The World

Synthetic food is on the menu for today’s Geo Quiz. There’s a hot new restaurant in the Asian city we’re looking for today.

egg: source wikipediaegg: source wikipedia

This crowded city looks out on the South China Sea. It’s one of China’s special administrative regions… and it boasts more than 6,000 skyscrapers and 7 million residents.

At this city’s newest restaurant, you won’t find local favorites like “fish balls on a stick” or “Stinky tofu”.

The grand opening tonight features a 12-course gourmet meal.

But there’s a twist: — the chef says the menu will include some entirely “synthetic” dishes…as the World’s David Leveille explains in the answer…

ne chef that’s perfected this technique is Pierre Gagnaire and his place is called Restaurant Pierre at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Hong Kong.

Listen to the report:

Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Statue Square, Central, Hong Kong: source wikipedia KennethTomMandarin Oriental Hotel, Statue Square, Central, Hong Kong: source wikipedia KennethTom

These synthetic gourmet dishes will be created using the unappetizingly named “molecular gastronomy”. That’s a complicated cooking technique. It’s founder Herve This likens it to playing music “note by note” he begins his analogy with a carrot:

“If you have a carrot, a carrot in a pan, at the same time you put a lot of different compounds, for example in the carrot you have glucose, fructose, and sucrose, but also amino acid and so on and you cannot decide the proportions for all these compounds, but now you could also decide to put in your pan glucose, fructose, sucrose which is ordinary sugar, and other kind of molecular compounds like that, and then we can decide to make a dish so its not synthetic, its “note by note”.”

Got it? So instead of using carrots or garlic…chefs use chemical or molecular compounds. It’s also been described as painting with taste….start with a touch of purple, add a hint of blue or green…and voila you’ve created a new color. This way of cooking would probably make Julia Child wince, but This says the molecular approach to cooking is all about creativity:

“The mathematics of the thing is that if you decide to play this game then the number of possibilities is tremendously bigger than the possibility that you have with ordinary cooking there are new flavors that you can discover.”

One chef that’s perfected this technique is Pierre Gagnaire, and his place is called Restaurant Pierre at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Hong Kong. This says tonite’s synthetic gourmet meal shouldn’t be missed:

” At Pierre at Hong Kong, there will be two full dinners where there will be full menu based on some of my invention, and included in this menu there will be two note by note dishes.”

If you go be sure to try the lobster fricassee served with polyphenol sauce (*** see recipe below) For desert chef Pierre plans to serve apple and lemon flavored jelly balls, creamy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. The chef decribes them as futuristic in design. Smooth, crusty and frosty — kind of like a chilled jelly donut. Yum.

*** Melt 100g of glucose and 20g of tartaric acid in 20cl of water. Add 2g of polyphenol. Boil and add sodium chloride and piperine. Bind the sauce with amylose. Take off the heat and stir in 50g of triacylglycerol ***

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