• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
ronnie_suburban

Inside the Alinea Food Lab

81 posts in this topic

Fascinating thread!

I know it's a bit late, but I thought I would might contribute something about gelling agents, specifically agar.

In molecular biology research labs (I'm a student), we use agarose, which is basically the ultra pure/refined gelling component of agar. It forms a very tight matrix (we use it to separate molecules of DNA), and is very clear, almost transparent.

I don't know if this product is currently used in the food industry, but I think it is a ingredient which may be of interest...


Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I suppose there is the question of the intentions of the suppliers of the information - is it truly to provide insight into the process... or is it a viral marketing tactic? Are successes and failures truly represented in the documentation?

Even if it is, so what? Viral marketing is a legitmate form of advertising (and effective). In this case all parties benefit.


"Instead of orange juice, I'm going to use the juice from the inside of the orange."- The Brilliant Sandra Lee

http://www.matthewnehrlingmba.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Even if it is, so what?  Viral marketing is a legitmate form of advertising (and effective).  In this case all parties benefit.

I wasn't suggesting that it is nor does it matter to me either way - I was simply making a distinction between documentation for the purpose of documentation and documentation for the purpose of marketing in response to the previous post #69.

{edit} :

No, actually it's not completely true that it doesn't matter to me:

There are those who do things because that is what they truly believe and there are those who do what they believe will garner the best reaction.

It IS important ( to me at least ) to be able to distinguish between those who are sincere and those who are merely taking advantage of a public relations opportunity – and if both, to what degree each plays a role.


Edited by sizzleteeth (log)

nathan gray

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never had the feeling that Achatz was anything but sincere.

Everything is about cross marketing these days but It seems that after that article in the F&W 10 best chefs ish with the 'Pastry Provocateurs' article that mentioned the Alinea kitchen concept, and the subsequent mention here on the 'gullet about it (scooped?) that chefG and EG decided to document the development and opening of it.


2317/5000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've never had the feeling that Achatz was anything but sincere.

I can agree with that - he seems genuinely interested in sharing many aspects of his work for more than the sake of "becoming famous".

I attended the cooking demo he and his team put on at The Chopping Block, preparing dishes that (at that time anyway), were said to be destined for the menu at Alinea.

In my eyes it was an opportunity to do more than sample the dishes - but to witness the process of the team making and plating the dishes and to get a feel for them as people.

The dishes were distinctive and enjoyable and the team was mild mannered in that setting, including Grant - not much of a trace of large ego and I have no reason to believe that is not typical.


nathan gray

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

chefG...

Firstly, I hope everything is moving ahead with Alinea and can't wait to read about the opening.

In the meantime I was hoping to get some advice on encapsulating liquids, namely green olive.

the chef I'm working with wanted some garnish for a martini and my exec PC & I set about making piquillo pearls or caviar and we were trying to come up with a green olive shape, we call them "lava lamp' shapes.

We rinsed the pitted olives free of oil and brine and then liquified and strained thru cheesecloth.

We finished off the olive liquid with a bit of brine from the holding liquid, it tasted great.

We found that our shapes were not setting up swell.

We upped the alginate in some more olive liquid, it did a bit better, but I wanted to try upping the calcium cholride in our setting solution, which my cochef didn't want to hit yet.

We were also trying to decide how to cure the look of it as it was slighly unappetizing visually (but that's another story).

So, any advice from yourself or any other interested parties in what could be the problem here?

Could it be residual oil from the olive cure or too much salinity?

Does anyone ever read a ph level for the C.C. solution?

Thanks in advance for any help, always much appreciated.

P.S. all was not lost.

The piquillo pearls made a great garnish for a cerviche!

chefG wrote on Oct.24, 2004...

Yes, very acturate digital scales are required for the measuring of most ingredients in the kitchen. All of our recipes are in metric and all of them are documented to the gram, some to the half gram if necessary. Your percentages seemed to be reversed. We basically use a 1% solution of alginate and a 2% calcium solution, but that can vary depending on what base liquid you are dealing with.


Edited by tan319 (log)

2317/5000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By Rugby
      Hello fellow eGullet members. I stumbled across this forum while looking for ways to improve my food here.
      I've been a technical type all my life and started assembling my kitchen 7 years ago piece by piece after quitting living from hotels for the previous 12 years.  
      I currently enjoy smoked foods and tweaking local / regional recipes by applying technique instead of hard boiling or large batch frying.  So far it's allowed me to enjoy and reinforce my knowledge of ingredients.
      Thank you everyone contributing here and those folks who laid the frameworks for dispelling myths and providing understanding of ingredients and flavours.
      Best regards and bon-appetit,
      Warren
       
       
    • By ltjazz
      Hey all,
       
      I've made thicker and creamier sorbets with 25% to 35% sugar strained fruit purees and sugar, syrups, and other stabilizers that have worked well. However, because it's so much fruit and little to no water it can be an expensive project.
       
