Gastronomy  Did a French Chef invent the Molecular Gastronomy?
10/04/201519:10 TV5MONDE

Molecular Dessert: Coffee caviar in test tube with pink milk foam and sugar pill

What do you know about the exact temperature for cooking an egg with a “perfecto” runny yolk?

Have you ever wondered why do we sometimes have to add the eggs one by one in this recipe, and altogether in another one?

And what does a spherification of juices mean?

Last but not least, did a French Chef invent the Molecular Gastronomy???

The temperatures affect eggs, their viscosity and their surface tension.

Well, the answer is YES and NO.
YES, because between the two persons who are known for the invention of the Molecular gastronomy, one is French.

But no, because he is not exactly a chef, neither a baker, nor is he working in a restaurant…. Actually, he is both a chemist and a physicist.

His name is Hervé This. Apparently, he was inspired by a soufflé disaster in his own kitchen. The cheese soufflé recipe he was following gave strict instructions: add the egg yolks two at a time. Hervé This, however, added in all of the yolks together and suffered the consequences…

Molecular dish

In 1985, Hervé This met Nicholas Kurti, who is another physicist with Hungarian origin and who lived in England.
They invented what was called in 1988 the "Molecular and Physical Gastronomy”, which was later renamed the “Molecular Gastronomy”.

Mr Kurti was already famous with his television show “The Physicist in the Kitchen” that was broadcasted in 1969, where he showed how to inject brandy into hot mince pies without disturbing the crust, using a syringe… And this was only the beginning…

Molecular salad

Mr This and Mr Kurti explored the cooking world through another dimension. This defined his objectives as:

_To investigate whether the culinary proverbs, sayings and old wives’ tales are true or false (e.g. is it true that we should add salt to water when cooking green vegetables?)

_To invent new tools and new dishes

_To use the molecular gastronomy to help the general public understand the importance of science. 

Strawberry caviar, blue caviar and mint caviar

Molecular Gastronomy first referred to the scientific investigation of cooking. It is now applied to a style of cuisine. This means that it used to be dedicated to the food industry and is now consumed in restaurants and for the general public.

❝ Whenever physics and chemistry are used to transform the flavors and textures of food, it can be called Molecular Gastronomy❞ 


​Beetroot slad with asparagus emulsion


Some chefs have chosen this Molecular Cuisine as a specialty, among which Thierry Marx (France); Marc Veyrat (France); Ferran Adria (Spain) with his famous restaurant El Bulli; Pierre Gagnaire (France); Heston Blumenthal (UK); Grant Achatz (USA); Seiji Yamamoto (Japan); Andoni Aduriz (Spain); Rene Redzepi (Denmark)… 


Warm salad with sweetbread, peaches, tomatoes and mousse

Even though it was scientists holding high-degrees who first elaborated the Molecular Gastronomy in laboratories, it doesn’t mean it is out of reach for Mr average.

A wide range of accessories (yes you do need special accessories) is available on the Internet. Some kits for beginners are also sold.

Are you interested in the basic technics of gelification, spherification or emulsion… why don’t you give it a try?


Liquid nitrogen treated caramel popcorn vanilla panna cotta

Now next time someone asks you how do you like your eggs cooked for breakfast, you may try to answer "Molecular”! 


Egg boiled 

Molecular Mojito

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