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Art of Gastronomy

Gastronomy is the studying of food and its relation with different cultures worldwide, it is to understand each ingredient’s components and their reaction to each other when mixed up.

Gastronomy is basically the art of making the ultimate dish by understanding each process starting from the preparations phase of the ingredients to the final phase of plating your dish.

The term Gastronomy was first introduced in 1801 by a French poet named Joseph Berchoux in which he defined the term as “Art of the Table”.

The term was evolved to be a bit more particular and was name molecular gastronomy in which the gastronomist had to study the physical and chemical components of the food to understand why certain ingredients react the way they do during the application and transformation phases and why would a dish fail and why it would succeed.

Gastronomy had many dedicated scientist starting from the 18th century such as French chemist Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier who was an expert in meat stock and is one of the essential contributors to modern chemistry, as well as the British Physicist Sir Benjamin Thomson who was more involved in heat related theories and meat cooking, another great contributor was the German Chemist Friedrich Christian who helped create awareness in the field of food safety and the studies of culinary poisons, and many more scientists invested their knowledge and expertise in this field of Culinary Arts.

The science of Gastronomy was officially taught in 1988 and was introduced to several universities in countries such as Italy, France, Ireland, Spain and the United States and kept increasing to more than 30 nation in the 21st century and that was a turning point in the industry and since then Modern Molecular Cookery came out and along with it a unique set of additions to international cuisines.

Moving on to 1994 a new culinary trend was introduced due to the advancements made through science and research, the new trend was called note by note cuisine in which the dishes do not include meat, fish, vegetables or fruits but they are substituted by compounds whether pure or mixed.

The first time a dish was introduced to the public using note by note method was in Hong Kong by the French chef Pierre Gagnaire on April 2009, and it was served for the first time by Le Cordon Bleu Paris chefs in 2010 to the participants of Advanced Studies in Gastronomy.

Using Molecular Gastronomy many new dishes were introduced and were named after their chemist such as a dish named Vauquelin:

(about 300ml of foam is created when whipping one egg white, the egg white consists of 90% water so it is easy to say that when adding more water more foam will be produced. If we cook the foam in a microwave a jellified foam is created. So an alternative is to use orange juice or cranberry to add a unique flavor with more sugar to increase the thickness and consistency and stabilize the foam before cooking.) the dish was named after the famous chemist Nicolas Vauquelin.

New Techniques were also introduced such as:

1. Emulsification

The Process of creating foam.

2. Spherification

The Process of creating spheres similar to caviar.

3. Meat Gluing with Transglutaminase

The process of binding meat, chicken or fish together.

4. Gelification

The process of transforming liquified food into gel.

5. Sous Vide

The technique of cooking vacuum sealed food in water bath.

6. Deconstruction

The process of breaking down a dish and rebuilding its presentation.

7. Converting liquids into powder

The process of turning high fat liquids to powder.

8. Incorporating edible paper

The process of making edible paper using potato starch and soybeans.

9. Smoking

The process of adding smoke to cocktails, meat, sauces or dressings with a smoke gun for presentation.

10. Flash freezing

The process of mixing up liquid nitrogen with your food.

So that being said Gastronomy is not simply mixing up ingredients to come up with a dish, it is researching and understanding the physical and chemical nutrients of an item which leads to proper preparation, smooth cooking and plating that pleases the eyes.