Madrid Fusion Day Two – Whither “Molecular Gastronomy?”

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The panel was moderated by José Carlos Capel and Juanma Bellver

Perhaps the biggest single most eagerly awaited discussion of the 2009 Madrid Fusión was that of the discussion between Ferran Adría, Heston Blumenthal, Andoni Luis Aduriz, Harold McGee and Davide Cassi on "Does 'Molecular Cuisine' Exist?" The auditorium was indeed packed and cameras were out in full force. Indeed much has already been written about this discussion. In a nutshell, all agreed that the term "Molecular Gastronomy" useful when it was first coined at a conference on Science and food in Erice, Italy in the early 1990's, no longer applies and certainly doesn't apply to actual cooking, no matter how creative or science supported the cooking might be. Science is inherent in every aspect of cooking. The very nature of cooking is the manipulation of ingreedients. Many commonly accepted ingredients such as chocolate or sugar are the result of intensive processing, much like what these and other chefs do in their kitchens. The participants only got to discussing possible alternatives late in the discussion and in that short time were unable to come up a with mutually acceptable terminology. For a more detailed and excellent report on the content of the discussion please see Heather Sperling's article in Starchefs.com. For a special perspective on the discussion, please see Grant Achatz' piece in The Atlantic Online.

Here, I will share some photos from the event with more available in this album.

The Participants:

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Andoni Luis Aduriz
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Harold McGee

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Heston Blumenthal

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Davide Cassi and Ferran Adría

The Discussion:

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One Response to Madrid Fusion Day Two – Whither “Molecular Gastronomy?”

  1. Does that term apply just to the molecular aspect of food? As in what molecules in a cake make it taste a certain way, or aspects of certain proteins or something.
    Or can it refer more generally to anything related to studying food. For example, if I did an experiment on how the presentation of food affects the flavor, say if I gave the same dish that either looked very fancy or was just dumped on a paper plate, and it turned out people thought it tasted better when it looked fancy. Would my experiment count as an experiment in Molecular Gastronomy?
    If not, what would be the word to describe that?

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