About 15 years ago, fine dining chefs were obsessed with a genre of cooking known as molecular gastronomy—essentially, employing scientific techniques to manipulate taste, sensation, appearance, and texture of food. Liquids were dehydrated into powders, solids were transformed into orbs that exploded its juices when you bit in, funky things like that.
One of the most prominent chefs at the forefront of the molecular gastronomy movement was England’s Heston Blumenthal (though he disliked the term “molecular gastronomy”) whose restaurant The Fat Duck in the town of Bray is considered one of the world’s best and most creative.
But where Blumenthal found mainstream appeal was through his scientific rigor towards everyman food. One of my favorite cookbooks is his 2006 book In Search of Perfection, in which he attempts to concoct the best, most idealized version of a classic dish—no matter how labor-intensive the procedure.
The books (there is the original and its 2009 sequel) were accompanied by a BBC television series. If you’re a regular reader of The Takeout, and you enjoy geeking out over elaborate cooking methods in pursuit of perfection, Blumenthal’s TV show will be of much interest. Here’s one on fish & chips—all the other episodes are easily found on YouTube.