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Chefs Wows Crowd with Molecular Gastronomy

NAFFS Staff Report

Chef Nicola is a professional chef with years of experience preparing food in the kitchen and on television programs. He offered the attendees at the NAFFS 103rd Annual Convention a terrific culinary flavor presentation from the professional kitchen at his Momento Restaurant in Pennsylvania. 

Chef demonstrated how to take some basic food and drink items typically served in most restaurants, and make them into spectacular, memorable delicacies made to impress. In simple steps on three separate items, Chef was able to show the NAFFS attendees that simple flavors can be transformed with very little effort into the unexpected –all to the delight of the consumer. 

First was the demonstrated use of a strawberry foam and lavender essence to be placed on top of a glass of ordinary ice water. Capturing the flavors and adding to the exquisite presentation is one way to please the customer upon arriving in your restaurant. 

He showed the audience another simple trick to impress the consumer in the butter dish.  Butter, he said, because it comes from cream, can be captured in a different way. Using molecular deconstruction, Chef made basic butter 10 tens lighter without losing flavor. 

Third example of molecular gastronomy was an instant ice cream. Chef Nicola selected some late-Fall mixed fruits (pears, figs and blueberries). He used a copper pan and some heavy cream to which he added the fruits and sugar and vanilla. He created his flavor innovation in front of the viewers by using liquid nitrogen, a cryogenic, compressed Co2 that brings a product to negative 320 degrees! This tool is available to consumers but requires experience and careful study to use the instrument correctly, he warned. 

When discussing favorite foods, Chef said it’s important to “taste the food with your nose.” Chef shared his love of flavors, food and wines and promised to return to NAFFS when attendees can actually taste the flavor delicacies he shared. 

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