Wednesday, February 9, 2011

30 Course Modernist Dinner

If you want to see what kind of dinner the minds that came up with Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking would prepare, now is your chance. (Menu here) Crazy stuff. I'm not a huge fan of modernist cooking... I prefer real food to chemical stabilizers... but Kenji makes a good point when he says this about his feelings on the Modernist cooking movement:
Chances are, if you've eaten at a fancy restaurant in any major city recently, you've had food that was cooked sous-vide, a sauce that was stabilized with a hydro-colloid, or an ice cream that's been set with stabilizers and churned in a Pacojet—you just didn't know it.

And that's where the real usefulness of some of these techniques come in: when they are used to augment a good cook's repertoire of techniques and ingredients, not take them over.
I go back and forth with whether I want to hack a slow cooker for sous vide or not, but for the most part I'm not looking to replicate the fancy restaurant experience at home...  so I don't know how useful modernist techniques are to me as a cook, but it's hard to argue against their utility in general.