Ukrainian molecular gastronomy: New Discoveries and Gastro-Masterpieces

New gastronomic fashion, molecular gastronomy, is actively developing in the world. This trend is becoming popular among the true lovers: new recipes and specialized restaurants are appearing. Gourmets expect fresh and bright emotions, impressions from modern cuisine; and the piquancy is added by the fact that there are no common standards in this field now, creative approach, that combines traditional regional cuisine with new technologies and inspiration, is becoming important.

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A chef of El Bulli restaurant (Costa Brava, Spain) Ferran Adria and Heston Blumenthal, a chef of The Fat Duck (near London) introduced the notion of molecular gastronomy and its tendencies in the world practice in 2010 year. In our country, a new unusual culinary trend became interesting in 2013. The basis, on which the gastronomic miracle has grown, is the scientific elaboration in the field of changes in physico-chemical processes in food while cooking. A creative approach of each restaurateur, unique components of regional cuisine – all that creates a unique dish, that is able to surprise a gourmet. Here is the whole firework of impressions, from avant-garde to the techno-emotional gamma, but all dishes are prepared in accordance with modern developments of culinary arts. The emotions – shock, surprise and enjoyment – that is the goal, pursued by heute cuisine! If an inexperienced visitor wants to meet molecular gastronomy, most likely, they will define it as nonstandard supply of food and products. But for those, who know how to enjoy food, molecular gastronomy is a breath of fresh emotions.

– Cooking, like clothing, is fashionable. With the advent of new techniques and technologies, Ukrainian cuisine has also received fashion, – says Roman Polovko, chef of Grunrestaurant. – But the use of molecular gastronomy in our country and in Ukrainian restaurants is not very widespread so far. – Molecular gastronomy, which is considered a symbiosis of chefs and scientists, is popular as a global trend in Ukraine – says Arthur Protchenko, an owner-manager of the “Academy of Successful Chefs.” – In fact, it is a set of certain modern technologies and equipment that are able to improve any regional cuisine. There is great potential In this format in Ukraine – Mr. Protchenko is sure.

The essence of this art – to change the cliché, assigned to certain foods and dishes, while preserving and enhancing the taste, the beneficial properties of products. Special handwriting of chef is in the aesthetic design of dishes, combination of flavours.

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– A number of new technologies: emulsification, work with textures, foam creation, heating, work with nitrogen and dry ice allow to improve the national cuisine or create an unusual texture. Add somewhere WOW-effect in supply – that is the basis of molecular gastronomy – says Arthur Protchenko.

The schtick of such modern cuisine – spumes or foam from vegetables and fruit, first courses, such as borsch or soup. To cook unusual shapes centrifuge is used instead of a pan, vacuum cooking instead of traditional spices – agar-agar, calcium lactate and other additions. It is then when espumas and gel are being created, which can “form” the dishes. Incidentally, the molecular gastronomy has offered its fans a zest – gel spheres with different flavours, both cold and hot. One of the opportunities of this direction is to create a mini-show, when some dishes are being cooked right in front of the guests. For example, using nitrogen mousse can be quickly frozen, resulting in getting perfect ice cream without fat. It looks like magic, but it’s just manual dexterity and technologies that help improve cooking as an art! In molecular gastronomy it is often cooked in vacuum by Sous-videtechnology. In fact, this is water bath, and thanks to full vacuum and a temperature of less than 100 degrees, the beneficial properties of the products are stored to the maximum and flavour – enhanced. Among the products of Ukrainian cuisine cooks often work with beef, pork, fish, vegetables and root crops. In Ukraine, there are few restaurants where you can taste the molecular gastronomy with a pleasure, but those professionals who are experimenting with new ideas, demonstrate the unique modern samples of authentic cuisine dishes. Molecular gastronomy for Ukrainian cuisine promotes our traditions, shows them in an unusual way. For example, in the Grun restaurant creamcappuccino from borshch with an ice cream from sour cream or cremebrulee from bacon represented.

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– This season we are presenting new potatoes with bacon crisps with fermented dill and smoked oil with the aroma of oak, – says Roman Polovko.

Profis of the Academy of Successful Chefs have created cabbage rolls, where from the fresh cabbage jelly made of Cannelloni is stuffed with the meat stuffing; the meal will be served with sour cream, whipped with the help of Sidon with smoked flavour. Alternatively a variation on the traditional borsch performed by the Academy of Successful Chefs resulted in foam with beet juice, sour cream in the form of sphere,and meat as the most interesting element – in the form of was espuma, it was taken as a snack, even caviar from carrots was served.

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– We altered all components – says Arthur Protchenko – in so far we focused on the concentration of taste: judging by the taste sensation, it was borsch, but judging by the visual sensation – no.

This contradiction creates additional emotions, transfers modern culinary ideas. In Kiev there is a restaurant “Kanapa”, which also offers Ukrainian cuisine in the implementation of molecular gastronomy. Among the dishes of the restaurant – mousse from crucianand oyster cream with roasted fennel and pike caviar on crispy fish skin. These words are already inflaming imagination!

– Every year classical Ukrainian dishes get a new look, more bright flavor, that is they are keeping up with fashion, – mentions Roman Polovko. – Serving dishes along with the appearance of a new generation of cooks “it” is becoming more interesting. – At least, this arouses interest, because we have a transitional stage now – says Arthur Protchenko.

Naturally, the development of new trends in cooking requires high qualification of specialists, training abroad. However, when there is demand, then there are more offers. Molecular gastronomy does not seek conquering the masses, it is for the connoisseurs. In our country, there are innovators in the restaurant business, there are gourmets, and, therefore, there will be experiments and achievements!