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Mar 28, 2011 07:32 PM

Modernist Cuisine at ICE......Anyone else there?

I was very fortunate to have been invited to The Modernist Cuisine Gala at The Institute of Culinary Education in NYC. I was one of the first to arrive, and was happy to see the book on display. I flipped through some of the pages and all I have to say is, WOW! Everything you would ever want to know about savory cooking can be found in the book. A notable guest list included many of my idols - Johnny Iuzzini, Michael Laiskonis, Paul Liebrandt, Marcus Samuelson, Gail Simmons, Nate Appleman, Marcel Vigneron, and Stephen Shaw.

Nathan Myhrvold gave us a quick overview of the book and then took some questions. Following this we were escorted to the 14th floor to enjoy some truly fantastic food. The corned beef was my favorite dish of the night; I have never eaten meat so tender in my life. The acidic sauerkraut tingled my tongue in the most pleasant way. A close second was "the most creamy" polenta I ever had that was paired with a strawberry marinara. Pretty cool stuff. The only dish that did not blow me away was the carrot soup, which was too sweet and heavy for my tastes.

This book is going to change food for the better; techniques like nitro-shucking and centrifugal seperations will revolutionilize food. I have already started saving up.......

Roasted Corn Elote
freeze dried with N-zorbit, brown butter powder, lime and ash powder

Oyster Cocktail
cryo-shucked kusshi oyster, centrifuged pear juice, shaved foie gras

Mushroom Omelet
constructed egg stripes, steamed in a combi oven

Polenta and Marinara
pressure cooked in mason jars

Caramelized Carrot Soup
pressure-cooked with baking soda

Pastrami, Sauerkraut, Cognac Mustard
cooked sous vide for 32 Hours, precisely cured, brined, and fermented

Goat Milk Ricotta and Peas
fresh ricotta, centrifuged pea juice layers, essential oils

Anyone else there? What were your thoughts on the book?

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  1. Could you please explain cryo/nitro shucking for me? I'm not familiar with that technique, and I'm not clear on what advantages it offers over regular shucking techniques.

    Thanks for the write up.

    3 Replies
    1. re: cowboyardee

      oysters or other molusks are dipped into liquid nitrogen for 20-30 seconds and then put in the fridge to thaw for 30 minutes. After this they are able to be easily opened with a spoon.

      1. re: tldmatrix

        Thanks. Really, though, I was wondering if there were any advantages over traditional shucking aside from maybe a little less active effort on the part of the shucker. The only place I found any info on the technique (Ideas in Food blog) made it out like there was something special about nitro shucked clams, but didn't specify what.

        1. re: cowboyardee

          I believe the yield is higher and all of the oyster liquor is mantained. The shucking is also more precise and "clean".