      I am trying to make "Water Ice" or "Italian Ice" in my home ice cream machine. Think of textures similar to Rita's Water Ice, Court Pastry Shop, or Miko's in Chicago. It eats much lighter than a sorbet but isn't really icy, but it's also not thick like sorbet. Ritas uses "flavoring" and sugar, while the other two use fruit juice. I'm thinking of thinning the strained fruit juice with water and adding a stabilizer, but I'm having trouble getting this in my home ice cream machine without it freezing solid like granita.
       
      Can anyone suggest a way to use real fruit juice, water, and a combination and concentration of stabilizers to get a looser, frozen fruit dessert that isn't icy?
    • By paulraphael
      Does anyone have reliable tricks for getting good flavor out of garlic in a sous-vide bag? I'm talking about using it just as an aromatic, while cooking proteins, or as part of a stock or vegetable puree.
       
      The one time I forgot the maxim to leave raw garlic out of the bag, I ended up with celeriac puree that tasted like a tire fire.
       
      I see some recommendations to just use less, but in my experience the problem wasn't just too much garlic flavor. It was acrid, inedible flavor. Using less works fine for me with other mirepoix veggies.
       
      I also see recipes for s.v. garlic confit (listed by both Anova and Nomiku) and for some reason people say these taste good. How can this be?
       
      There was a thread questioning the old saw about blanching garlic multiple times in milk, which didn't come to any hard conclusions.
       
      I'm wondering if a quick blanch in water before adding to the s.v. bag, to deactivate the enzymes, would do the trick. But I don't know the actual chemistry behind the garlic tire fire, so am not confident this would work.
       
      Some cooks advocate garlic powder; I'm hoping to not resort to that.
       
      Thoughts?
    • By May10April
      I know there was a thread on this a few years ago, however it seems these scales are no longer made or newer better models are available.
      As I've become more serious about my baking, I've decided to get a kitchen scale. I'm debating between the My Weigh KD-8000 http://www.amazon.com/My-Weigh-Digital-Weighing-Scale/dp/B001NE0FU2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1297958394&sr=8-1 or the EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Scale. http://www.amazon.com/EatSmart-Precision-Digital-Kitchen-Scale/dp/B001N0D7GA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1297958443&sr=1-1 Originally I wanted the Taylor Salter High Capacity Scale because it looked cool, but I've noticed it received many mixed reviews. http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-Salter-Aquatronics-Capacity-Kitchen/dp/B004BIOMGU/ref=sr_1_24?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1297958465&sr=1-24
      Here are my requirments:
      -Minimum capacity of 11 lbs
      -Minimum resolution of 1 g
      -Measure in Kg, lb, oz, g
      -Tare feature
      -Preferably have seamless buttons
      I want to get a nice scale. I don't want to get a scale with minimum features only to find in two years that I do enough baking/cooking that requires me to have something more sophisticated.
      Here are a few other questions:
      1. How important is it to have a scale measure fluid ounces?
      2. What about measuring lbs. oz (for example 6 lbs and 4.2 ounces)
      3. Is it important to have a scale measure in bakers %? I'd like to learn how to do these and have a cookbook that shows them next to the measurements. I'm not sure if this is something most people can figure out on their own or it would be handy to have them on a scale. The MW KD-8000 does this.
      The only problem with the MW-KD-8000 is it appears to be big and bulky and I don't have a lot of counter space so I'd probably keep it stored most of the time. The Eat Smart just seems to minimal. The Salter seems like an expensive scale for what it offers and somewhat of a risk.
      Thanks for any help in helping me choose the right scale. I do not know why this is becoming a chore to purchase! I just want to make sure I choose the right one right off the bat.
    • By bhsimon
      Recently cooked whole bone-in lamb shoulder sous vide for 8 hours @ 80°C. The results were like a typical braise. More interestingly, I weighed the different components after cooking for future reference. Here is the breakdown:
       
      Before cooking:
      2.1 kg lamb shoulder – whole, bone-in, untrimmed
       
      After cooking:
      621 g liquid
      435 g bones and fat
      1044 g meat
       
      Almost precisely half of the total weight was meat. Hopefully this will be helpful if you are trying to calculate portions.
       
      As an aside to this: we've been cooking our tough cuts (sous vide) whole, without any trimming at all, and removing fat and bones after cooking. It is so much easier and faster than trimming everything beforehand. The excess fat comes off in large pieces and connective tissue peels away cleanly. Lamb shanks, for instance, are tedious to trim before cooking but easily cleaned up after they come out of the bag. It's luxurious to have big, clean pieces of shank meat although some may prefer on-the-bone presentation. We have tried this with pork shoulder, too, and the unwanted fat is easily removed after cooking with lovely hunks of tender meat remaining for slicing, dicing or shredding.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.