Tag Archives: Avant-Garde Cuisine
Red velvet sponge 3

Red velvet carpet: Microwave sponge cake

Another one from the “I’ve been meaning to try” files, this time prompted in part by a recipe in the latest issue of Lucky Peach. Microwave sponge cakes, pioneered by Albert Adrià, had a brief surge of popularity a few years ago, before retreating back to the relative obscurity of “just another pastry technique.” There […]

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The torch passes

I would be remiss in allowing to pass unremarked the end of the famous elBulli in its incarnation as a restaurant: its final service was this past Saturday night. Although I sadly never had the opportunity to dine at the restaurant, which was ranked number 1 in the world for 5 of the past 10 […]

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Shiitake Air

The lightest foam you’ll ever taste

When it comes to foams, the lightest style you’re likely to come across is known, very appropriately, as an “air.” This is another Ferran Adrià invention, and although he makes a strong distinction between “foams” and “airs” (I remember watching him correct his interpreter on this point at an event in Toronto a couple of […]

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Apple Foam

Cold foams from a siphon

Although there are many culinary preparations that fall into the category of foam, when you say the word “foam” today, especially in the context of avant-garde cooking, what often comes to mind is a piece of equipment: the whipped cream siphon. The idea of using a siphon to make foams other than whipped cream is […]

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Milk Foam

Foam: An Introduction

Foams, if you’ll pardon the pun, are the whipping boy of avant-garde cuisine. Those who fear “molecular gastronomy” deride them; those who practice it often downplay them. Anthony Bourdain once famously derided the godfather of avant-garde cooking, Ferran Adrià, as “that foam dude.” So what exactly is a foam? At the highest level, it’s a […]

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Cinnamon Turnover

Fluid gels as turnover filling

Last weekend, as the culmination of my eGullet foodblogging week, I hosted a small dinner party, of which my Caesar salad was one course. You can see the whole meal here. For dessert, I made individual tartes Tatin with cinnamon ice cream, apple pâte de fruit and cinnamon fluid gel. Fluid gels are one of […]

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Caesar Salad

Make mine a Caesar

Whether you believe it to be a Canadian invention or not, the Caesar is undeniably one of Canada’s favourite cocktails. But where most cocktails work by balancing sweet, sour, bitter and strong flavours, the Caesar is one of a small number of cocktails that also brings elements of salty and umami into play. A balance […]

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Noma cookbook

Something inspiring in the state of Denmark

If fine dining in the 1970s and 1980s was defined by nouvelle cuisine, and the 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s were the province of “technoemotional” cuisine (or whatever you want to call it), my prediction is that the next decade will be characterized by what could be called the “Danish model.” I […]

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Pumpkin Pie Cocktail 1

Friday night cocktail: Pumpkin Pie Cocktail

This recipe is the fruit of a discussion on eGullet about ways to incorporate pumpkin into cocktails without ending up with sliminess in the glass. It occurred to me that the problem is essentially one of filtration: you want all the flavour of the pumpkin, without any of the particles. In other words, it was […]

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Gelatin clarification

Filtering liquids with gelatin

Have you ever accidentally frozen Jell-O? Maybe you put it in the freezer to make it set faster, and forgot about it? If so, you probably noticed that when it thawed, it started to weep liquid. The technical term for this is “syneresis” and, used deliberately, it can be a powerful tool in the kitchen. […]

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