THE FUTURE OF FOOD Molecular Gastronomy for the Masses

For the advanced kitchen chemist, or the merely curious-discover the high-tech appetizers, entres and desserts behind today's culinary revolution

If you’re bored of everyday kitchen chemistry and are hankering to bust out the big guns of molecular gastronomy, your ordinary cookbook probably won’t cut it. Fortunately, PopSci has you covered. Check out our favorite high-tech recipes-courtesy of International Cooking Concepts-perfect for rounding out any gastronomer’s oeuvre. All can be made using your run-of-the-mill, restaurant-quality Gastrovac,
the $4,000 machine revolutionizing haute cuisine at the world’s most cutting-edge eateries.

For a little food-technology magic you can try at home, launch our gallery for a step-by-step guide to high-tech cooking’s DIY guru Dave Arnold’s see our profile of Arnold here mojito-strawberry salsa. Note that the commercial vacuum sealer isn’t strictly required. But man, it’s cool.

Recipes for the Gastrovac can be found below and on the following pages:

Lettuce Sauted With Smoky Bacon

Pascal Barbot, l’Astrance, Paris

Preparation

Place the following ingredients in the Gastrovac: the meat stock, bacon, onions, carrots, rosemary, savory and lettuce hearts. Cook for 55 minutes at 50 C. Allow to cool and drain well.

Cut the lettuce hearts in half. Place a little melted butter and the sugar in a frying pan. Place the Romaine lettuce hearts in the frying pan with the flat side down and fry until golden brown. Season with fleur de sel, freshly-ground pepper and the orange zest. Serve with sauted chicken liver, deglazed with vinegar, or with a slice of grilled foie gras.

Ingredients(Serves 4)

4 Romaine lettuce hearts

2 strips fried bacon

8 new onions

Fleur de sel

Ground pepper

4 new carrots

2 liters white meat stock

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 sprig of fresh savory

25g butter

1 tablespoonful sugar

Zest of 1 orange

Kinder Tomato

Marcelo Tejedor. Casa Marcelo, Santiago de Compostela

Preparation

For the pulp and vinegar infusion: Heat the pulp and vinegar to 65. Add a tablespoon of powdered tomato and dissolve well. Leave to cool.

For the tomatoes: Blanch the tomatoes and plunge them into iced water immediately afterwards. Peel and dry them well. Using a teaspoon remove all juice and seeds, making an incision in the bottom of each tomato. Keep the juice.

Soaking the tomatoes: Put the tomatoes inside the Gastrovac basket, keeping it raised, and add the cold pulp and vinegar infusion. Make a vacuum for 15 minutes (0.8 bar) and submerge the tomatoes. Slowly break the vacuum so that the tomatoes are well soaked. Remove and strain the tomatoes. Save the infusion for future soaks.

For the tomato pil-pil: Put the hake pil-pil, the tomato juice, a tablespoon of powdered tomato and blanched garlic into the mixer or blender, blending them finely. Gradually introduce the olive oil until it becomes a stable emulsion. Pour it into a siphon and leave to cool in the fridge for one hour.

To serve: Fill the tomatoes with the tomato pil-pil and put them on plates. Dress with Siurana extra virgin olive oil and season with Maldon salt.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

4 vine-ripened tomatoes

1/2 liter of tomato pulp

2 tablespoonfuls of powdered tomato

30g of hake pil-pil

3dl Siurana 0.2 olive oil for the pil-pil, and 8cl for the seasoning

Maldon salt

Salmon, Seaweed and Pickled Cucumber

Marcelo Tejedor. Casa Marcelo, Santiago de Compostela

Preparation

Remove the bones from the salmon and cover it with the sugar, salt and pepper mix, leaving it to marinate for 12 hours. For the vinaigrette boil the water with the sugar, remove from the flame and add the star anise seed and aniseeds. Leave to cool and finish by adding the rice vinegar, chopped dried tomato and virgin olive oil. Keep to one side. Boil the green beans in water with salt and then cool them in iced water. Drain and keep to one side. Peel the cucumber and cut it lengthways. Then cut each half into 1cm slices. Put the apple vinegar in a bowl inside the Gastrovac. Put the cucumber slices in the basket, keeping it raised. Make a vacuum for 15 mins. After 15 minutes, submerge the basket with the cucumber into the vinegar, leaving it for 10 more minutes.

