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International Contest for Note by Note Cooking N°7

« Diracs and cocktails »

Organizers :
Roisin Burke (D.I.T.), Odile Renaudin, Yolanda Rigault (yolanda.rigault chez wanadoo.fr), Hervé This (herve.this chez paris.inra.fr)

Introduction : Note by Note Cooking

Note by Note Cooking is the culinary technique using compounds, in order to build food.
The cook has to decide for the shapes, consistencies, tastes, odours, trigeminal sensations (pungencies, freshnesses…), temperatures, colours…
Of course, it deals with questions of nutrition, toxicity, and is part of the large « Note by Note Project » for sustainable development, important for feeding the humankind in 2050, when the population of the Earth will perhaps reach 10 billion people. This project is an important contribution to the fight against spoilage, while sparing water, energy, foodstuffs, and taking care of the environment.


The goal of this 7th contest :
diracs and cocktails

For this new contest, we invite competitors (in the three categories : chefs, students, amateurs) to create diracs or cocktails.

More details ?

First, to produce their dishes, competitors will be able to use the ingredients they want, classic or chemically pure... but the jury will favor the use of pure compounds or mixtures of pure compounds as new as possible.

The dishes submitted to the jury will be appreciated to their degree of proximity to the pure “note by note" cooking, but obviously, we will also judge the originality of the implementation.

The jury will favor productions that do not contain plant tissues (fruits, vegetables) or animals (meat, eggs, fish) whole, but rather unprecedented fractions of such compounds. Participants will be free to purchase these fractions or produce them themselves.

For the particular content of this contest, it does not seem necessary to explain what a cocktail is, but we can insist on the "diracs" : the preparations named "diracs" are systems that want to have the same type of nutritional properties that muscle tissue (meat, fish), but they are much more varied, of course, because we can imagine overreactions emulsified, emulsified, fibrous, lamellar ... with colors, flavors and smells tailored !

For example, here is a very basic lesson, obtained by frying a mixture of 80 percent water and 20 percent protein ; obviously, we added color, flavor (glucose, amino acids, salt), smell (here, octen-3-ol) :

One can observe some foaming (this does not occur in traditional meat).

Now (Montreal, 2012), the chef Ismael Osorio had produced a fibrous dirac :

And here, the chef-teacher Guillaume Ziegler (from the Cordon bleu ; winner of the 6e Contest, category chefs) had produced an interesting dirac in this note by note sushi :

In short, many different possibilities, when cooking with proteins.
Observe that these can be :
- proteins that coagulate cold : gelatin, agar-agar
- Proteins that coagulate in an acid medium : dairy caseins, and in fact most proteins
- proteins that coagulate with enzymes : caseins or gelatin (with transglutaminase)
- Proteins that coagulate hot : proteins of egg white, peas, soy, hemp, egg yolk, actin, myosin ...
proteins which coagulate still differently : for example, sodium alginate in the presence of calcium.

The proposed dishes will be appreciated according to their proximity to « pure note by note cooking ». Also the originality of the use of such compounds will be evaluated.

Each proposed dish will have to be :
1. described in a .doc file by a recipe (Roman 12) giving
1. the ingredients, including quantities
2. the process
2. shown by photographs.

The candidates will have to accept that their recipes and pictures can be used (with their name) by the organizers and the partners of the contest (see authorization of use in the bottom of this document).

Evaluation :
Feasibility, reproductibility
Making crisp products
Originality of the work.
Using pure compounds will be preferred to using fractions.
Of course, the productions should not be toxic.
The flavour complexity will be appreciated : dishes have a shape, consistency, odor, taste, trigeminal sensation, temperature…


Who can participate ?

The contest is free, open to all. But there will be different categories, such as : culinary professionals (chefs), students, amateurs.

How to participate ?
For applying, it is enough to send an email with post address, phone number, signed authorization of diffusion of the contest material.

Then, for proposing the result, one has to send a file (fichier .doc) describing the recipe in details, with a powerpoint document (fichier .ppt) showing the various steps and the final result, with high resolution pictures 300 dpi.

Dates :
- application at any time before 20th of May 2019.
- document being sent before the 20th of May 2019

Prize Event :
AgroParisTech, Paris (Friday 7st of June 2019)

Prizes will be given by the partners. The best results will be displayed on various internet sites (Forum Note à Note d’AgroParisTech...). They will be shown on posters during itinerary exhibitions.

