« Incanto, an offally delicious trattoria | Main | My bad. Reflections of a food snob »

Tuesday, February 21, 2006



My retirement plan is to teach molecular gastronomy as an emeritis at a fancy private university once I have fulfilled my obligation as a cancer biologist!

clare eats

That is coool


Hi Brett,
That book sounds really fascinating - as an engineer by training and a baker at home, molecular gastronomy lies right at the intersection of my interests. Thanks for pointing it out! I like the result of your experiment as well:)


this sounds fascinating! i was never a science person myself, as chemistry was the worst class ever in high school.


Fascinating! I might need to get this book... then again, i've always loved to play with chemistry ;)


I was so enjoying myself until I got to the salt and olive oil. Most things I can imagine how they taste, but I can't imagine that. Did you adapt it from somewhere?


But, but, but, how did it taste?


Ha ha, I'd be careful what I said about curling if I were you! You'd get mobbed if you went around saying things like that on the street here ;) I must say I was very intrigued by your experiment, and especially curious about your olive-oil sea salt garnish. I tried chocolate made with olive oil in Paris at the salon des saveurs, and must say I was somewhat underwhelmed... So yes, how did you like it? And, is this molecular marvel better than 'regular' chocolate mousse?


Alice, that's a great sounding retirement plan! I say, why wait? Ride the wave of popularity of molecular gastronomy while it's still hot. Then again, maybe you shouldn't get career advice from a food blog.

Clare, not only cool, but fun (and tasty).

Anita, I've read that a lot of young engineers are having fun with the new molecular gastronomy movement - although their focus is considerably less gastronomic than Ferran Adrià's. In a way, baking is all about chemistry, isn't it? (Maybe that's why baking is not my passion).

Yoony, I took chemistry during summer school just so I could get it over with quickly. Plus, I heard it was ridiculously easy. I recall that the teacher left the periodic chart of the elements on the wall during our exam on that topic, requesting that we not look at it "too often."

Silversara, it's a fun book. It's not for everyone, but if you like chemistry, you'll love this book.

TUT, I ate the combination at several tapas bars in Barcelona after reading about it in an article by Amanda Hesser in the NY Times. If you click on "simple Catalan recipe" in my post above, you will see the original recipe as posted on Bruce Cole's website "Saute Wednesday."

Amy and Melissa, oops, I neglected to mention how it tastes! It tastes like pure chocolate, which is after all the only ingredient. But, as has been the case with much of the food I have tasted at the few molecular gastronomy restaurants, it wasn't as good as I had hoped it would be. Personally, I'll take the classic chocolate mousse - like Julia Child's recipe - any day.

Melissa, I like the combination of chocolate, olive oil, and coarse salt. It's much better the simple way it is served in Barcelona, though (see link in my post). I preferred the combination of olive oil on vanilla ice cream (read about it here) that I had in Catalonia last summer. In fact, a new Italian restaurant in Marin is featuring this combination on softserve ice cream cones!

The Bachelor Chef

Amazing pic I tell ya


bitchin' post. i've read alot about Prof. This. Had no idea that his book had been translated into the English. I"ll need to look for it and persue. I'm fasincated by the science, though admittedly, i am such a poor student. and i totally empathize with sucking at math and science—i avoided calculus at all costs and discovered the joys of stats 101. blech.

Bea at La Tartine Gourmande

Very interesting post! Now I am intrigued by the book as well as the recipe. Now I should probably buy the French version to not lose myself in the science of English words!

Gustad Mody

very cool stuff.


You should place a warning at the top of this post: "Do Not Read If You're Extremely Hungry". That looks just awesome, and it's not even lunchtime yet... :-)

- Mark

Jessica "Su Good Eats"

I love the combination of olive oil and chocolate! I first discovered it by dipping an olive oil potato chip in chocolate fondue. What Einstein Told His Cook has a recipe for dairy-free chocolate mousse, which I've been wanting to try. It's mainly chocolate and olive oil.


Okay, those photographs are truly scrumptious. I just keep staring at them and salivating.

kel @ Green Olive Tree

Hola, this is pure science! I like the first pic you have there. Btw, do you have a choc moouse recipe to share?

kel @ Green Olive Tree


Hi Brett,

Offtopic :

For your "Bay Area Short List" you may want to try 'Spicehut' in Sunnyvale. They are pretty good. Certainly the best Kesari Bhaat I tasted. Its a Indian fastfood-like joint.

Disclaimer : My blog although named 'spicehut' is not connected to them :).



PS: I have added IPOS to my faves link section.


Hi Everyone! I am so sorry I've been neglecting the ole blog. I've been super busy and have had zero time to spare. I'm working on a fun post that should be up by tomorrow morning.

BC, Vanessa, Bea, Gustad, Mark, Shauna, and Kel, thank you!

Jessica, thanks for the link to the recipe from Theresa Barrenchea. Sounds right up my alley.

Kel, this is a true story. One of the first recipes I made as a kid was the chocolate mousse in one of Julia Child's books (not Mastering the Art of French Cooking). I'm sad to discover I don't seem to have that book any more.

Hi Sonali, congratulations on the new blog!


That's fascinating. I've been dabbling in molecular gastronomy myself after getting one of the El Bulli cookbooks, and I've been eyeing This' book for a while now. I guess I'll have to buy it.

Thanks for sharing the results of your experiment with honesty and humour.

Martin Lersch

For a comprehensive list on books about molecular gastronomy and food chemistry, check out this page:



Martin Lersch

chocolate strawberries

Here's how to make delicious chocolate covered strawberries. First of all ensure that the strawberries you are intending to use are dry, then allow them to be room temperature warm prior to making them. After the strawberries have been covered in chocolate, put them in your refrigerator to cool, but do not store them in the fridge. Consume within 1-2 days.

The comments to this entry are closed.

sardines defined

  • sar·dine (n) 1. a young herring or similar small fish. 2. a metaphor for the small and often less well-known ingredients, restaurants, farmers, and artisans that San Francisco-based chef Brett Emerson writes about in this website.
My Photo

Fish Tales

Search This Site



Bay Area Shortlist What do you crave?