COOK­ING UP SCI­ENCE WITH CHEF BOCCHIA

All About Italy (USA) - - Contents -

Un­dou­blt­edly a par­tic­u­lar way of cook­ing, a sci­en­tific ap­proach, nudg­ing at the borders of canon­i­cal def­i­ni­tions. Just enough out­side of the box to not only con­cep­tu­al­ize, but also pro­pose a nov­elty that starts from the con­cept of the mol­e­cule, the small­est phys­i­cal unit of a sub­ject. Bocchia is con­sid­ered the in­ven­tor of Ital­ian molec­u­lar cui­sine since, in 2002, he be­gan to cre­ate new recipes and dishes by ap­ply­ing sci­en­tific and chem­i­cal the­o­ries dur­ing the prepa­ra­tion phase of dishes. Care­ful – don’t make the mis­take of think­ing about test tubes, lab­o­ra­to­ries or spe­cial al­chemies: this isn’t what molec­u­lar cui­sine is about.

“The ba­sic idea is to en­hance the raw ma­te­rial, with­out dis­tort­ing it,” says Bocchia ex­plain­ing his method, “you need to make a tech­ni­cal sheet for each prod­uct, in­di­cate the chem­i­cal and phys­i­cal prop­er­ties, and the re­ac­tions to dif­fer­ent types of cook­ing. This kitchen con­tains seven new tech­niques, from fry­ing in sug­ars to the use of liq­uid ni­tro­gen, which al­lows, for ex­am­ple, to trans­form an in­gre­di­ent into ice cream at that very mo­ment, crys­tal­liz­ing the mol­e­cules and de­bunk­ing the con­cept of hot and cold.”ma­ni­a­cal at­ten­tion to prod­uct choice, the qual­ity con­trol of the in­gre­di­ents, and raw-ma­te­rial su­pe­ri­or­ity are the cor­ner­stone of the chef’s culi­nary phi­los­o­phy: In fact, Bocchia has built a new way of work­ing foods and pre­sent­ing dishes based on the qual­ity and in­tegrity of the prod­uct. Go­ing deeper into as­pects of food that, un­til now, have been treated al­most with in­dif­fer­ence is what shapes Bocchia’s work: his ide­alic start­ing point in the kitchen also in­cludes this. “Cus­tomers love to dis­cover the essence of the prod­uct - says the Chef - the dif­fer­ence is im­per­cep­ti­ble, but fun­da­men­tal”. The chef suc­cintly ex­plains the essence of his pro­fes­sion in a mantra-like way. Bocchia be­gan to cul­ti­vate this new type of cui­sine over 15 years ago and be­gan rolling it out in 2002, with his first Ital­ian “molec­u­lar” menu.

A rev­o­lu­tion, a par­tic­u­lar and un­prece­dented form based on the ob­ser­vance of four fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples: new el­e­ments must con­tinue, not destroy, the Ital­ian gas­tro­nomic tra­di­tion; new tech­niques and new dishes must en­hance nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents and qual­ity raw ma­te­ri­als; nu­tri­tional val­ues and the well-be­ing of those who eat need to be catered to, not only to the aes­thetic and

Cook­ing through art and sci­ence, us­ing qual­ity nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents with known chem­i­cal and phys­i­cal prop­er­ties. This is the win­ning recipe of Et­tore Bocchia, the in­ven­tor of Ital­ian molec­u­lar cui­sine. “Take a pot of wa­ter, put it on the stove, add a por­tion of spaghetti while in another pan we pre­pare the sauce: this is al­ready molec­u­lar cui­sine, it is sim­ply a new lan­guage in the kitchen”

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