Thanks to our partners
Sociétés Iqemusu, Belin, Louis François

More information

1. The scientific work

In 1988 Nicholas Kurti and I created the scientific discipline that we called « Molecular
gastronomy » (remember that the word « gastronomy » means « knowledge », and not cuisine, even haute cuisine ; in the same way, Molecular Gastronomy does not stand for cooking !).
The aim of Molecular Gastronomy was, is and will be forever : looking for the mechanisms of
phenomena occcuring during dish preparation and consumption.

2. An application in the kitchen

In the beginning of the 80’s, we introduced also « Molecular Cuisine », whose definition is :
« Producing food (this is cuisine) using « new » tools, ingredients, methods ».
In this definition, the word « new » stands for what was not in kitchens of the western countries in 1980.
For example : siphon (to make foams), sodium alginate (to get pearls with a liquid core, spaghettis of vegetables, etc.) and other gelling agents (agar-agar, carraghenans, etc.), liquid nitrogen (to make sherbets and many other innovative preparations), rotary evaporator, and more generally, the whole set of lab’s equipment when they can be useful ; another of new « method », finally, the prepration of the Chocolate Chantilly, of beaumés, gibbs, nollet, vauquelins, etc. ( Cours de gastronomie moléculaire n°1 : Science, technologie, technique (culinaires) : quelles relations ?, Ed Quae/Belin)

Of course all these items are not completely new (many gelling agents are used in Asia for millenia, and many tools are used daily in chemistry labs), but the goal was to modernize the technical component of cuisine.

Yes, the expression « Molecular Cuisine » is poorly chosen, but it had to be introduced at some time... and it is not within the Encyclopedia Britannica Dictionnaly. And Molecular Cuisine will disappear... because of... see below !

3. The next culinary trend : Note by Note Cuisine !

The next proposal is much more exciting, and its name is NOTE BY NOTE CUISINE.

It was first proposed in 1994 (in the magazine Scientific American) at a time when I was playing at using compounds in food, such as paraethylphenol in wines and whiskeys, 1-octen-3-ol in dishes, limonene, tartaric acid, ascorbic acid, etc.
The initial proposal was to improve food... but the next idea was obvious, it is to make dishes
entirely from compounds.
Let’s say it differently. Note by Note Cuisine is not using meat, fish, vegetable or fruits, but rather compounds, either pure compounds or mixtures, such as electronic music is not using trumpets or violins, but rather pure waves which are mixed in sounds and in music.
Here, for Note by Note Cuisine, the cook has to :
– design the shapes of the various parts of the dish
– design the colors
– design the tastes
– design the odors
– design the temperatures
– design the trigeminal stimulation
– design the consistencies
– design the nutritional aspects
– etc.

The feasability of this new cuisine was already shown by many meals :
– first Note by Note meal (called Note by Note N°1) shown to the international press in Hong
Kong by Pierre Gagnaire in April 2009
– two dishes shown at the French-Japanese Scientific Meeting (JSTS) in Strasbourg, in May
2010
– whole Note by Note Meal served by the chefs of the Cordon bleu School in Paris in
October 2010
– Note à Note meal served the 26th of January 2011, as a launching event of the International
Year of Chemistry, at UNESCO, Paris, by the team of Potel&Chabot
– Note by Note cocktail serve in April 2011 to 500 French chefs freshly starred at Michelin,
in Espace Cardin, Paris
– Note by Note Meal served in October 2011 by the team of the chefs of the Cordon bleu
Schools Paris
– Note by Note dishes made by chefs of the Toques Blanches International Association, in
Paris, 3 Decembre 2011
Many questions arise from this new cuisine :
– land development
– economy
– sensorial
– technique
– art
– politics
– nutrition
– toxicology
– etc.

But :

1. humankind is facing an energy crisis : it is not sure that traditional cuisine is sustainable (it
is not !)
2. the New will always beat the Old
3. cracking products from agriculture and farming is already done for milk and wheat ; why
not carrots, apples, etc. ?
4. The objections made to Note by Note cuisine were done half a century ago against
electronic music, and guess what you hear at the radio today ?
In other words, are not we at the equivalent of 1947, when musicians such as Varèse and some
others were investigating electronic music ?

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