mercredi 20 avril 2011

From the US

Hello all,

On Monday, May 16, the Experimental Cuisine Collective will celebrate its fourth anniversary with a daylong symposium at Lipton Hall at NYU. You are cordially invited to join us in exploring our theme, Experimental Cuisine: Foundation to Innovation, with a series of talks, a roundtable, and a reception. The symposium starts at 10 a.m. Complete schedule and address are on the registration page (link below).

Speakers are Prof. Charles Zuker of Columbia University, with a talk titled From the Tongue to the Brain: The Biology of Mammalian Taste; David Arnold, director of technology at the French Culinary Institute and author of the blog Cooking Issues, who will talk about clarification and nixtamalization via margaritas and tortillas; chefs Maxime Bilet and Chris Young, co-authors of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking; and Michael Laiskonis, executive pastry chef at Le Bernardin, with a talk titled Moving/Cooking Forward: Looking Back and Looking Within. Jeffrey Steingarten, food critic at Vogue and one of the first people to write about experimental cooking, will be the day's MC. Lisa Abend, author of The Sorcerer's Apprentices: A Season in the Kitchen at Ferran Adria's elBulli, will moderate a roundtable among the speakers.

To register, please visit The link will also be posted on our website. No need to print your registration---we will have a list of attendees at the check-in table. If you find yourself unable to attend after registering, please contact us right away so that your seat can go to someone else. Thank you.

All my best,


dimanche 17 avril 2011

Second Seminar in Lebanon

Here is what was sent today by Reine Barbar, University of Kaslil :

Dear All,

The second Molecular Gastronomy Lebanese Seminar took place on the 11th of April at USEK.

You will find below the report and the theme for our next seminar.

I like to invite you all as planned for the Seminar N°3 that will take place Monday 9th of May from 4:00PM to 6:00 PM at the ground floor food laboratory of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences-USEK, Kaslik.

Please feel free to diffuse the invitation to whom is interested but we would appreciate an email confirmation before the 4th of May.

Hope to see you all in order to count you among our lebanese group of molecular gastronomy!


Report on seminar N° 2 of Molecular Gastronomy in Lebanon
11 April 2011, from 16h00 till 18h00
Food Science Laboratory- Faculty of Agricultural Sciences-USEK
I. Information on intervention of Prof Hervé This at HORECA:
Dr Reine Barbar communicated on the content of the intervention of Prof. Hervé This at
salon HORECA on the 29th of March 2011.
It was interesting to see the impact of the first seminar on molecular gastronomy in
Lebanon held on the 28th of April, on the elaboration of new ideas for the intervention of
Prof This at HORECA.
The program was changed according to the work done on Tahina, one day before at Sofil-
The “note by note cooking” was presented. "Note by Note Cooking" is a new way of cooking,
that will be next after Molecular Cooking. It was proposed by H. This in a Scientific
American issue in 1994. Up to now, it was achieved only by the French chef Pierre
Gagnaire, the 24 th of April 2008 in Hong-Kong, for one dish, by the Alsatian chefs Hubert
Maetz and Nadine Kuentz, in Strasbourg, for two dishes shown during the French-German-
Japanese Meeting of JSPS Alumini, by professors of the Cordon bleu School of Paris during
a private evening for students of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Gastronomy (HEG).
One detail: please remember that "chemicals", or "chemical compounds" do not exist. There
are compounds that can be synthesized or extracted: such are water, sucrose, ethanol, etc.
In many circumstances, it is probably a better choice to extract compounds from plant or
animal tissues, as one does not forget that the synthesis of vitamin B12 needed hundreds of
skilled chemists working for years.
Sometimes, compounds can be prepared using processes such as lyophilization, reverse
osmosis, drying, etc.
In one example presented at HORECA, “Tahina” was considered as a lipid base given that
it is mainly composed of lipid. So, with “the base lipid”, Prof This mixed “water base” (for
example tomato juice, herbs..) and could realize new tasty spheres with liquid nitrogen. The
texture of the product obtained is interesting as the surface is solid due to cold temperature
but the inner phase is still relatively liquid or gelified.