Break the vacuum slowly and take out the cucumber that will now be pickled and soaked in vinegar. Boil the Irish moss for 3 minutes in water and cool it in iced water. Keep to one side. Prepare some tarragon and purple basil leaves. Slice the green beans diagonally and finely. Remove the salmon from the marinade and wash and dry it well. Remove the skin with a knife and cut it in 1cm slices.

First put a small spoonful of aniseed vinaigrette on a plate, then place the salmon slices, pickled cucumber, seaweed, herbs, capers and beans. Sprinkle with Maldon salt.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Marinated salmon

300g Scottish salmon

20g sugar

300g coarse salt

5g ground black pepper

Aniseed vinaigrette

20g sugar

5cl water

1 star anise seed

10 aniseeds

2cl rice vinegar

1 dried tomato

2 tablespoons of virgin olive oil

Pickled cucumber

1 cucumber

1/2 liter of apple vinegar

4 sprigs of Irish moss seaweed

4 large capers

Tarragon leaves

Purple basil leaves

Green beans

Maldon salt

Chilled Foie Gras Marinated With Poudre de Duc, Poached in Marina Alta Muscatel

Sergio Torres. El Rodat, Javea

Preparation

Bleed the foie gras and remove the fine top layer of skin that covers it to better infuse the spices. Blend all of the spices, cover the foie gras and leave to marinate for 12 hours.

Wash the foie gras and boil in the Gastrovac at 65 degrees for 20 minutes, together with the wine and all of the spices. Drain and leave to cool in the fridge. Garnish with a jelly of apple with spices, and some herb and lettuce leaves to give a refreshing touch to such a spicy recipe.

Ingredients

400-500g foie gras, approx

Lettuce shoots

4 liters sweet white wine

1 cinnamon stick

The peel of 1 lemon

The peel of 1 orange

Thyme

1 bay leaf

Indonesian pepper

Jamaican pepper

Szechuan pepper

Vanilla

Galangal

Nutmeg

Saffron

Clove

Ginger

Cinnamon

Mace

Cardamom (grains of paradise)

Sugar

Marina Alta Freshly Grown Vegetables With Wild Mushrooms

Sergio Torres. El Rodat, Javea.

Preparation

Turn and shape each vegetable separately. Blanch the sea fennel in plenty of salted water and cool with ice. Wash the borage and keep in water with a pinch of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), along with the artichokes and turned potatoes.

Peel the asparagus, wash the wild mushrooms with a brush under the tap with just a little water so they do not get too damp. Put all the vegetables in the Gastrovac with the ready-prepared consum made from the peel of the vegetables and the wild mushroom stalks.

Strain through a cheesecloth. Reduce 3/4 of its volume, add salt and pepper and boil at 65 degrees for 20 minutes. Season to taste.

Ingredients

1 flowering courgette

2 baby carrots, 1 small leek

5g sea fennel

10g wild silverbeet

2 green onions

4 wild asparagus

1 green asparagus

6g potatoes

6 mangetout peas

1 green bean

6g broccoli

6g cauliflower

1 artichoke
1 calot

5g beans (washed)

5g peas (washed)

1 turnip

5g chard

10g morels

10g borage

2 stems of wild garlic flower

50g vegetable consomm

Olive oil

Sel gris

Pepper

Red Peach Segments Soaked in Almond Essence and White Flower Soup

Andoni Luis Aduritz. Mugaritz, Rentera.

Preparation

For the soup: Heat the water, the vanilla and the crushed pepper. Bring to the boil, remove and add 8 fresh pennyroyal mint leaves and leave to infuse for 15 mins. After 15 minutes take out the mint leaves and leave covered to cool. When it is at 40C add the sugar and the pectin and return it to the flame until it reaches 70 C. Remove, add the remaining mint leaves, the white wine and the peach pure, add to iced water to cool and cover so that it starts to set. Always keep covered and very cold.

For the soaked peaches: Pour the water, sugar, bitter almond essence and vitamin C or ascorbic acid into the Gastrovac. Mix well until smooth.

