LAS VEGAS (MainStreet) -- Call it experimental cuisine-transforming techniques. Or culinary physics.Today's chefs are taking simple food and changing the cooking process -- and with it transforming texture and taste. TravelsinTaste talked to some of the most cutting-edge chefs and mixologists about these techniques and compiled a select list of where you can find them.
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Long story short, it was well worth the $14 -- as much for the taste as for the fun experience and presentation. The nitro meringues are super-cooled and cause smoke to shoot out your mouth and nose as you chomp down on them ... despite the weird science, they actually taste pretty good. Other items included a push-pop trifle, butterscotch pudding, polenta cake (one of my favorites) and a drumstick filled with a strawberry and pistachio filling.But nitrogen isn't the only transformational item in the chef and mixologist's repertoir. Compression, a sous vide technique, can also transform textures and tastes. Chopped champion Michael Vignola uses this technique at his new New York restaurant Gravy, where New Southern Cuisine combines inspiration from the traditional fares of New Orleans, Savannah and Charleston with a touch of New York sophistication. "We use it primarily to transform the textures of porous fruits and vegetables: cucumbers, green tomatoes, pineapples, honeydew and the like," Vignola explains. "A green tomato that is almost dense and kind of woody takes on a new texture, almost like a piece of meat. When you taste it, it really gets this mouth feel of ripe, but still has that bite to it. You can see it opens up the cells, but yet they still hold their shape. It's kind of like taking coal and turning it into a diamond." Vignola even uses the technique in his pickles! Hergatt also prepares a Sous Vide Veal Tenderloin with sprouted lentils du puy, garlic chives and lamb. "I use sous vide technique so that I can cook the piece of veal to the precise temperature and doneness to 0.5 of a degree. This gives great consistency so that every piece of veal that I serve has the exactly the same quality every time," he says. Truly transformative cuisine. >To submit a news tip, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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