Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hervé This at IACP 2007 Chicago Conference

Hervé This is a French physical chemist who works at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA). His main area of interest is molecular gastronomy, or how our knowledge of chemistry, and science in general, can be used as a tool to enhance culinary experiences, rather than the purely empirical knowledge which more often than not dictates the rules in the kitchen.

About the name “molecular gastronomy”, Hervé This writes:

Molecular gastronomy, why such a pompous name? And is it some useless activity of the idle rich or wealthy foodies? Of course not! First, a differentiation should be made between cooking and gastronomy. Cooking means preparing dishes, whereas gastronomy, according to the promoter of the word, means “intelligent knowledge of whatever concerns man’s nourishment” (Brillat-Savarin 2006). When this knowledge is history, the activity is “historical gastronomy,” but when it comes to the study of chemical and physical transformations involved in culinary practice, then it is “molecular gastronomy.”

He goes on to distinguish it from culinology (which BTW is a trademark - “How can science be patented?” Hervé asks). What is even more interesting, is that he includes a modification of the original five points that were published in his PhD thesis (and also included in the 2002 article “Molecular gastronomy” in Angewandte Chemie):

1. investigate recipes
2. collect and test culinary proverbs, old wives’ tales, and so on
3. invent new dishes based on 1 and 2
4. introduce new tools, ingredients, and methods in the kitchen
5. use cooking to show that the physical and biological sciences are wonderful

He writes that this was a major mistake because 3 and 4 are technological, not scientific, and 5 is political. Because of this, he has recently changed the objectives of what he thinks molecular gastronomy should be. He notes that a dish contains a “love” component, an “art” component and a “technical” component. And molecular gastronomy should investigate these three, but only from a scientific point of view. Read more about definitions of molecular gastronomy.


IACP is very proud to present Dr. This as Keynote Speaker during the Plenary Session on Friday, April 13 during this year's Annual Conference. Do not miss this unique opportunity to witness this lecture by one of the founders of Molecular Gastronomy and one of the greatest minds alive. In preparation for this day, you can read Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History).

Following the plenary session, Dr. This will go on to WS-26 for a Conversation with Board member Darra Goldstein and answer questions to those conference attendees who have signed for the workshop.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Chicago's Avant Garde Cuisine

If you are planning to be in Chicago in April to attend IACP's annual Conference, then you might be interested in knowing that the city is home to some of the finest restaurants in the country. In fact, culinarily speaking, Chicago has been named the "Barcelona of North America".

We are fortunate because we will be able to meet a few of the chefs of these restaurants during our Annual Conference. Chef Charlie Trotter will give a cooking demonstration on sous vide and other modern techniques. His restaurant ranks 26 among the top 50 in the World. Make sure to make a reservation 8 to 10 weeks in advance if you plan on having dinner there.

Homaru Cantu and Ben Roche of Moto Restaurant in Chicago will give us a demonstration on their latest inventions on Thursday April 12 in the workshop named "A Savory and Sweet Look into Postmodern Cuisine". Make sure not to miss this unique opportunity to see chef Cantu in action.

Tru will be represented by Chef Gale Gand, who we will meet us on the Chocolate and Vanilla tour on Tuesday which includes lunch at the restaurant; she will also join us during the Kids in the Kitchen workshop on Wednesday afternoon.

Finally, there is Alinea, named the Best Restaurant in the USA in 2006 by Gourmet Magazine. The Chef is Grant Achatz, who worked with Thomas Keller at the French Laundry and did a brief "stage" with Ferrán Adriá at El Bulli. Called the new wunderkid, Chef Achatz marveled the audience at Madrid Fusion last week. Chef Achatz is not scheduled on our program but we are sure many of you will be interested in his cuisine and visit his restaurant.

If you are curious about what the food at Alinea looks like, here is a set of photos taken recently by a diner.


Monday, January 15, 2007

Fiesta = Party

Are you planning to attend Chicago this coming April during our 29th Annual Conference? Then join us for a celebration of our rich and vast diversity that makes IACP one of the most unique global culinary organizations on the planet.