Also Prof This worked in the formulation of red wine, by adding the individual constituents
one by one: grape polyphenols, sugar, tartric acid....
The possibilities are infinite with the “note by note cooking” and could be interesting to
apply on our traditional Lebanese cuisine.
This moment at HORECA was particularly exciting and new for all the persons who were
there! So thank you again Prof This for the energetic, scientific yet human demonstration
you presented at HORECA.
II. Experiences on the onctuosity of Béchamel Sauce.
II.1. Protocols
Firstly, questions were asked regarding the preparation protocol of sauce Béchamel.
It was decided to follow the following recipe:
- 1L of half-skimmed milk
- 100 g of flour
- 100 g of butter
Protocol A:
Standard preparation protocol was used with the constitution of “roux” which is the result
of mixture of melted butter and flour. After this step, milk was slowly added in order to let
the mixture thicken.
Protocol B:
Milk is first heated alone to 80°C and then butter is added to heated milk and after the
Protocol C:
Cold “roux” (constituted of non heated butter and flour) is added to cold milk.
Protocol D:
Heated “roux” is added to milk heated aside at 80°C till the solution thickens.
Same materials and weights were used in all protocols.
Béchamel sauces from protocols A, B, C and D were studied for:
- Macroscopic observations
- Microscopic observations

- Viscosity measurements
II.2. Observations and results:
Béchamel sauces were described by all present in order to qualify their textures with eye
Optical microscopes were used with magnification “x 10” in order to notice the
microstructure of béchamel sauces and the presence or not of agglomerations.
The micrographs were taken after 5 minutes of cooling.
Viscosity measurements were done in controlled rate mode. The spindel used was R2 with a
cylindrical rotor and an rpm of 2.
Protocol Viscosity Macroscopic Microscopic Micrographs
(cP) observations observations
A 7250 Smooth Reduced
texture number of air
Presence of
B 15869 Presence of More air
granulations bubbles are
are more

C 36 Liquid Liquid
texture structure. No
(depending on
D 374137 Thick High number of
texture but small white
some agglomerations.
are present
It appears from the above table that the different protocols have great influence on
macroscopic and microscopic observations. These observations are consolidated by the
viscosity measurements that show that medium viscosity is obtained for sauce béchamel
“A”. The thickest béchamels appear to be samples “B” and “D”. Sample C is liquid as it is
evident from the viscosity value.
A discussion followed regarding the composition of flour. Flour is mainly constituted by
starch. Proteins in flour have the characteristics to form a viscoelastic network when
hydrated called gluten. Gluten is responsible of elasticity, extensibility, cohesion and gas
retention in paste. Gluten is insoluble in water and forms about 90% of flour proteins.
An experiment was done in order to understand the constituents of flour. Flour was mixed
to water and then knead with it. After the paste formation, water leaching resulted in the
separation of 2 fractions, gluten being at right in the following picture.

As for the texture of sauce bechamels, it seems that the order of mixture and heat have
both an impact.
Adding flour to melted butter and then milk resulted in the best onctuosity. So milk
(qualified as an aqueous phase) should have a supposed role on proteins hydratation and
starching. Heating together “roux” and milk could have an impact on gelatinization
especially that while cooling, the sauce thickens. This is due to starching cooling that leads
to a progressive solidification of starch.
III.3. Choice of Topic for next seminar:
All present expressed their suggestions for topics for next seminar.
The suggestions were as following:
Tomato role in taboule making
A vote was done in order to specify the majority and the majority decided to explore the
elaboration of mayonnaise and also Lebanese innovations with it.
Also, we should finish the exploration on arak preparation with “arak balabe” instead of
commercial arak to see if there is any difference noticed in comparison with results of
seminar N°1.
The next seminar was decided for the 9th of May from 4.00 PM to 6.00 PM at the Faculty of
Agricultural Sciences of USEK.

mercredi 6 avril 2011

A picture for the first Seminar in Lebanon.

From Lebanon

Dear Friends,

Reine Barbar made a report for the first Molecular Gastronomy Seminar in Lebanon.
Here it is :

