Paradigm shifts appear to be the trend these days. The world is incessantly showing off. And now it’s gastronomy’s turn! Bubble Food, a creative food design and events production company take “unique” to a new level. Pioneers of a cutting-edge concept, molecular gastronomy, Bubble Food officially reinvented exquisite cuisine in 2011. Michael Collins, Managing Director of Bubble Foods, explains how “these first experiences of molecular gastronomy ignited my imagination as to what could be possible and made me seriously consider developing a molecular side to Bubble Food’s range.”
Molecular gastronomy is the fusion of artistic cooking and scientific processes to alter the physical and chemical properties of ingredients beyond their original state. This results in delightfully stimulating culinary and sensory experiences.
Although this molecular magic was exclusive to high-end Michelin star restaurants, they are now available in the conventional world of event catering. Collins discusses this integration; “there’s a difference between serving a three course molecular dinner in a restaurant for 50 guests and producing the same level of innovation, quality, creativity and precision when you scale that up to 400 guests.”
The most popular and trendy elements of this state-of-the-art cuisine are molecular canapés and molecular cocktails, primarily for corporate functions. They boast value not only to your palate and eyes, but also in entertainment, encouraging social interaction amongst individuals as they explore the intricacies and muse about the dynamism of this gastronomy. “They are fantastic ice-breakers!” exclaims Collins
Molecular cuisine triumphs orthodox methods of cooking in creating more delectable foods, as a result of processes that exaggerate flavour. These include the concoction of novel infusions and ‘sous-vide’, the fascinating method of placing ingredients in an airtight bag and steadily cooking in a water basin.
“Mostly we like to play with people’s perceptions about how certain foods should look/smell/taste/feel and to create a unique sensory journey that will inspire their imaginations – in much the same way that many visual artists strive to make the viewer think about a subject in a new way.”
Liquid nitrogen serves as an essential component to some of the most popular offerings; it has an eccentric appearance and undergoes a distinct physical transformation in front of guests. Liquid nitro infused menu includes instant-ice creams, cocktail sorbets and poached mousses “which can make the consumer look as if they have dragon smoke coming out of their noses!” These range in a variety of eye-bulging flavours such as bubble-gum, whisky and coke, and green tea and lime.
The imagination behind molecular foods is endless. Collins enlightens us on further delicacies such as molecular olives that explode in the mouth, chilli strawberries squares that appear to be innocent until one tastes them, and space truffles that boast popping candy.
Collins feels molecular cuisine is going to transform the way we prepare and indulge in our food. Basic molecular techniques that don’t require high tech kitchen equipment are increasingly being experimented with. Collins is optimistic about the future of molecular gastronomy, “I’m sure it won’t be long until we have our own Molecular Bubble range in the shops!”