This is what they are saying about Nacional 27:

"Chicago's Hottest Nuevo Latino Restaurant" -Restaurant Hospitality-
Bold Combination of Flavors of 27 Countries" -Bon Appetit-
Wine Spectator Award Winning Wine List

A tremendous effort has gone into preparing this dazzling event. This is the real deal: authentic Latin American regional food, drinks and music. This event will be the hottest ticket in town with soul stirring dishes, tipples, dancing (yes dancing so dust off those dancing pumps and drag out the feather boa as salsa lessons will be given) Eat , drink and dance to your heart's delight and experience the magic and merriment of Latino Celebracion..Vamonos con Mucho Gusto!

Event details:

Nacional 27
325 West Huron
Chicago IL, 60610
Thursday April 12, 2007
6:30 pm - 10 pm

Buses will depart the Chicago Hilton at 6:30pm

Photos from the Photo Gallery at the Nacional 27 website.

Your ticket includes:
  • Full Open Bar
  • Interactive Mojito Station
  • South American Wines tasting
  • Ceviches and Tapas
  • An array of Latin American dishes
  • Miniature Latin American desserts
  • Live Music
  • Salsa Lessons
  • The company of fun and lively friends from all over the world!

To buy your ticket for this event, go to the IACP website and choose The International Event, Latin Fiesta! in the Optional Evening Events of Thursday April 12 when registering for Conference. If you are not an IACP members, please inquire about attending this event by writing to

Organized by the International Committee of IACP.

Elena Hernandez, Chair
Kate McGhie, Vice-Chair
Scott Givot, Board Liaison

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

IACP Board Director Scott Givot wins Norway's "Top Ten" Award

Press Release – December 12, 2006

”Top Ten” Winners 2006 is Made Official Today
An election of international role models within the Norwegian society

“Top Ten” profiles progressive international men and women who have settled in Norway. For the third year in a row, we have chosen to shine the spotlight on positive and inspiring role models from within the Norwegian community life and work milieu.

An independent jury has chosen the ten winners out of a group of 20 well qualified candidates (10 women and 10 men). These again were derived from a pool of 50 nominated persons, all considered first rate contributors to Norwegian culture. This year’s winners cover a spectrum of roles from professor and arbitrator to architect and environmental activist, nurse, governmental advisor, corporate manager, entrepreneur, chi gong master, politician, food author, author, environmental therapist and security and surveillance expert. The ten come to Norway from their home countries of Somalia, Wales, Italy, Austria, China, Benin, Iran, Pakistan, USA and Gambia.

This project is carried out with the help from the Directorate for Integration and Diversity and is administrated by the Association of International Professional and Business Women. Top Ten is a development initiated by Lisa Cooper and Irmelin Drake.

Further information about the project and nomination process can be found at

Top 10 2006 winners are
Safia Y. Abdi, Pamela Hiley, Giuditta Cordera Moss, Susann Urban, Sandra Qian Xiao, Olta William Anoumou, Shahram Ariafar, Akhtar Chaudhry, Scott Givot and Adama Jobarteh.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Chicago Food Links

The 29th IACP Annual Conference will take place on April 11 to 14 2007, in the beautiful city of Chicago. For those planning to attend, here is a list of food related blogs and links rich with information on where to eat, what to eat, where to go, and even what to drink. Get familiar with our upcoming host city dining scene - Chicago - home of some of the top restaurants in the World!

Search for over 9,000 restaurants and 4,000 bars and read their reviews on this site, part of the Chicago Tribune newspaper.

This native Chicago blogger reviews the city's bakeries.

Excellent, well written site. Read through for great recommendations on what to eat at each restaurant reviewed.

Check out this page for the best kept secrets of the Chicago dining scene.

Chicago restaurants, home cuisine, & the food scene.

Chicago Culinary forum, plenty of information.

Dining Adventures in Chicago. Listen to audio files on Chicago's restaurant reviews.

Elena Hernandez
IACP International Committee Chair