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Tradition, innovation

Christophe Lavelle
CNRS National Museum of Natural History Sorbonne Universities
Cooking & gastronomy : back to the basics

Molecular at the molecular level

"Gastronomy is the knowledge and understanding of all that relates to man,

as he eats."
Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, Physiologie du Got, 1825
"It pertains to natural history, by the classification of food substances, to physics,
by the examination of their compositions and qualities, to chemistry, through various
JA Brillat-Savarin
1755-1826 analyzes and breakdowns it subjects them, and to cooking, through the art of
preparing food and make it palatable."

"Cooking, without ceasing to be an art, will become scientifical and

subject its formulas, too often empirical, to a method and a precision that
will leave nothing to chance."
Georges Auguste Escoffier, Guide culinaire, 1907
GA Escoffier

"I think it is a sad reflection on our civilization that while we can and do
measure the temperature in the atmosphere of Venus we do not know
what goes on inside our souffls."
The physicist in the kitchen, Royal Society lecture 1969
Nicholas Kurti
Molecular (or techno-emotional?) cooking

Molecular gastronomy: scientific discipline dedicated to the study of physical and

chemical processes that occur during cooking and eating.

- gathering and scientific investigation of culinary precisions

- modeling of cooking practices

Molecular (?) cooking: cooking style favoring the renewal of cooking techniques
(potentially inspired by the results of molecular gastronomy investigations).

- introduction of new tools, methods and ingredients in cooking practice

- invention of new dishes

Herv This, 1995, La gastronomie molculaire et physique, PhD thesis, University Pierre et Marie Curie Paris 6
"New" ingredients, "new" tools, "new" dishes

sodium alginate (E401)

calcium salts (E509, E327)
agar-agar (E406)
carraghenane (E407)
soya lecithin (E322)

Cooking ingredients (to modify their texture, color, taste) chemical changes
Mixing ingredients (to create disperse systems) physical changes
Doing (almost) nothing (to fermentate) biological changes

- alcoolic: sugar alcool + CO2 (+energy)
- lactic: sugar lactic acid (+energy)
- malolactic: malic acid lactic acid + CO2
- acetic alcool + O2 acetic acid + H2O (+ energy)
- proprionic, butyric,
Culinary (r)evolution
ESPE Toulouse
Lyce Decrtot
Sang Hoon Degeimbre

ESPE Antony Lyce Auxerre

Ferran Adria

Paul Pairet

Andoni Luiz Aduriz

Funky Gourmet
ESPE Antony

Modernist Cuisine
ESPE Antony

Funky Gourmet
Funky Gourmet

Grant Achatz

Denis Martin

Heston Blumenthal
Paul Pairet

Richie Farina
Funky Gourmet

Grant Achatz
Paul Pairet
To be continued

To have a great idea, just have many of them

Thomas Edison (1847-1931)

The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star
Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, Physiologie du Got, 1825

Thanks for your attention