Wednesday, November 12, 2008

NaBloPoMo, Day 12: Eat This Now. It's Food. No, Really. It is.

If you've perused my links, you know that I'm a big fan of Carol Blymire, the nutty lady who cooked her way through the Thomas Keller masterpiece and then blogged all about it on French Laundry at Home. She is an adventurous and grounded cook and hilarious to boot, but once she met her goal of making every recipe from the book, needed to turn her attention to a new task.

She set her sights on Alinea, a Chicago restaurant specializing in molecular gastronomy. Like me, you may have no idea what the hell that means, so click that link. Does that explain it? Not really, right? As far as I can tell, molecular gastronomy involves doing all kinds of science-y things to food using hydrocolloids until it become nearly unrecognizable as food, then serving it on fresh-from-the-mothership tableware.

Molecular gastronomy is kind of big whoop right now. I'm meh about it. The whole concept just seems so detached and bloodless to me, so unlike seeing saw-wielding Carol grappling with a giant pig head on her kitchen table. How great is that?

Check out this dish from famed Spanish restaurant el Bulli, a hub of the molecular gastronomy movement:

Dinner is served!

So what is that? Not sure. el Bulli classifies this ectoplasm as tapas, and calls it "cala Montjoi goose barnacles." WTF? But it must be said--they've got no shortage of customers. el Bulli is only open from April to September and takes reservations on one day the prior October, employs 42 chefs and has operated at a loss since 2000. Whatever it is they're doing, they're very dedicated. You must give them that.

Even though I sort of don't care about molecular gastronomy, I'll keep reading Alinea at Home because I like Carol so much. What's not to love about a lady who describes a recipe as "bacon on a sex swing?"

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