The other day, we went to Jose Andres' molecular gastronomy restaurant, Minibar. We were served a tasting menu described as a "food experience". Indeed, we weren't just served fantastic food, but we were given a whole food experience that topped the charts. From the service, to the table side dining, to the wonderfully inventive works of art served on plates, it was truly an exceptional food experience.
On the back chalkboard was a quote from Bruce Lee that read, "Simplicity is the key to brilliance." I have always admired the creative geniuses that are able to conceptualize brilliant dishes that are inherently complex but yet appear utterly simple. I asked one of the chefs if he went to a special school for molecular gastronomy, and he said that his schooling trained him in the fundamentals that enabled him to subsequently learn molecular gastronomy on the job.
Besides being awed by their precision, skill, and artistry, I was really impressed with their ability to take simple ingredients and transform them into exceptional dishes. One of the things I have learned about food preparation is that it is all too easy to add loads of sugar and fat to our food. Most of the processed foods we eat are so loaded with sugar and fat that we experience more gluttony than gastronomy.
One of the hallmarks of molecular gastronomy is the deconstruction of food. I had a some fun pretending to be a molecular gastronomist in the following video:
You can have a little fun experimenting as a home molecular gastronomist for your own kids. Try this healthy deconstructed banana split ice cream sundae, which is significantly lower in fat than your average banana split:
Healthy Deconstructed Banana Split Ice Cream Sundae
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- Splash of vanilla extract
- Dusting of cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon sliced almonds
- Diced cherries
- Diced strawberries
- Mint leaves for garnish
- Freeze peeled banana overnight.
- Blend frozen banana, milk, and vanilla extract.
- Top with cocoa powder, almonds, and fruit.