The world of molecular gastronomy
Hey everyone! My name is Tali and this is the first installment of my molecular gastronomy blog.
About me: Tali Clavijo is a student of the culinary world, an author, and modern day alchemist. I’m from Chicago, IL “The capital of molecular gastronomy infused cuisine in America.” Now, I live in Los Angeles, California…and my goal is to bring my molecular knowledge to the world and infuse it with my new cuisine.
I’m going to school at my kitchen and look forward toward becoming a real Executive Chef someday. For now, this is my blog about the discipline of molecular gastronomy. You will get to learn, as I do, new and exciting ways to take the knowledge from molecular gastronomy and apply it to your own culinary masterpiece.
I just back from a visit to NoCal (that’s Northern California for all you non-California peeps) with a suitcase full of fine powders. It was very interesting coming through airport security with a 1pound bag of tapioca maltodextrin (the powder is white, much like cocaine). Anyway, there is much more to this madness. Let’s rewind some.
About three days ago I got the most interesting book ever from my favorite restaurant in Chicago, Alinea. I will be quite honest with you, this book has been on the Christmas wish list for me for sometime now. Luckily, I got an early Christmas gift while eating 12 month aged Sheep’s Milk Manchego, classic terrine Foie Gras, thin slices of the infamous ‘pata negra’, the finest olive oil, and some fresh french bread. Very amazing food indeed.
After having a really nice night filled with various textures and flavors I read the Alinea book from front to back. I took note at the way Chef Grant Achatz and his team pushed the boundaries with American cuisine. In that moment I decided to learn everything I can from Chef Achatz and his friends at Alinea.
While I read the Alinea book, I made sure to take notes in my new molecular gastronomy recipe book. Just like master chefs, I’m armed with a pen and paper. Why? Because I want to capture the exactness of every idea, every experiment, every ingredient, every creative thought, and everything else that might jump out at me from Nature.
Before reading Alinea, I did pick up Chef Ferran Adria’s ‘A Day at elBulli’ masterful book. I also discovered the only place in Chicago where you could get very cheap molecular gastronomy products at this place in the Fulton Meat market called JDY Meat. Moreover, I stumbled over a tiny hole in the wall ‘molecular gastronomy’ culinary shop called Le Sanctuaire located in San Francisco. Knowing I was going to be in San Fran very soon I was even more excited to venture out west.
The best part of this adventure (even thought I was still in Chicago) was that I ordered the el bulli ‘Texturas” dvd which came to my house the day before my trip out west. I was also surprised when I received a very special el bulli gift…I got the ‘el bulli 2003-2004 cd’ that came with the 2003-2004 el Bulli book (Note: this book has a $300 price tag on it, and represents a year of innovative cuisine at el Bulli). This was shaping up to be the best Christmas ever!
The moment I received my el bulli products I was hooked and amazed by the genius behind Chef Ferran Adria and his brother Albert Adria. The amount of knowledge in these dvds and cds are highly recommend and have helped shape my molecular gastronome scope of reality.
The best part of the Texturas dvd are the recipes and in depth look at exactly how Ferran does it in his own kitchen. This dvd is what every aspiring molecular gastronome inspired chef should see. The el bulli 2003-2004 cd is part of the bigger el Bulli book. This cd is jam packed with even more recipes and other ideas for creating your own innovative cuisine using the principles of molecular gastronomy. My favorite part is that each form of media is divided into subsections that are dedicated for a specific textura.
For example, there are over ten recipes in the dvd on spherification where Ferran takes you into the magical world of creating your own mango ravioli.
My trip was amazing because right after I stepped off the plane I had my own personal appointment at Le Sanctuaire in San Francisco. This little hole in the wall store had everything you would need to start making some amazing el bulli or Alinea inspired recipes. The show room itself was like walking through a Bentley showroom with some high end sous vide machines, liquid nitrogen tanks, and other weird culinary gadjets. This is where I stocked up on my molecular gastronomy powders. I made sure to grab everything outlined in the Alinea book.
With all my powders handy I set off to make culinary magic and history. Just like Chef Achatz and Chef Ferran Adria I seek to push the boundaries with contemporary cuisine with the latest in the discipline of molecular gastronomy. This is going to be very nice!