Using the tip of a knife, make an incision down to the stone from the peach’s stalk, turning the fruit until it has been cut through all round. In this way with a slight twist of the two parts the peach can be divided into two halves. Remove the stone from the middle. Carefully peel the peaches (as there is a good variety of this family of fruits you could use “clingstone” peaches, nectarines or something similar). Cut the halves into twos or threes depending on the pieces. Put the slices into the water, sugar and bitter almond essence mix. Without heat turn the pot on and apply the maximum vacuum. Soak for as long as it takes the peach to go translucent. The soaking is carried out, opening and closing the air valve every 4-5 minutes during the soaking time. These impulses make the peach expel a bit of its juice to be mixed with that of its surroundings, in this case, the bitter almond syrup.

For the fresh almond: Carefully shell the almonds using a nutcracker. Remove the fine skin covering the nut and keep it between two pieces of damp paper or cloth.

To serve

Cut the 6 pennyroyal mint leaves that have not yet been used in the infusion into a julienne, and add them to the infusion.

Strain the juice from the peaches into a soup dish, serve 2 peach slices, or whatever fruit was used, and 4 fresh almonds. To complete the dish pour a large amount of the mint, peach, sweet muscat, pepper and vanilla infusion on top with the mint julienne. Best served cold.

Ingredients

For the soup

400ml of spring water

100g red peach pulp pure

1 vanilla pod

6 black peppercorns

12 leaves of pennyroyal mint

50g sugar

3g pectin

90 ml muscat wine

6 more leaves of pennyroyal mint for serving

For the soaked peaches

2 well-ripened but firm peaches

450ml of water

2 drops of natural bitter almond essence

50g sugar

0.25g vitamin C or ascorbic acid

For the fresh almond

16 fresh almonds in their shells

Optional

Acacia flowers, elderflowers, or any flowers with a not-too-harsh, fresh smell

Soaked Cucumber With Gazpacho Water, Frozen Goat’s Cheese Droplets and Requienii Mint Leaves

Andoni Luis Aduritz. Mugaritz, Rentera.

Preparation

For the gazpacho: Peel the onions, garlic and cucumbers. Remove the stalk of the pepper and tomato. Cut all the vegetables into medium slices and put them together with the water and the salt in a container. Leave the mix to soak for 4-5 hours.

Blend everything in a mixer or using a hand-blender. Filter this liquid pure through very fine paper or cloth. Leave
the liquid to strain by its own weight without adding any kind of pressure.

For the cucumber: Cut the cucumber into 4cm-long cylinders. Peel the cucumber slices by turning them by hand with the knife held vertically so that no kind of edge is formed.

Place the cucumber in a container and sprinkle it with salt. Leave the cucumber to sweat for 10 minutes, pass it under the tap and then dry it.

Put the cucumber pieces in the Gastrovac together with the translucent gazpacho. With no additional heat, at room temperature, begin soaking, opening and closing the air valve to the pot. As the cucumber pieces are submerged in the gazpacho soup, each time pressure needs to be reapplied they will absorb the liquid around them.

For the cheese: Put the cheese in a forcing bag and leave it to fall in droplets into a container with liquid
nitrogen so that they form teardrop shapes. Drain and keep in the freezer at -20 C.

For the mint: Cut the tiny mint leaves with the utmost care and wash them in cold water with food cleaner.

To serve: Have frozen non-crack plates in the freezer for the gazpacho consum. Stand each cucumber piece on end on the plate and add the cheese teardrops. Sprinkle some of the mint leaves over the cucumber and cheese and finish with a little of the cold gazpacho consum, until it nearly covers the cucumber.

Ingredients (Serves 8)

For the gazpacho

700g tomato

500g cucumber

100g onion

80g green pepper

10g garlic

15g salt

1.5l mineral water

For the cucumber

1kg cucumber

20g salt

For the cheese

200g whipped creamed

Fermented goat’s cheese

For the mint

40 leaves of menta requieni

Prawns, Prawns, Prawns!

Moshik Roth. Brouwerskolkje, Overveen

Preparation

Beat the methylcellulose with the stock for 5 minutes with a manual beater. Leave to stand for one day in the fridge. The next day the liquid should be clear.

