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Tom Nguyen

Professor Karp
Engl 0837
24 Oct 2014
Molecular Gastronomy
Molecular gastronomy is defined as the scientific study of food that inv
estigates the physical and chemical transformations of ingredients during cookin
g. Molecular gastronomy has three components or fields, which are technical, art
istic, and social. The technical part refers to the scientific phenomena and pro
cesses of the cooking, where artistic would refer to the setting and social to y
our company. Molecular gastronomy is a way of scientific cooking and understandi
ng, but is also an art form to express oneself. Some people call it as molecular
gastronomy because that s how it was first coined when introduced back during the E
RICE workshops. However there shouldn t be any special name for it since it is ess
entially just a form of cooking but with different tools. Although some people a
rgue over its name molecular gastronomy it should be changed to something simpler
to understand because molecular gastronomy can sound confusing and intimidating to
people who don t know what it is.
The scientific processes in cooking was first introduced to public audiences in
1969 by Nicholas Kurti when he aired a television broadcast called The Physicist
in the Kitchen . The term molecular gastronomy wasn t used until recently during the
ERICE international workshops. The ERICE workshops were organized in 1992 thank
s to the work of Herve This, Nicholas Kurti, and Elizabeth Cawdry-Thomas. The ER
ICE workshops were a series of meetings between scientists from universities and
professional cooks, all discussions and presentations were informal and it was
a beginning of a new scientific discipline. Molecular and physical gastronomy was
used at first however Herve This shortened it to Molecular gastronomy in 1998 afte
r the death of Nicholas Kurti. Many restaurants of the 21st century, such as Ain
ea, Baume, etc., have adopted and used scientific information and equipment to c
reate new dishes. Famous chefs that are experts in this field are Ferran Adria,
Seiji Yamamoto, Marcel Vigneron, etc.
Molecular Gastronomy should be referred to something simpler because to
many people it is intimidating and confusing. People think molecular gastronomy an
d assume a science discipline that deals with molecules. The name molecular gastr
onomy sounds complicated, elitist, and scary to some people, if it had a differen
t name that people can easily decipher then it would be better understood. It sh
ould be a term everyone can understand without any complicated words. People beg
in to get concerned when you bring up molecules and atoms that they can t physical
ly see. There is no real reason as to why we call it molecular gastronomy since it
is just a form of cooking. The name was just a way to catch the attention of vi
ewers or scientists to make this scientific way of cooking more popular. Molecul
ar gastronomy gets too hung up on the tools that they use and think that they ar
e different from traditional ways of cooking. However this is not true, Blumenth
al says, Once there was just the knife if you wanted to chop things. Then along c
ame the food-processor. But that was still cooking. Now I use other tools - cent
rifuges, desiccators - which you might not associate with the kitchen. (Reardon).
What Blumenthal says is true because what we bring to the kitchen is just anoth
er tool used to cook. There shouldn t be a special name to refer to this way of co
oking since it is just a different method of cooking. The name should be changed
to something simpler so everyone can enjoy and understand its meaning.
Yet, some readers may challenge changing the name of molecular gastronomy to somet
hing simpler. While it s formally known as molecular gastronomy since 1998, times ar
e changing and it cannot remain with the same name forever. It s exaggerated to sa
y that molecular gastronomy is the best name this method of cooking can have since
most people don t know its meaning. While it s true that it will be referred to as m
olecular gastronomy for times to come we cannot justifiably assume that this is t
he best name for this method of cooking.
Molecular gastronomy is known as the study of the chemical and physical
changes ingredients undergo during a cooking process. It comprises of three main
fields which are technical, artistic, and social. These three main fields have

a significant effect on how people experience dishes with molecular gastronomy.
Eating is starting to become multi-sensorial, there must be a good taste, an app
ealing presentation of the food, and good company. Molecular gastronomy is a sci
entific cooking art form that allows people to represent themselves in possibly
infinite ways. People often refer to this method of cooking as molecular gastrono
my because of the ERICE workshops back in the 1990s. However the name should be c
hanged to something simpler because people often cannot decipher the meaning and
associate the name, molecular gastronomy , with something negative. In the end it
is up to the majority or people that decides the fate of the name molecular gastr
onomy . It will always be referred to as molecular gastronomy just like how people r
eferred to 1960s people as hippies .

Bibliography
Madrid, Lisa Abend /. "Debating the Merits of Molecular Gastronomy." Time. Time
Inc., 23 Jan. 2009. Web. 25 Oct. 2014.
Reardon, John. "'Molecular Gastronomy Is Dead.' Heston Speaks out." The Observer
. The Observer, n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2014.
Vartiainen, J., Aksela, M., & Hopia, A. (2013). Introduction to molecular gastro
nomy and to its applications in science education. LUMAT, 1(2), 143 150.