The Science of Cooking: Aka Molecular Gastronomy by Those Who Know Their Molecules

cooking_scienceMolecular Gastronomy Glassware: Next Monday’s “Elements” Science Dinner Will Focus on What Happens When Food Meets Fire, Air, Ice and Water, Which Can Be Measured with the Graduated Beaker Shown at Left. Photo courtesy Rickly Hydrological Company.

Seeing as we’re called Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn, most of the time the river we’re crossing is the East. (Except when we’re taking the Port Authority shuttlebus to Mitsuwa, the Edgewater, N.J. Japanese superstore we wrote about this month.)

But by next year, hopefully, there’ll be another Jersey destination we’ll be writing about: The Liberty Science Center, which will be adding a focus on the science of food (it’ll be called Cooking: The Exhibition) to its high-tech Jersey City displays on dinosaurs, space, chemistry and technology. Think of it as molecular gastronomy by the guys who really know their molecules.

In the meantime, we’re helping the Center sponsor a series of get-to-know-us and get-to-know-kitchen-science dinners called Elements, where chefs, brewmasters, winemakers, coffee roasters, and mixologists show off the the physical and chemical changes that occur when food is exposed to water, air, ice and our favorite, fire.

The first is Monday, February 8. And with help from Center science geeks and NYC food geeks like Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo, the owners of Frankies Spuntino, Prime Meats and Café Pedlar; Shane Welch, the brewmaster and co-owner of Sixpoint Craft Ales; and Duane Sorenson, the  man behind Stumptown Coffee Roasters (and the thriving bean scene we wrote about last year), the meal will be prepared and hosted by Great Performances at their Tribeca operations at 304 Hudson St. (You can get the whole list of contributors here.)

Great Performances, by the way, is one of the city’s top catering companies, which also grows many of their ingredients on its very own Katchkie Farm in upstate New York. And Katchkie is also home to the Sylvia Center, an agricultural and culinary educational center for kids, where proceeds of the the event are heading.  You can get $150 tickets right here, which include not just brainy exhibitionism but good food, too: including deconstructed caprese salad in a shot glass topped with gelatin and basil foam (that’s exposure to water and air); a hollowed egg with white chocolate truffle, mango and passion fruit sphere (more air);  yellowtail using tuna cured using a cold smoke chamber (more water and air, and also featured on “Iron Chef”); a mozzarella balloon that bursts open with the essence of roasted garlic (air) and carrot caviar. That’s reportedly fire, though how, we have no idea.

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