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The Science Of Gastronomy


As the gourmet industry is pushing boundaries to create experiences that aim to please more than your palate, we explore how molecular gastronomy—a visually delightful technique- is changing the way we look at ingredients and presentation.

Maybe you’ve been oblivious to the fact that the nitrogen ice cream stations set up at elite weddings, which you’ve been raving about are actually an outcome of molecular gastronomy! Nitrogen, once associated with balloons, is now being used to churn ice cream. That’s the magic.

The gourmand’s new world

Though the technique was pioneered by chefs in Spain, it fits the notion of extravagance that Indian weddings portray. It’s not its complex assimilation that makes it a charming procedure, but it is what you see as an end result—a spectacle on your plate—which makes it a trend that’s endured since it was made popular in recent years by Chef Heston Blumenthal. “Honestly, even candy floss looks extravagant with the use of this technique,” opines the delighted Chef Sanjana Patel, Co-Founder/Executive Pastry Chef, La Folie Patisserie.

Surprisingly, molecular gastronomy wasn’t a term coined by connoisseurs but evolved from the interpretations of the common man. However, what is it and why should it interest us? “Simply put, it is a way of adding agents to get a particular outcome in the way your food looks and tastes,” shares Chef Patel.

Revamping menus

Since we’re talking fancy appearances, naturally, this method has earned itself a spot in our wedding set-up. Aren’t we all about grand gestures anyway? “As a concept, it will change the way weddings are celebrated in India today. It’s gaining popularity, especially among clients who are willing to give their guests an ‘experience’ of a lifetime. Also, this gives us the freedom to experiment with the evolving needs of the Indian palate,” expresses Chef Vishal Atreya, Executive Chef, JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar.

The Indian mould

Just when we were confused as to how these exquisite techniques can be adapted to the Indian way, Chef Patel shares her experience of working on the menu for a wedding in Kolkata, “We decided to make sandesh tartlets (sandesh with saffron caviar)!” It doesn’t end there; they also converted a Thai drink into a frozen dessert that’s caught the fancy of many. Basically, your guest is living an experience. From seeing the beauty of how it’s prepared to savouring incredible combinations—it’s innovation at its best!

Chef Patel then poses a simple question; what would you rather see sit-ting on your plate—a serving of the usual tomato-based dressing or a newly conceptualised tomato jelly? Clearly, the latter is bound to pique your interest. In fact, it’s this very aspect of engagement, which makes it a factor worth adding to your wedding, especially in today’s world that boasts of high-level customisation. If you weren’t already overwhelmed, Chef Atreya paints the picture of the ultimate game-changer. You can now turn your cliché wedding cuisine into a gommet’s paradise.

He opines, “From having customised cocktail bars to live dessert counters, innovative decorations like edible flowers to table pieces, the choices are endless.” Spoilt for choice and taste, along with the accompaniment of visual drama, rest assured that your guests will carry back a host of memorable experiences.

Source: Femina Wedding Times