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LHC Inauguration - Molecular Cuisine

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The molecular buffet brings together high gastronomy and physics, through the creativity of a chef, Ettore Bocchia, with a passion for research. His cuisine marries the scientific knowledge from collaborations with the physics and chemistry departments of Parma and Ferrara Universities and the purest Italian cuisine tradition.

Ettore Bocchia's creations, among the many innovative dishes, include the famous sweet or sour ice creams cooled with liquid nitrogen to maintain a velvety texture and a light sensation of freshness in the mouth.

The buffet is complemented by the Èspesso, an innovative coffee created by the Catalan chef, Ferran Adrià for Lavazza.

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Ettore Bocchia

History of a chef with a passion for research

Setting up a molecular menu for the LHC Inauguration

Interview with the chef

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Ettore Bocchia

Ettore Bocchia est le chef des deux restaurants du Grand Hôtel Villa Serbelloni***** à Bellagio, où il travaille depuis plus de douze ans.

Né le 26 Juillet 1965 en province de Parme, il obtient son diplôme en 1983 à l’Istituto Professionale Alberghiero di Salsomaggiore Terme. Depuis plusieurs années, Ettore Bocchia est considéré comme l’un des chefs les plus intéressants de la restauration italienne, à tel point que le prestigieux quotidien, il Corriere della Sera, avait déjà en 2004 publié une interview : Ettore Bocchia - Gualtiero Marchesi, comparant le grand innovateur d’hier à l’important innovateur d’aujourd’hui.

Ettore Bocchia est un personnage éclectique, qui allie l’amour de la cuisine traditionnelle à la soif de connaissances et souhaite continuer à faire de nouvelles expériences. C’est un homme exigeant, qui a toujours travaillé pour améliorer ses techniques et ses méthodes afin d’aboutir à l’essence et à l’exaltation maximum des saveurs.

En savoir plus...

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Images from the rehearsal of the menu for the LHC Inauguration

Photos: Mike Struik, CERN

Uovo di faraona cotto a 65° con pure' di patate al prezzemolo crema di formaggio e tartufo

Oeuf de Pintade cuit à 65° avec purée de pommes de terre au persil, sauce fromage et truffe

Guinea’s egg cooked at 65° with mashed potatoes and parsley, cheese crème and truffle

 

     

La tartara di Gamberi Siciliani con crema uovo molecolare

Tartare de Crevettes siciliennes avec crème d’oeuf moléculaire

Sicilian Prawn tartar with molecular egg curdle

Crema di castagne con cappone e fegato grasso

Crème de châtaignes avec chapon et foie gras

Crème of Chestnut soup with capon and foie gras

 

 

Parmigiana di melanzana rivisitata

“Parmigiana” d’aubergine revisitée

Revisited Eggplant “parmigiana”

     

Gelati azoto liquido: lamponi (100% frutta senza aggiunte); crema; cioccolato

Glaces refroidies à l’azote liquide: framboises (100% fruit sans adjonctions); crème; chocolat

Liquid Nitrogen frozen ice creams: raspberry (fruit 100% no additives); crème, chocolate

 

 

Panini alla lecitina con salmone affumicato e caprino

Petits pains à la lécithine de soja, farcis de saumon fumé et chèvre frais

Small breads of soy lecithin, stuffed with smoked salmon and fresh goat’s cheese

Babà alla lecitina

Baba à la lécithine de soja

Baba with soy lecithin

     

Gnocchetti di verdura agli amidi in brodo di pollo

Petits gnocchi de légumes aux amidons, en bouillon de poulet

Small vegetable gnocchi of starch in chicken stock

Tasting...

 

Gelati azoto liquido: lamponi (100% frutta senza aggiunte); crema; cioccolato

Glaces refroidies à l’azote liquide: framboises (100% fruit sans adjonctions); crème; chocolat

Liquid Nitrogen frozen ice creams: raspberry (fruit 100% no additives); crème, chocolate

 

     

Vitello tonnato con salsa alla lecitina di soia

Veau en sauce au thon à base de lécithine de soja

Veal in tuna fish sauce made with soy lecithin

 

An array of molecular dishes

I cavatelli alla lecitina di soia con ragù di pesce

“Cavatelli” à la lécithine de soja au ragoût de poissons

« Cavatelli » made with soy lecithin with fish stew

     

Cosce di quaglia caramellate alla soia

Cuisse de caille caramélisée à la sauce de soja

Quail leg caramelized with soy sauce

 

Uova ripiene di zabaione

Oeuf rempli de sabayon

Egg stuffed with zabaglione

 

Gelati azoto liquido: lamponi (100% frutta senza aggiunte); crema; cioccolato

Glaces refroidies à l’azote liquide: framboises (100% fruit sans adjonctions); crème; chocolat

Liquid Nitrogen frozen ice creams: raspberry (fruit 100% no additives); crème, chocolate

 

     

Tonno con foglia di ostrica salsa limone

Thon avec feuille d’huître et sauce au citron

Tuna fish with oyster leave and lemon sauce

 

I cavatelli alla lecitina di soia con ragù di pesce

“Cavatelli” à la lécithine de soja au ragoût de poissons

« Cavatelli » made with soy lecithin with fish stew

     

 

 

     

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Ettore Bocchia, interviewed by Paola Catapano, CERN

The LHC, the largest scientific instrument in the world, will open a new era in the scientific knowledge of nature. What does science have in common with the menu you have prepared for the Inauguration of the LHC?

My menu and my cuisine, like the LHC, opens a new window in the panorama of world cuisine. Our starting point are physics concepts, we worked on conventional food with innovative techniques and procedures. For example, the first course of our menu is prepared by coagulating eggs with 90 °C alcohol. This transforms the egg in a sort of curdled cream. This experiment was performed in laboratories but it had never been made edible and we did it simply by washing the curdled egg with cold water.

 

 


Download the movie in different formats from the CDS archive

It sounds like the Columbus egg, but it took us 5 days of attempts and hypothesis… Another procedure is the jellying of starch by cooking vegetables at 65 °C. We realized that fats, sugars and alcohol do conduce aromas and we worked on low temperature cooking of vegetables to keep their raw taste. We cool foods with liquid nitrogen, we fry with glucose, we make wafers without flour, so no gluten, just starch. We work soya lecithin and we can serve warm mayonnaise, without eggs or oil. All these are totally innovative concepts. Add to this the creativity and imagination of a Chef and you step into new horizons in the construction of structure and texture of food.

What ‘s the greatest benefit you get from all this R&D in cooking techniques?

The largest benefit is the cultural enrichment of the Chef, enhancing the Chef cultural background. Essentially you gain more awareness of procedures in the kitchen., which also benefit traditional dishes. You get better mastering of the art of cooking. Obviously the main objective is always to enhance the quality of the product used and get the best possible taste of your food. But we can also apply this knowledge to prepare perfectly tasting dishes for people who have food intolerance. Basically, we have the Total control of what happens in the pot. To conclude, the LHC in the minds of people looks at the future and looks like a crazy thing. Also when I started molecular cooking everybody said I was crazy because it was not worth researching in the extremes. But today all the Chefs take a look at science and have a greater awareness of the work they do in the kitchen

What’s boiling in your pot for the future?

More care for health, cooking not just for the show, but cooking food that is good for you.