The Thrill of Gel and Other Disappearing Edible Delights!

Travel Blog  •  David Farley  •  03.27.09 | 1:30 PM ET

Photo of food at Alinea by xmatt, via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Grant Achatz, the avant-garde Chicago chef, went to Madrid to attend Madrid Fusion, a congress of 50 of the world’s best chef, and all he got was a crappy food-stained T-shirt. Moreover, in this article he penned for the Atlantic, Achatz bemoans on a grander scale by wondering if molecular gastronomy is dead. Most of the world’s population didn’t even know that it had been born. But Achatz sat there during the meeting as chef after chef took the mic and felt pangs of emptiness:

“Where were the culinary fireworks? The introduction to the next ingredient that was going to enable us to turn oil into powder, serve a gelled liquid hot, or thicken an infusion by simply blending in a magical white substance? Where were the explanations of new techniques? Like the ones used to create raviolis with skins made from themselves, making pasta from stock, and aerating food to produce sponge-like textures?”

Raviolis with skins made from themselves? Aerating food to produce sponge-like textures? Sheesh. And he wonders why people may be losing interest in it.


David Farley

David Farley is the author of An Irreverent Curiosity: In Search of the Church's Strangest Relic in Italy's Oddest Town and co-editor of Travelers' Tales Prague and the Czech Republic: True Stories. Hes a contributing writer at AFAR magazine and his writing appears in the New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic Traveler, and, among other publications. He teaches writing at New York University.

1 Comment for The Thrill of Gel and Other Disappearing Edible Delights!

Darrin DuFord 03.30.09 | 2:59 PM ET

It’s hard to find a top chef who doesn’t foam something, whether it’s hazelnuts or tea.  But I never saw the appeal to foaming.  Depending on what is foamed, it either looks like pondscum or a piece of stained mattress.

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