Home Cooks, Meet Molecular Gastronomy

Home cooks, meet molecular gastronomy

Dominic Davies

Breakfast becomes dessert in The Big Fat Duck Cookbook

What's in it: 1) Candied Bacon 2) Nitro-scrambled-egg ice cream 3) Pain perdu

Bless-this-mess chefs looking to make something more exotic than green-bean casserole this holiday season are in luck. Fall brings a trio of cookbooks from world-renowned molecular gastronomists whose kitchens look a bit like chemistry labs, with all those centrifuges and tanks of liquid nitrogen used to make carrot foam and whiskey jellies. This hyper-whimsical style of cooking has caught on at many a celebrated restaurant, but are these books--whose recipes call for ingredients like calcium lactate--even remotely useful for home cooks?

"Absolutely!" says Grant Achatz of Chicago's Alinea Restaurant. "There's a huge misconception that the food here will be science-y....

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