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Sebastian Scholl

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Sometimes the best way to surprise a friend is by attempting to surprise yourself.  That’s why after Olivia responded “surprise me”, when I asked what she’d like for dinner, I tried to out-do myself.    I had always heard about molecular gastronomy cooking as if it were an exotic technique employed by only the most cutting edge chefs.  Never did I know that I’d be playing around with these methods in my own kitchen!  
This past christmas my sister, Sarah, gave me a gastronomy cooking kit that I had put in the closet out of intimidation.  For this dinner, though, I knew that the kit must be opened.  I found the box, blew off the dust, opened it up and felt befuddled by the strange powders and utensils inside.  Here’s how it went.
Goat Cheese Ravioli Salad

For this meal I decided to make four courses.  Two appetizers employing three different gastronomy techniques, a main course using NO gastronomy techniques and a desert using one technique.  Considering that this was my first time gastronomy cooking, I felt four techniques was a diverse and manageable representation of the cooking style.  

To start off, our first appetizer was a goat cheese ravioli salad, topped with balsamic vinegar pearls and honey caviar.  The pearls and caviar used a gelification technique, while the raviolis were spherification.  I set them atop a baby spinach salad dressed in a simple oil and citrus dressing, garnished with a sliced strawberry.
Honey Caviar

Balsamic Pearls

The second appetizer was very simple.  Using an emulsification technique I made a soy sauce foam that was served on top of tuna sashimi cuts with wasabi and ginger.  The lightness of the soy foam complimented the sashimi really well.  Also, I let the tuna sit in a salt bath for a short time to give it a slight seasoning.  I most likely wont salt bathe the tuna next time, since after a taste of the wasabi salty tears were water-falling down my cheeks.     
Tuna Sashimi With Soy Foam

Close up!

Now, for the main course I decided to use no gastronomy techniques.  For a good reason to…I believe. I had no idea if any of this stuff tastes good!  Yeah, it looked cool and sounded exciting.  However, I felt like I was planning a date at an art museum.  What if we didn’t like the art?  Therefor, I went back to the basics, and prepared a baked chicken and figs dish with a lemon vinaigrette.  Simply, tasty, safe!

Baked Chicken and Figs

For desert, though, lets be real.  How badly can you screw up when cooking with sugar, fruit and chocolate?  The answer, pretty bad in my case!  However, I was able to save myself and the day.  Originally, I was planning on making a chocolate and pineapple spaghetti with a coconut gelato.  My chocolate spaghetti…lets just say nothing about that.  I ended up transforming the spaghetti recipe into a chocolate mouse dish which I sprinkled with coconut flakes.  The pineapple spaghetti, on the other hand, turned out beautifully!  But, left me no time to make my gelato…so I sold out and bought a Tahitian vanilla bean gelato made by Talenti (the best gelato company ever).  Take a gander at the picture below though…I think I made out just fine.
Chocolate mouse cake, pineapple spaghetti and vanilla bean gelato dessert

All in all, this was probably one of the most fun dinners I have prepared.  It was strange feeling like I was in science class instead of my kitchen, but luckily the outcome of this course was a meal instead of a grade!

If anyone is interested in a specific recipe or technique used to make any dish or item above, please feel free to leave a comment and I will write you back!  


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