Updates from March, 2008 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • pixeltheatre 5:14 pm on March 5, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Curvware, cutlery, flatware, fork, knife, Knork, ramen spoon, spoon, Zeug Tools   

    Cutlery 2.0 

    Ramen Spoon - MOMACame across this article on Washingtonpost.com today. A Knork in the Road looks into the radical new designs coming down the road, or at least appearing at the upcoming International Home and Housewares Show next week in Chicago.

    Featured will be the Knork, a knife-fork designed by Mike Miller of Kansas. Also, Zeug Tools, based on neanderthal designs (I love that oyster shape spoon), the ergonomically-designed Curvware and the ramen spoon (I want one of those). Jane Black , author of the article, puts these new designs to the test in this video, here.

    Photo: Ramen Spoon. Museum of Modern Art Collection

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  • pixeltheatre 8:52 pm on November 9, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    45 days to Christmas…Time to publish your own cookbook 

    tastebook.comStumbled onto this news item today in my Epicurious newsletter. You can create a custom cookbook using up to 100 recipes found on the epicurious site, or add your own recipes if you wish, or leave some blank space for later add-ins. Browse and borrow from some already created books by famous chefs. The book is hardcover and spiral-bound. You can even put your name on the cover. Cost: $us34.95. For more details, go to: epicurious.com. You will need to create a free account on Epicurious to use this feature.

    • Julius 10:17 pm on November 11, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Hi LizG,

      Thanks for the head’s up. A cookbook/compilation is a great idea.

      I’m glad to hear the tourtière recipe has your vote. 🙂


    • pixeltheatre 3:47 pm on November 14, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Julius!

      I thought it was a pretty neat concept as well… 🙂

      Thanks for the post.

    • peabody 4:31 pm on November 21, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      You can also use MyPublisher and that way you can use your own photos.

  • pixeltheatre 1:33 pm on November 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    From flexible butter to flexible foie gras – when cooks turn to science 

    agar petri dishIts uncanny how, at times, stories seem to emerge on a specific theme all at once. In the Science section of the New York Times today, Kenneth Chang looked at how some famous chefs are turning to those strange sounding ingredients, usually found in processed foods, to develop new dishes. I was familiar with the molecular cooking of Homaro Cantu at Moto, but the thought of a knot of foie gras on a plate is certainly intriguing. Hydrocolloids seem to be at the crux of this fascination with redefining how foods are cooked, reprocessed and presented in fine dining. Click here for a slideshow on what’s in the works with Chef Wylie Dufresne at WD-50 restaurant in New York.

  • pixeltheatre 9:50 pm on November 5, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Enter the 5th flavour: umami 

    Came across an interesting article from NPR today on the discovery of the 5th taste profile. Looks like we Auguste Escoffiercan thank one of cooking’s demi-gods for its discovery. Auguste Escoffier first experienced this taste when he developed veal stock. This stock would ultimately redefine sauces as they knew them in the late 1800s and now. The basic four tastes were: sweet, salty, bitter and sour, as defined centuries earlier by the Greek philosopher, Democritus. When Escoffier tasted his first veal stock, he realized he had stumbled onto something new. It was not until the 19th century, when taste buds were “discovered”, analysed and classified by the scientific community, did the science of taste become established. However, because Escoffier’s new flavor profile did not fall into one of the four categories…

    “…as far as the scientists were concerned, it wasn’t real. People may smack their lips, drool, savor and pay enormous amounts of money to M. Escoffier, but what they were tasting wasn’t really there. It was all in their heads.”

    glutamicMeanwhile, in Japan, a chemist named Kikunae Ikeda, arrived at the similar taste profile while drinking/eating daichi, a classic Japanese soup made from seaweed. Being a chemist, he was able to decompose it to its essential component, namely glutamic acid. However, he decided to give it a sexier name, “umami”, which means “yummy” or “delicious” in Japanese. When glutamate breaks down during the cooking process, L-glutamate is the end result. And this is what became the fifth taste. In 2002, some 100 years later, the scientific community recognized the work done by Ikeda and officially established and named that fifth taste (which is neither sweet, salty, sour or bitter), umami.

