Too Much Foam

By Matthew Yglesias

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Inconveniently, nobody who practices molecular gastronomy will use the term “molecular gastronomy” to describe their style of cooking. And yet there’s a distinctive style of cooking that people keep wanting to call “molecular gastronomy.” And it comes from Spain. Specifically, Catalonia. Naturally, on our recent trip to Barcelona, Sara and I wanted to check some out. Not being ready to make it out to El Bulli, we opted for Alkimia (among other things, it’s actually in Barcelon) where or so they say “Jordi Vilà — a chef’s chef if ever there was one — is a proponent of New Catalan cuisine, the culinary wave started by Ferran Adrià.”

In my opinion, Vilà might want to give it a rest. Unlike at Alinea where the gimmicks are integral to the deliciousness of the food, I was getting a distinct vibe of “on the one hand, deliciousness; on the other hand, gimmicks” from Alkimia. This reached its peak of egregiousness at the restaurant’s finest dish—a bit of young lamb shoulder that was mind-blowingly tender. And not just mind-blowingly tender, mind-blowing good. It was awesome. And it also had some . . . foam . . . lurking around somewhere for no reason. The foam wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great, and there didn’t seem to be any real need for it. Instead, the thinking seemed to be “we’re in Catalonia so we need something New Catalan so we need to tack some foam onto our delicious lamb.”

The madness needs to stop.

6 responses to “Too Much Foam

  1. Agreed. A few weeks ago I had a delicious scallop dish at Tallula. The scallop was perfectly seared with a deep creamy taste, but next to it sat a mound of tasteless foam. It made me think twice about the dish.

  2. Agreed. (This is why Marcel lost his season, btw, there are only so many good uses of a coffee foam.)

    For my money, and it would be a lot of it, Komi does this right.

  3. I hope the foam trend doesn’t last too much longer. I call it “Chef Spit”. It look like someone spit on the plate and I don’t find it appetizing.

  4. Pingback: Even More Unwanted Foam « The Internet Food Association

  5. Food foam is OUT! Or, it should be. I think its reached its zenith and needs to bow out gracefully. I can’t stand the way it looks and I’ve never found it to be an effective flavor enhancer. So glad there are those who agree.

  6. Pingback: Even More Unwanted Foam | kashwaynepromotion.com

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