Report on seminar N° 1 of Molecular Gastronomy in Lebanon
28 March 2011, from 16h00 till 18h00
Sofil-Catering, Pavillon Royal,BIEL-Beyrouth
I. Introduction on Seminars of Molecular Gastronomy:
Prof Hervé This exposed to the present the idea behind the seminars of molecular
gastronomy and their description.
What we are trying to do:
At these monthly meetings, cooks, scientists, teachers, engineers, food writers are
considering open questions on culinary transformations (home or restaurants).
Once a month, and more precisely the second Monday of each month, from 4.00 PM to 6.00
PM (no seminar in July and in August).
Food laboratory at the Faculty of agricultural Sciences- USEK, Kaslik.
Free, upon invitation (sent by email) and previous inscription (if possible)
How we work :
Each seminar has four parts :
1. The introduction presents news of Molecular Gastronomy activities in the world.
2. The participants begin with a presentation of the results they got since the last seminar
4. Then the group discusses the question of the month, preparing experiments to be done in
order to solve open questions.
3. The participants decide the topic of the next seminar.
Experiments can be done, if necessary, and results of experiments can be shown to the
Why it is important :
This seminar helps to :
clean culinary practices
promote scientific modelisation of culinary practices
explore culinary “precisions” (all the advices that are added to the “definitions” of
dishes given through recipes
modernize culinary teaching
add a research activity to culinary teaching
present to the culinary world new ingredients, methods, hardware...
and more
Under the direction of :
Reine Barbar- Lara Hanna Wakim
Food Science Department
Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
Holy Spirit University
PO BOX 446., Jounieh, Lebanon
T: +961 9 600874
II. Exposition of molecular gastronomy and the “cuisine note by note”:
Prof Hervé This introduced the terminology of molecular gastronomy and its difference with
molecular cooking:
It should be said vigorously that molecular gastronomy is a scientific discipline and a
branch of physical chemistry that looks for mechanisms of phenomena occurring during
culinary transformations. The discipline was named by Nicholas Kurti (1908-1998), the
other founder of molecular gastronomy and Prof Hervé This.
Molecular cookery: yes, molecular cookery, also called molecular cuisine, or science-based
cooking, is cooking, and not science. Of course, also, it would be silly to consider that
molecular cooking (or cookery) is a question of using molecules for cooking, as all food is
made of molecules... but some journalists and chefs did not take time to consider that
“molecular cooking” is a composed expression, proposed only to make the distinction with
molecular gastronomy. And as molecular cooking is cooking, it means producing dishes.
"Note by Note Cooking" is a new way of cooking that will be next after Molecular Cooking.
It was proposed by H. This in a Scientific American issue in 1994.
These dishes were not done using directly meat, fish, vegetables and fruits, but instead
compounds or simple mixtures of compounds, from which the chefs made all aspects of the
various dishes: shape, consistency, color, odor taste, trigeminal sensations...
III. Experimenting some Lebanese culinary “precisions”
III.1. Mixing order of arak with water:
Lebanese traditions always specify to put arak and then add water and never in reverse.
Otherwise, the beverage will not be very homogenous and white.
We did the experience with a precise measure of quantities of arak and water (1/3 arak and
2/3 water) and organized 2 glasses: Glass (A) by putting arak and then water, Glass (B) by
putting water and then arak.
No visible differences were seen. Some interventions by the present members specified that
it could be due to the purity and quality of arak used. Some future test should be done with
the use of traditional “arak baladé” made in artisanal way in some Lebanese villages.
III.2. Whitening effect on “moutabal”:
Prof Hervé This asked the present of their recipes to make “moutabal”.
Some people use laban, then tahina then lemon juice and salt that they will mix with
grilled eggplant.
Others specified that they use tahina, lemon juice, water, salt then laban.
Other possibility will be to mix eggplant, tahina, cold water and lemon juice.
Two experiments were done as following:
A: Mixing directly grilled eggplant with tahina and then lemon juice
B: Mixing aside tahina with lemon, adding this mixture to eggplant.
Eye observation resulted in noticing more whitening effect in the case B where the lemon
juice had a direct whitening effect on tahina and then on Moutabal.
As with taste, a triangular blind test was done with the 2 samples. 3 samples were
presented to one person and he was supposed to say which one was different from the 2
others. The test revealed no perceivable difference among samples A and B.
Microscopic observations were done on tahina in order to visualize its emulsion state.
III.3. Choice of Topic for next seminar:
All present expressed their suggestions for topics for next seminar.
The suggestions were as following:
Three layers cocktails
Sauce “siyadiyé”
White sauces with the example of sauce béchamel
A vote was done in order to specify the majority and the majority decided to explore the
elaboration of sauce béchamel.
The next seminar was decided for the 11th of April from 4.00 PM to 6.00 PM.

