Over the past six months I have written several articles about the type of cooking commonly and incorrectly known as “molecular gastronomy”. As a food scientist I have some pretty strong feelings about it-A part of me feels like the chefs stole our tools and pretended like they invented freeze dried food and xanthan gum. But then I read Coleman Andrews book “Ferran” and Heston Bluenthals’ “The Fat Duck Cookbook” and saw that those guys are not hiding the fact that they studied with great food scientists, its just that the restaurant critics and people who eat at their laboratory- restaurants don’t really care. And that is sort of the fault of the food scientist and the food industry. We tend to keep our methods and processing techniques a secret because we don’t want people to think of their poptarts as a science experiment, we want you to think that Betty Crocker baked it up nice in her kitchen just for you. But the chefs were smart, they took modified food starches and used them in ways that were impressive and made their creativity very clear to the world! And thats why the chefs make the big bucks and the food scientists (equally as smart and creative) get squat!
I talked about this in the following blogs:
I had an article published a few weeks ago in the “World of Food Ingredients on the future of Molecular Cooking” I know it won’t win me a Beard Award or anything and actually it was proabably published in the wrong place-Here I am preaching to the choir (World of
Food Ingredients is a food industry trade journal read by other food scientists) and I should be telling it to people who read Saveur or Food and Wine or Nations Restaurant News. Those are the ones that need to know that the food scientists… we did it first!
YES, we did it first! Food companies, please stop gagging us and not letting us tell people how food is really made. We need to debunk the silly theories put out by Michael Pollan in his Food Rules book and Alice Waters and start setting the record straight on who really was doing food science first!
If a food scientist got the same respect as a Ferran and Wylie, we would be charging you $150 bucks for a box of poptarts and twinkies! If one only knew the research that went into those great works of art-you would probably pay it-respect it-and love us for creating it!