Food culture is rapidly evolving in the ever-dynamic foodservice industry. Hidden gems serving local delicacies are no longer as charming as they once were, regional tastes don’t rule the charts either anymore, and enough experiments have been done with national and international cuisines. So, what is it that is attracting the modern foodie to restaurants today?
Modern cuisine and contemporary cooking for one! Moving beyond the realms of regional, national and international cuisines, one enters the arena of modern food where there are no set rules, no one technique and no one name. So, if you know your food science well, nothing stops your from creating that modern gastronomy spectacle that beholds a diner.
Modern cuisine is all about experimenting with the science behind food and then moving a step forward and creating a fabulous display.
Fermentation, low pressure distillation, sous vide, burning, cold smoking, cryo cooking and compression are some of the modern techniques used to alter the texture and flavour of food. Fermented tea, different hydrocolloids, different forms of sugar, different types of natural acids etc. are used.
While, low pressure distillation is more related to mixology at the bar than food, compression of fruits and vegetables leads to texture modification which is only a molecular element of modern food among many others.
To understand the molecular cooking technique one needs to have a know-how of the various elements which present in the ingredients – like malice acid which is naturally present in apple and can be used to make green apple sorbet instead of lemon/lime juice to enhance flavour.
Of course, one needs a kitchen completely fitted with all equipment needed to cook modern food – bowls for liquid nitrogen cooking, cryo sprayers, sous vide kits, texturizers and siphons to name a few.
Brands like Testek, Kanteen India, Kitchenaid, Aster Technology, Bestek Loza India, Zenith Kitchen and many more supply equipment that are used in modern cooking.
Modern Food at The Tasting Lab
At The Tasting Lab, we take the best of local produce sourced from across the country and turn it into a hitherto unknown culinary experience for our guests every Thursday at 8:00 pm at Glasshouse on the Ridge.
We create modern European dishes with world influences with the help of molecular technique, which suits the Indian palette well because of known ingredients and sometimes known techniques as well. Rather, they are known ingredients in an unknown avatar. The result is a confluence of science, nature and gastronomy by way of a no-rules applied nine-course sit down meal.
As easy as it maybe to bite into an Oreo at The Tasting Lab, to create it is a work of art. With the same look and feel of the immensely popular on-the-shleves product, like an Oreo biscuit, we create a non-traditional avatar. Our Oreo, served as the first course, is short bread made of parmesan cheese and charcoal powder, to give it that familiar colour but by far the most different taste. The filling is orange flavoured goat cheese mousse. The experience is sublime and challenges the thought process of the human brain.
One may like a certain pancake made in India with ingredients of their own choice that are not native to India. Using the Indian technique, a completely new recipe is evolved, a modern recipe.
Just like the Buttermilk ice-cream (served as 8th course) at The Tasting Lab. Buttermilk, traditionally known as Lassi is churned in a pacojet and served with candied ash gourd or petha. This slightly salty ice cream is served with a combination of extremely sweet candied ash gourd and some butter crumb. One is eating an ice-cream which is salty, one is eating buttermilk instead of drinking it and the petha adds a different dimension as these never-combined- earlier foods create a sensory appeal that is one of its kind.
Without molecular elements, modern dish is created. We don’t do molecular food for the sake of being fashionable or trendy in food, rather we do it to mould the dish per our culinary artistic desires, and hence it is modern food. All our dishes carry local produce that we take pride in sourcing.