What happens when the world's leading hacker chefs skill up on organic chemistry and buy centrifuges for their kitchens? Is your palate ready for "meat glue", "cooking" with liquid nitrogen, and "liquid noodles"? ... [this] looks at the growing role of science in fine dining kitchens with examples from the restaurants that are inventing the exciting field of molecular gastronomy. (Dorkbot)I am a terrible cook, and usually consume food I can carry in one hand (apple, bagel, rice cake). However, my interest in food preparation was piqued when I read about food hacking! This trend, popularized by scientifically-minded chefs, is based on the principle of "creat[ing] dishes based on the molecular compatibilities of foods." For example, a food hacker might combine chocolate and oysters (!) due to the similarities in their molecular make-up.
Marc Powell, a San Francisco-based hacker chef, is well known in the field of "molecular gastronomy." His website (foodhacking.com) established a food hacking wiki in June of 2006, where fellow food hackers can go to share ideas and "Experiments/recipes." Many of the recipes require unusual tools such as a nitrous oxide siphon or a centrifuge. Other recipes require exotic chemicals, like "meat-glue" which can combine chicken and beef into a single slab of meat referred to as "chick-a-beef."
Martin Lersch, from Oslo, Norway, holds a PhD within the field of organometallic chemistry and maintains a blog about molecular gastronomy and the connections between science and cooking.
Here in Chicago, interested parties can experience molecular gastronomy bliss at Moto (google map).
You don't just eat chef Homaro Cantu's food. You gape in disbelief as you are instructed in how to handle his offbeat creations with even more peculiar utensils: The whole thinking is like a three-star science lab. (from one of many reviews of the restaurant)
I experienced the 10 course meal there recently. The meal began with an tasty edible menu nestled on top of a micro-salad. I don't want to give away all the good parts, but let's just say the meal included lasers, liquid nitrogen, and dehydrated macaroni. It was an (albeit pricey) experience I would enthusiastic recommend.