A Tale of Molecular Gastronomy | Food News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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A Tale of Molecular Gastronomy 

Published February 9, 2008 at 2:17 p.m.

Here's something fun...on Leite's Culinaria there's a live recording of food writer Jess Thompson describing her experience at Alinea, Chicago's temple of Molecular Gastronomy. While the delivery isn't perfect (it's live, after all), some parts are pretty darn funny. As you listen, keep in mind that Gourmet magazine named Alinea the best restaurant in the country in 2006.

After listening, I hopped over to the restaurant's website, which is as odd as one might suspect after hearing Thompson's tale. There are two menus, "Tasting" and "Tour." "Tour" has more courses. If you're the type who rebels against mega-menu descriptions which include the age and place of origin for each ingredient, you'll find the Alinea menu refreshing. Here are a couple of samples (the 0s stand in for a smoke-ring-like symbol used on the menu):

SWEETBREAD 0 cauliflower, burnt bread, toasted hay
LAMB 0 in cubism
BLACK TRUFFLE 0 explosion, romaine, parmesan
CARAMEL CORN 0 *liquified*

For a lengthy glimpse into a meal at Alinea, check out this post on the peacelovefood blog. There's a shorter one at cravings. And here's what Frank Bruni had to say after dining there.

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About The Author

Suzanne Podhaizer

Suzanne Podhaizer

Former contributor Suzanne Podhaizer is an award-winning food writer (and the first Seven Days food editor) as well as a chef, farmer, and food-systems consultant. She has given talks at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture's "Poultry School" and its flagship "Young Farmers' Conference." She can slaughter a goose, butcher a pig, make ramen from scratch, and cook a scallop perfectly.


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