Molecular Cuisine

I first encountered Molecular Cuisine many years ago… and I hated it.
Actually “Hate” isn’t quite the right word here. “Disappointment” is really what I felt.
It must have been around 2009. There was a restaurant called “Silk” in Frakfurt, located on the premises of the legendary Cocoon Club. This Restaurant actually had a star in the Guide Michelin.
It was run by Mario Lohninger, a really good chef. But here, I think he was out of his depth. Or he tried to follow a fashion-trend. Or… I don’t know.
Whatever it was, it was disappointing.
I have been to many Michelin-star-restaurants but this was the only occasion that I asked myself “wtf? That’s it? That’s the hype? This is just a lot of show without any depth.”
“Silk” closed down in mid 2012, which in my opinion wasn’t a big loss.
It took until 2017 that I started developing an interest in Molecular Cuisine again.
I started buying books on this topic, read articles in the press and finally decided to give it a go.
Meanwhile, I’m a big fan of adding some molecular parts to my dishes. I would never want to create a full molecular 11-course dinner though. That’s what “Silk” did and that’s what disappointed me.
No matter what you think, Molecular Cuisine is pure Chemistry. You need a very fine scale, calculate quantities of those many white powders to the milligram, then nothing can go wrong.
Anybody can buy a book on the topic, buy the devices and the additives on the internet and start doing molecular cuisine. If you stick exactly to the instructions, you’ll be able to re-create the meals of those decorated chefs to the last detail.
I don’t see any creativity there.
Traditional cuisine though, that’s what I regard as an art. You need experience and creativity to prepare a good meal.
And here is where the idea kicked in to combine both.
Preparing a traditional meal with some molecular components takes cooking to a new level.
Sometimes very simple things can take you a long way.
For example, I prepared a dish with fresh tuna the other day. I needed to add quite a bit of Soy Sauce, but I didn’t want the tuna to swim in the sauce.
I took the soy-sauce, added a little bit of Xanthan, stirred and… I had Soy-cream. The taste is exactly the same as of the soy-sauce but it’s really creamy.
Very simple but it really did the dish well.

Tuna Medallions with Pak Choi and mashed Sweet Potatoes. Soy Cream for the Flavour

What I find very interesting about Molecular Cuisine is the fact that they sometimes use devices from totally different fields to improve the quality of their food.
Did you know that if you prepare a sauce in an ultrasonic cleaning-device, the components mix much better than by just stirring it?
This is what I find exciting about combing traditional and molecular cuisine.

Why “Mad Chef”?

Having had a long chat with “The Masked Chef“, I decided to start my own blog.
I chose the name “The Mad Chef” because it reminds me of the proverbial mad Scientist from these old movies.
You know what I mean. The chap with the skew eyes who speaks funny and tries to conquer the world with his mad inventions.
World dominations seems like an interesting challenge, but for now I’d go with giving you some new ideas for your cooking.

I like to combine elements of the molecular cuisine with classic cooking. Molecular cuisine is cool if you don’t make it a religion and don’t try to do everything molecular style.
Combining foams, espumas, jellies, spheres, etc. with traditionally prepared meals is awesome, taking taste to a completely new level. You have to be open for this kind of thing though.

I like to do experiments. Think out of the box. Try and try again. Try to improve my cooking using self-built, sometimes crazy devices.

The first thought is always “Why hasn’t anybody thought of this before?”

In most cases the second thought is “Wow, that’s bad! What a waste of good food. What’s wrong with me that I even thought this might work? No wonder nobody thought of this before. Or if they did, they didn’t tell anyone because it would have been too embarrassing.”.

Sometimes though, just sometimes, I think “Wow, this is awesome! Why hasn’t anybody thought of this before?”.
And these few occasions are worth the hassle.

These are the things you’ll find in my blog.
“Mad Devices” that actually work.
Recipes that actually taste good.
I won’t share the stuff that went wrong, though. 🙂 Trying to spare myself the embarrassment.

Regarding Recipes: yes, you will find a few recipes on this Blog. The focus of the blog is more on tools, devices, machines, etc.
I want to give you ideas on how to approach cooking differently, thinking out of the box, doing things in a way you haven’t tried before.
Also, DIY is a topic. Some devices aren’t available in shops so I had to build them myself.
The recipes I post are usually examples to demonstrate the practical use of “mad” and “not so mad” devices.

One final note on freebies and free samples:
Many bloggers and so-called influencers advertise items which they were given free of charge or they even receive cash for writing positive reviews.
The Mad Chef doesn’t receive or accept money, goods or anything else for reviewing or writing about products
I love cooking and experimenting in the kitchen and I simply want to share the experiences I make.
In case you’re a producer or distributor of a product you would like to read a review about, you may of course send me some information on this product. Please refrain from sending me freebies or samples though.
If I like your product I’ll buy it and pay the full price. If I don’t like it, I won’t buy it.
If you send me stuff anyway, please note that it won’t be returned. I don’t have the time to go to the post-office to return stuff.
Whatever I get will be donated to charity if I think it worthwhile or I’ll simply scrap it if I think it’s shit. I will not review any freebies though, whether I like them or not.  I’m independent and I want it to stay that way.

Unpaid Avertising:
Because I’m located in Germany and there is some German law that says so, any reviews that I make must be marked as “advertising”, even though I don’t receive mone for these.
You will therefore find the caption “Unpaid Advertising” at the beginning of each review.