From our colleagues in Argentina : next seminar

Para dar comienzo a nuestras actividades, y respondiendo al pedido de muchos interesados, comenzaremos el año repitiendo un taller teórico-práctico que ya hemos dado otros años, para que lo disfruten aquellos que aún no han tenido la oportunidad de compartirlo.
En esta oportunidad sumaremos al mismo la proyección de algunos videos exclusivos ( U.Harvard, El Bulli,etc) sobre el uso de la técnica en recetas originales:

¨ESFERIFICACIONES (directas, inversas y alcohólicas)
Principios teóricos y utilidad de cada una de las técnicas y de los reactivos que se utilizan.
Taller práctico que incluirá todas las técnicas de esferificaciones.


* Jueves 7 de abril de 19 a 21:30 hs


* ESPACIO AZAI Virrey Loreto 3795, esquina con Charlone, a dos cuadras de Alvarez Thomas y Forest ( )-Bs As - Argentina

Cuál es el costo?

* PROMOCIONAL: $100 y se abona en el lugar. Socios 20% descuento

Cupos limitados, inscripción sólo por mail a:

La reserva de vacante se hará efectiva una vez que hayas recibido el mail de confirmación de la misma.
Los esperamos !
Mariana y Silvia

Mariana Koppmann y Silvia Grünbaum
Asociación Argentina de Gastronomía Molecular

mardi 5 avril 2011

From our Lebanese friends

Dear All,

On behalf of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, we like to thank you all for your presence during the First Lebanese Seminar on Molecular Gastronomy held at Sofil-catering the 28th of March 2011, with the presence of Prof Hervé This.

I think we all appreciated this moment of interesting collaboration between food scientists and culinary chefs among friendly atmosphere, while discussing particular culinary precisions from our Lebanese culinary patrimoine.

I like to thank on your behalf Prof Hervé This for his support and his kind presence last week that made us all think differently about our respective jobs, thinking that we could all evolve by collaborating together. I hope with your help we will be able to prove to Prof This that the team initiated by his presence will continue with future seminars exploring together the Lebanese culinary traditions, with the aim to learn together and why not innovate from time to time!

I like to invite you all as planned for the Seminar N°2 that will take place next Monday 11th of April from 4:00PM to 6:00 PM at the ground floor food laboratory of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences-USEK, Kaslik. Prof Hervé This won’t be with us but he is certainly part of our team and we will share our results in the form of reports (kindly check the attached report on the last seminar).

Also, you will find attached the picture took last time to keep in our memory this special moment …

Please feel free to diffuse the invitation to whom is interested but we would appreciate an email confirmation before Friday.


Dr Reine Barbar

Secrétaire académique

Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques

Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik

B.P. 446 | Jounieh | Liban

(t) 961 9 600874 | (f) 961 9 600871

dimanche 3 avril 2011

Le prochain Séminaire Grand Ouest de Gastronomie Moléculaire

Le prochain séminaire "SCIENCE ET CUISINE" gmouest se tiendra

le Lundi 18 avril prochain de 16h00 à 18h30,

au Manoir de La Boulaie,

accueillis par Monsieur Laurent Saudeau, 33 rue Chapelle Saint Martin 44115 Haute Goulaine.
(Invitation et plan d'accès ci-joints)

Le thème du séminaire est

"Colorants naturels et ingrédients colorants,
application aux macarons et autres matrices ".

Notre réflexion se fera autour des colorants naturels et ingrédients colorants (nature, extraction, mise en oeuvre, avantages et inconvénients...) avec la participation de Madame Anaïs Seggio (Sie GNT).

Des démonstrations et essais seront menés par Messieurs Laurent Gibielle (Sie MAG'M) et Laurent Saudeau (Manoir de La Boulaie).

Les macarons seront notre matrice principale pour tester différents colorants.

Des témoignages seront apportés pas des professionnels, utilisateurs de colorants sur divers produits. N'hésitez pas à nous contacter, si vous souhaitez ou avez déjà travaillé sur le sujet, et ainsi partager les résultats de vos essais lors du séminaire. Nous sommes là pour échanger nos résultats et interprétations.

Pour ceux qui souhaitent prolonger l'échange, un apéritif vous est proposé à la fin de l'atelier.

Une participation aux frais, de 12 euros, vous sera demandée à l'entrée. Des justificatifs de frais vous seront distribués sur place.

La capacité d'accueil étant limitée dans l'amphi, pensez à RESERVER RAPIDEMENT votre place en envoyant un mail à

En espérant vous voir nombreux,


L'équipe organisatrice gmouest.
Camille Bourgeois - Ludivine Billy, Gwenaelle Garnier, Vincent Lafaye de la sie Food development