Soak the king prawn with its stock at room temperature for 45 minutes in the Gastrovac. Then saut it over a low flame, not going above 60C. Put 2 king prawns in the Thermomix with the liquid nitrogen for a few seconds until it takes on a powdered texture.

Put the soaked king prawns on the plate with the foam and powder on the side. The idea of the dish is to serve king prawns at different temperatures to incorporate the flavors of the Vadouvan.

Ingredients

5 (live) king prawns 9/13

1 liter prawn stock

26g methylcellulose

Vadouvan

Liquid nitrogen

King prawn foam (xanthan based)

Ceps Consomm

Moshik Roth. Brouwerskolkje, Overveen

Preparation

Freeze the wild mushrooms with the water and put them in the Gastrovac at 75C for 2 hours. Next, sift and cool. Clear the drained liquid and add salt to taste. The vacuum created in the Gastrovac guarantees a finished product of the highest quality, without oxidation and without any loss of flavor.

Ingredients

3l water

1.5kg chopped wild mushrooms

Iberian Pork

Moshik Roth. Brouwerskolkje, Overveen

Preparation

Prepare the hay broth with the same technique as with the mushrooms, but using beef stock instead of water. Boil the pork in the Roner at 68C for 24 hours and mix the methylcellulose with the hay broth. Soak the pork cheeks in the Gastrovac at 45C for one hour and at 60 C for approximately 15 minutes. Garnish with apricot, chicory and potato mousselin with fenugreek and almond foam.

Ingredients

1kg Iberian pork jaw

2l hay broth

52g methylcellulose

Citrus Fruit Crystallized in the Gastrovac

Pascal Barbot, l’Astrance, Paris

Preparation

Brush clean the citrus fruit with water. Use a juicer to squeeze the juice from the fruit. To blanche the fruit, place in a pan of cold water and heat, removing when the water begins to boil. Drain the water and set the citrus fruit aside. Make a syrup with the juice, the vanilla pod and the sugar.

Place the syrup and the fruit peel in the Gastrovac. Cook for 6 hours at 55 C. Leave to cool. Use the crystallized citrus fruit zest as a condiment.

Ingredients

1kg seasonal citrus fruit: oranges, citron, tangerines, etc.

500g icing sugar

1 vanilla pod

by John B. Carnett

Remove tops, hull, and cut the strawberries into thin slices.

by John B. Carnett

If you have a vacuum sealer, place the strawberries into a bag, and seal it at maximum vacuum plus 30 seconds.

by John B. Carnett

Stir the strawberry and pear cubes into the rum-agar gel, along with some chopped mint.

by John B. Carnett

Re-vacuum and recompress the strawberries three or four times.

by John B. Carnett

Garnish with a bit more mint . . .

by John B. Carnett

Remove the strawberry slices from the bag, and cut them into cubes.

by John B. Carnett

Before you remove the pears from the bag, let them rest for 10 minutes so that the rum infuses the slices.

by John B. Carnett

Repeat the process with the pears, but add half the remaining rum mixture to the vacuum bag.

by John B. Carnett

And serve.

by John B. Carnett

If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, just cut the strawberries and pears into small cubes.

Ingredients

Rum 35 ounces
Fresh-squeezed lime juice 10 ounces
Simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar dissolved over low heat) 10 ounces
Agar (a powdered gelatin derived from seaweed) 18 grams
Cold water 22 ounces
Strawberries 1 pint
Pear 1 medium
Mint 1 small bunch

by John B. Carnett

Remove the agar from the fridge and put it into a blender with the remaining rum. Blend until it becomes a smooth jelly.

by John B. Carnett

First, mix together the rum, lime juice, simple syrup and a pinch of salt.

by John B. Carnett

Add the agar to the cold water. While stirring, heat the mixture at a near boil until the solution becomes clear.

by John B. Carnett

Add three quarters of the mixture to the agar solution, making sure it stays above 100ºF (otherwise the mix could harden).

by John B. Carnett

Put the rum-agar mixture in the fridge, and set until cold and firm. Chill the remaining rum mixture as well.

by John B. Carnett

If you have a vacuum sealer, de-aerate the rum-agar gel until it’s clear.