Molecular gastronomy has become the topic of today’s world and is being formally pronounced as the latest gastronomic movement as far as gastronomic tourism is concerned. It is also known as an experimental cuisine.
This approach to culinary involves varieties of thickeners and gelling products creating special textures, excluding the atmospheric parameters such as temperature, pH and salt concentration molecular gastronomy mostly benefits additives from the categories of emulsifiers, emulsion and stabilizer and some artificial sweeteners, the mostly used emulsifiers, emulsion and stabilizing additives are; Agar, Arabic Gum, Carrageenan, Methyl Cellulose Sodium, Gelatine etc. Basically, the production techniques are usual cookery just as you prepare salads, wines and beers. We in, ChefBharath.com spoke to Benjamin Dube Maganga, Chef from Malawi who is focused on Molecular Gastronomy, on its status in Malawi. Mr Dube, new bread into the Industry, had his dish is made using the Experimental cuisine named as the second-best dish in the World Gourmet Chef’s competition. Christmas last year, he cooked for the Singer Madonna on her Visit to Malwai in 2020. He was also known for taking part in a cooking show, ‘Spice It up Cook’ broadcasted by Zodiac Television.
He points to the far gap and confusion about what molecular gastronomy is all about in Malawi than the usual cookery and some assume it’s associated with gourmet food, adding on to this culinary method has been so confusing by different authors across the globe. This phenomenon has been a trending approach to the culinary industry that involves expatriates encompassing the highest degree of chemistry and different scientific approach behind the food.
Dube’s Interest in Molecular Gastronomy
“I could say Molecular gastronomy is one of the most explicit fields of expertise that is not yet developed in my country that developed out of the relationship between science and gastronomy. The most thrilling part of it is that chefs desire to surprise and delight their guests with a unique plating presentation, tasty, tantalizing and healthy foods produced by molecular gastronomy and hence getting a competitive advantage.” Said Chef Dube.
Therefore, his interest in this scientific approach is because of the greater potential to produce useful insights. He wants to let the other chef in Malwai and beyond to have a better understanding of ingredients, chefs’ creations and production processes of different dishes involving freezing ingredients with liquid nitrogen or turn them into a foam with pressurized gas, yielding crazy dishes, like cotton candy cakes.
Dube’s Experimental dish
“My recipe dish in 2018 was renounced the best second dish in Africa on world Gourmet chef’s competition, which is ‘Dual of fresh Tuna and Smoked Salmon on Crostini with Butternut Sesame and Balsamic Reduction’. This is the first time I cooked a dish using this method of cooking this. My determination and research made me put on the table a unique dish introduced this concept,” said Chef Dube.
This consolidation of different food types gives a scientific proportion as tuna was cooked at 64 degrees Celsius preventing food-borne illness and salmon cooked at a higher temperature than tuna because it contains more fat that keeps it moist than tuna. The merge consists of tuna’s lean meatiness containing high proteins and low-fat content, while salmon’s moist texture and oily flavour having high-fat content.
Molecular Gastronomy in Indian Dishes
Molecular gastronomy has been around the culinary world for several years. It opens doors for many doubts and solutions we faced in our culinary journey. There still some aspects where it can be used to in developing Indian dishes. It is possible to adapt it in local dishes like Beetroot and Cumin Shorba Semi-Sphere and even Strawberry Lassi AIR, Sweet Poppadum Wafer. This application in science cooking is ideal for all sort of food
Since this food science involves liquid nitrogen fumes, dry ice, emulsifiers, stabilizers and many more the concern about its health balance absolutely natural.
“Just like too much fat in beef, salty dishes, chilli in your daal or too much butter in your cake can be harmful. In the same way, making disproportionate use of ingredients needed to make these recipes can be dangerous. Consumption of these in large quantities is risky in both ways but rather in moderate amounts and are not known to cause any harm. In fact, most of these “chemicals” used in molecular gastronomy are mostly of biological origin.” Said Chef Dube.
Adding on this, restaurants in India have been practising Molecular Gastronomy technique this concept as a chemical cooking is absolutely safe. This style has been tried and tested. With the right training, talent and usage is very important, otherwise, it will compromise on health issues just like any form of cooking.
Future of the experimental cuisine and How Dube sees himself in it
Through the transmogrify of the world from baby boomers to generation XYZ, the tourism and hospitality industry is dealing with sophisticated customers who are more knowledgeable on the level of service. These guests tend to not only look at the dish’s presentation and taste, but get in deeper into ingredients and method of cooking.
“Molecular gastronomy is the modernist trend style that is automatically wiping off the usual cookery. I’m much honoured by coordinating and collaborating with other celebrity chefs across the world who are also physicists in this field and as I am also rethinking cooking and not worried about breaking boundaries by being the expatriate in this field. On my recent cooking stint for Madonna, her personal chef has offered to help me out to pursue further in this field.” Said Chef Dube.
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