm

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