A la carte and beyond

Ask the average person what a la carte is, and he or she might fumble. “Umm, I’ve seen the word used in menus in posh restaurants. It’s basically a fancy word for a menu, right?” This is understandable. Until a few decades ago, a la carte was the predominant menu style in restaurants, and is…

The Case for Molecular Gastronomy (Part 2)

Spheres, Foams and Gels Farzi café in Gurgaon has some wacky stuff on its menu. The first dish they serve is an amuse bouche which they called Mishti doi shots. It comprised a small bowl with a light brown orb, some strawberry compote and a sprinkling of panchphoron. We downed it like a shot, and…

The Case for Molecular Gastronomy (Part 1)

Better Taste and Better Texture Molecular gastronomy is one of those incredibly polarizing elements in modern cuisine. Some people are incredibly put off by the idea of introducing liquid nitrogen, centrifuges and unpronounceable chemicals into the kitchen. Such things, they believe, should remain in the laboratory. In this series, let us examine some tricks and…

Foods, Trends and the 2010s (Part 1)

In a few days, we will be stepping into a new decade, ripe with opportunities. But before we do, it is worthwhile to stop and look back at the decade which saw the Gangnam style and Ice buckets, memes and instalikes, two royal weddings, Modi and Trump and so much more. From a shy kid…

Anatomy of a Cheesecake

Deconstruction isn’t a brand-new concept, but it is a trend that is rapidly catching on, especially in the pastry kitchen. It is all about playing around with the presentation of a dish, while maintaining its overall taste and identity. The purists are strictly against it, always faulting it in some way or the other. Others…

Undercover Veggies

“Eat your veggies or you can’t have dessert”, might be one of the most common threats made at the dinner table. Indeed, dessert is everything that vegetables are not: it is sweet, it is delicious, and it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside; while veggies, especially if made poorly, tend to be bland,…

Not Too Sweet (Part 2)

The sweet side of Miso and Wasabi In Part 1 of this two-part series, we looked at two desserts and saw how sourness and bitterness can elevate a dessert. This week, we will examine two other desserts which emphasize the role of other tastes in balancing out the sweetness in a dessert. Salt plays a…