ECC co-founder and NYU chemistry professor Kent Kirshenbaum will take us into the world of butter. We will look at:
- What butter is made of
- The physics of butter
- Different kinds of coalesced cream products, such as clotted cream and mascarpone
- The chemistry of butter and of butter flavor
- Chemical modifications of butter and the Maillard reaction
- Brown butter
- Smen, the mysterious fermented butter of North Africa
If time permits, we will also make butter and taste a variety of types of butter.
Columbia University Press is pleased to announce the publication of Umami: Unlocking the Secrets of the Fifth Taste by two-time Experimental Cuisine Collective presenter Ole G. Mouritsen and chef Klavs Styrbæk.
Combining culinary history with recent research into the chemistry, preparation, nutrition, and culture of food, Mouritsen and Styrbæk encapsulate what we know to date about the concept of umami, from ancient times to today. Umami can be found in soup stocks, meat dishes, air-dried ham, shellfish, aged cheeses, mushrooms, and ripe tomatoes, and it can enhance other taste substances to produce a transformative gustatory experience. Researchers have also discovered which substances in foodstuffs bring out umami, a breakthrough that allows any casual cook to prepare delicious and more nutritious meals with less fat, salt, and sugar.
Ole G. Mouritsen is a distinguished scientist and professor of biophysics at the University of Southern Denmark. Klavs Styrbæk is a chef who, for more than twenty years, has owned and run the highly regarded Restaurant Kvægtorvet (The Cattle Market) in Odense, Denmark.
For more information about the book, click here.
Ole will be doing events around the book in Los Angeles and New York in the coming week, so join him there if you can:
April 23 at 7:00 PM
UCLA, Science & Food Series
April 25 at 3:00 PM
Umami Burger, 1520 North Cahuenga Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028
April 27 at 5:00 PM
Food Book Fair
April 28 at 12:00 (noon) PM
Umami Burger, 432 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10011
In her presentation, Teaching The Evolution of Food and Medicine with Bitters, Shoots and Roots Bitters cofounder Rachel Meyer will take us on a journey into the history of the foods we eat and the mechanisms of evolution at work during the domestication of plant species from around the world. Through a series of interactive tastings, you will be treated to a molecular, chemical, and archaeobotanical tour of the geography of food origins and the ways plants have traditionally been exploited before they became the foods we prize today. Some unusual suspects, experienced through bitters, cocktails, and tisanes, include arborvitae, bhut jolokia peppers, cannibal’s tomato, Chinese indigo, devil’s hand flower, hemp seeds, monkfruit, moringa, sambong, and tartary buckwheat.
Rachel is a plant evolutionary biologist and founder of Shoots and Roots Bitters, which manufactures bitters and educates people about a wide array of the most evolutionarily and ethnobotanically fascinating species found around the world. Many of these species are her or her business partners research subjects. She earned her doctorate through the City University of New York and New York Botanical Garden Plant Science PhD program, and is currently a postdoctoral researcher in New York University in the Purugganan lab, focusing on crop genomics. As part of Shoots and Roots, she teaches workshops on the Evolution of Food, Nature’s Pharmacy, The Science of Taste, and Botany for Bartenders. Her team also delivers their bitters and botanical science knowledge through flavor-sensory rich lectures and cocktail hours. She is from Los Angeles, but has lived in Harlem for 8 years, which is where the Shoots and Roots headquarters and kitchen space are.
The brilliant minds behind Ideas in Food, Alex Talbot and Aki Kamozawa, regular presenters and longtime friends of the Experimental Cuisine Collective, have developed an app that should be of interest to many of our members. Kitchen Scratchpad allows users to create, collect, and collaborate on recipes and store them securely in the cloud. It’s devised with professional cooks in mind, since it’s easy to upload photos and work on recipes as a team. Since we foster collaborations at the ECC, being able to create recipes as a joint effort is of course very appealing. More info and links to download at kitchenscratchpad.com.
Long-time ECC friend Dave Arnold and his team at the Museum of American Food and Drink have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their first exhibit, BOOM! The exhibit will feature a puffing gun, used to make puffed up cereals.
Go here to support the campaign and our friends at the Museum of American Food and Drink. Thank you on their behalf!
The June meeting of the Experimental Cuisine Collective will take place on Monday, June 17, from 4 to 6 p.m.
Our presenter will be Danielle Gould, founder & CEO of Food+Tech Connect, who will allow us to interrogate the role that technology is playing in our food system. There has never been more demand for sustainable food, but the industry is having trouble scaling. Her talk will look at how technology and open data are leveling the playing field with big food and bringing transparency to the entrenched industry. Danielle will highlight some of the tech startups that are disrupting the way we produce, distribute, sell, cook and consume food. And she will talk about what a hackathon is and how she is using them to rapidly prototype food systems innovation. We’ll also discuss your ideas about how technology can be used to reimagine cooking and dining.
Danielle Gould is the founder & CEO of Food+Tech Connect, the industry-leading media company and network for innovators transforming the business of food. Through news, analysis and events she helps companies of all sizes drive innovation and understand how information and technology are changing the way food is produced, distributed and consumed. Danielle is also a founding member of the Culinary Institute of America’s Sustainable Business Leadership Council and is a regular contributor to Forbes. Connect with her on Twitter at @dhgisme or @foodtechconnect.