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The Conservative influence on Cuisine

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My first exposure to what I guess is now termed the "avant garde" movement in cuisine was via a New Scientist article about Heston Blumenthal and some of the work he was doing in the Fat Duck around 1999. The first thought that struck me was "Wow, this stuff is absolutely amazing" but this was quickly followed by the second thought "Waitasec... you mean it took us 400 freaking years before someone thought to try this?"

While almost everybody who reports on your work seems to focus on the foams and the jellies and the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment, it seems to me that much of your fundamental innovation could have been achieved in any reasonably equipped kitchen in the last 200 years.

Why is it, do you think, that chefs have been reluctant for so many years to perform even the simplest of experiementations with these ingredients that they work with every day to see if they can ever behave in ways that would surprise them.

PS: I am a guy.

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