Molecular Gastronomy is Overrated

Dan Barber: Well you know I tend to think like this . . . this molecular gastronomy movement is a little overrated. And that’s more around the world than it is in America, although it’s come here in full blast. And most molecular gastronomy being the . . . the fascination with science and manipulation. So for me, I’m really interested in the science of food, especially the science of agriculture. I think it’s a fascinating field, and I don’t think that one can believe in sustainability and . . . and organic agriculture and . . . and be . . . to believe in that stuff you have to be against modern science and technology. That doesn’t make any sense to me. I think you can believe in the most sustainable cuisine and also want to introduce and learn about the most up to date, innovative cooking techniques and agriculture that occurs in the field, you know? I just . . . The chefs that are totally driven by science and manipulation chemicals to get flavors and textures in food strikes me as like sort of boring. And also as like . . . as like very manipulative. And I really love it. There are some people who are doing it great, so I don’t mean to make a blanket statement about it. It’s wrong to do that because there are people who do it with real responsibility, and real intellect, and real art. So . . . And I think that pushes food along and it’s nice. The problem is nobody is . . . Very few chefs are taking that . . . the time. It’s a huge time investment to learn about all that stuff, and the energy, and you know the capital and stuff, and investing that in the farmers that they’re buying from. You know you could really take that time and show . . . introduce farmers to new seeds or to new techniques in . . . You know and that’s all available on the Internet just like all the molecular gastronomy is. So me, I prefer those chefs who are thinking more about the ingredients and the technology that’s going in the field than rather in the kitchen. But yeah, that sounds a little harsh, but I don’t mean it to be. Okay. Recorded on: 2/11/08

Molecular gastronomy.

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