Posted by Matthew Choi '14
My project explores an aspect of a new movement in cooking called modernist cuisine. Modernist cuisine is the application of science-driven techniques to cooking. This embrace of science has drastically expanded the ways in which chefs can manipulate food. My project looked at how this technique changes the way chefs in some of the world’s best restaurant can conceptually approach their food. Technology has allowed chefs to make food look like whatever they want, exposing the utility of food as a language to be read. For example, chef Rene Redzeppi runs a restaurant called Noma in Denmark that is devoted to the use of Scandinavian ingredients. One of the ways he highlights this locality is by making his dishes symbolic of the origin of their ingredients. In the below dish, termed in the Noma cookbook as “Vegetables in Dirt,” Redzeppi has carefully reconstructed a slice of the Scandinavian Landscape. The individual ingredients in the dish are all highly manipulated, for example the “dirt” is made from dehydrated malt power that takes 2 days to prepare, yet it is presented as if you happened upon it in a garden. Redzeppi has figured out a way for technology to enhance the sensory context of his food. The dinner is not only taken by the beauty of the dish, but is also reminded of where it came from, all by just looking at it.
Figure: Vegetable field published in Redzepi, Rene. 2010. Noma: Time & Place in Nordic Cuisine. New York: Phaidon Press.
Find out what Skidmore's undergrads are currently working on. Use the Categories below to narrow down the types of posts you want to see.