    I would have loved to see Escoffier’s and Ikeda’s face when they first realized they had stumbled onto such a world-altering discovery…

  • pixeltheatre 10:20 pm on October 26, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Virtual Food Fight!! 

    General Mills' Food Fight WebsiteGeneral Mills has launched a new interactive site to promote healthy eating by challenging visitors to a virtual food fight. You pick one of three opponents and get to lob various foods as the actors move around the frames. I was impressed at the use actors and technology. However, I found the controls not very responsive or accurate. But then again, that just could be my aim that’s off…

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  • pixeltheatre 8:56 pm on October 23, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Pop goes the schnitzel! 

    German meat producers Toennies has announced they have successfully developed aSchnitzel schnitzel that can be cooked in a toaster. The product wil be introduced in German supermarkets in 2008. Other countries will follow later on. Story from Taste.com.au. (Photography by Ben Dearnley)

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  • pixeltheatre 11:56 am on September 24, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Assault in the first degree, by means of chilli oil?!… 

    A recent story in the UK’s Daily Mail describes how Chef Heston Blumenthal monitored the effect of chili oil, chillibeing directly injected into his head chef via an IV drip, to determine the effects of spices on the brain. No picture of the resulting scan, from a “£5million MRI scanner” was offered in the article, but according to Blumenthal

    “You could see all his brain cells light up on the screen and it helped me understand how chilli works.”

    Now, if this experiment is not creepy in itself, Blumenthal’s confession to rigging the dosage definitely is:

    “…I sneakily switched the dosage when nobody was looking so he was getting double the chilli the doctors deemed safe.”

    This can’t be legal?….There’s experimentation and experimentation. There’s no mention if the head chef suffered any post-experiment trauma. I would love to know what his reaction was when he found out the switch in dosage…

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    • lucy 9:06 am on December 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Hi – I saw the programme last night. Heston Blumenthal didn’t “inject chili oil directly into his head” – he rigged up a drip that dropped chili oil in tiny amounts onto his head chef’s tongue for the purpose of seeing how it affected the brain. Just to set the record straight… It was a fascinating programme although the word “endorphins” was oddly never used…

    • lucy 9:33 am on December 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry – misread your initial para! Although it was indeed a drip onto the tongue rather than intravenous…. Lucy

  • pixeltheatre 4:49 pm on September 2, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Savoring the Best of World Flavours – Online Video Series 

    The Culinary Institute of America (C.I.A.), now offers a free series of online videos on various cuisines, from Mexican and Indian to Thai and Spanish. Recipes can be downloaded and, for more portability, are also available as podcasts. Details can be found on the C.I.A. site. To view the intro video click here.

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  • pixeltheatre 4:16 pm on September 2, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Google Earth calling all Chocoholics… 


    Looking for hots spots to buy the best chocolate around the world? Google Earth makes it easy thanks to a new mashup tool developed by Ecole Chocolat, purveyor of an online chocolatier course. The interactive map lists some 1200+ chocolate shops around the world. You can even view and post reviews of your favorite chocolate shops. Click on the the map to access the site.

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  • pixeltheatre 11:50 pm on August 18, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Distilling food to its emotional essence 

    If Hugo Liu has his way, we will be ordering and cooking food in the near future based on emotions instead of ingredients. Liu, who holds a phD in media arts and sciences from MIT, has developed new methods of classifying food, raising quite a few highbrows in the foodie world. From an LA Times article by Regina Schrambling:

    “…”Gulp Fiction” is a leap into uncharted terrain. It reflects Liu’s interest in collecting “words and virtualities — uncooked recipes and imagined foods,” hence the title.

    The user of this program can have it write a recipe, selecting from essences Liu has programmed as being necessary to make a French, or a Cajun, or a Japanese dish. The fun is in the context: A request for “sad” oatmeal produces a recipe with red wine, beer, gin, vodka, brandy and soda; “poetic” pizza has no crust; “pensive” deviled eggs call for apricot preserves.”

    Two recipes are included with the article Demoniacal Potatoes, which include shiitake mushrooms, anchovies and diced cucumbers, and Ceremonius Ice Cream, made with green tea powder (matcha), organic rose petals and white chocolate.

    Will a cook’s lexicon now include new ingredients or profiles such as “chillin'”, “groovy” or “downer” in the near future? Stay tuned…

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