Of the five senses, it is perhaps taste that is the most deeply complex and rewarding. When aromatic flavours come together in perfect harmony, creating something greater than a simple mix of ingredients, we transcend the mundane and utilitarian act of eating and drinking to experience new and wonderful sensations.
Through centuries of trial and error, sommeliers and chefs have mastered the art of combining ingredients and pairing foods and wines to surprise and delight the palate, but few have seriously studied the science that makes these flavour harmonies possible. Without the mysterious and seemingly magical relationships between molecules and taste buds – and between molecules and taste buds – and between molecules and other molecules – the flavours we love might be profoundly different. In Taste buds and molecules, master sommelier-researcher-cook François Chartier explores the science of flavour to discover revolutionary new ideas and experiences.
As evidenced by the dishes he created in the legendary El Bulli kitchen with Ferran Adrià and Juli Soler, Chartier exuberates in the unexpected and unexplained ways tastes and ingredients interact. Why do certain flavours form perfect harmonies? Why do thyme and lamb or rosemary and riesling complement each other so well? Chartier reveals the answers here, helping you follow your own path to new flavour combinations and open new avenues to experimentation and delectation.
Beyond these fascinating and practical insights on food, flavours, and wine, Chartier also includes recipes and ideas that explore these flavour concepts, as well as illustrations, photos, and sketches that bring together the art of flavour and the science that underpins it. This is neither a simple guide to food and wine pairing nor a scientific textbook, but a body of knowledge designed to set the table for your own creative culinary endeavours, to further refine your tastes, and to take your cooking to new and extraordinary heights.
- Foreword, Juli Soler, Ferran Adrià.
- Foreword, Richard Béliveau.
- The culinary revolution.
- Food harmony and molecular sommellerie.
- El Bulli.
- Aromas and flavors.
- Mints and sauvignon blanc.
- Fino and oloroso.
- Oak and barrels.
- Pineapple and strawberries.
- Maple syrup.
- Quebecois and classic European cheeses.
- A taste o cold.
- Experiments in food harmony and molecular sommellerie.
- Mini glossary.
About the author:
François Chartier is the author of the popular French-language annual wine and food guide La sélection Chartier, now in its sixteenth edition, as well as the bestselling À table avec François Chartier. In 2009, Chartier’s original French edition of Taste buds and molecules, Papilles et molecules, made its grand entrance onto the world’s cooking stage when it won the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best Innovative Cookbook in the World – all languages considered. Chartier is the only Canadian to have ever been named the best world sommelier in French wines and spirits at the prestigious Grand Prix Sopexa. Pioneering what he calls “aromatic food harmonies and sommellerie”, he used his groundbreaking research o collaborate with Ferran Adrià and Juli Soler on the 2009-2010 menu at their legendary restaurant El Bulli, which was voted the world’s best restaurant five times over. He has been featured in such publications as Wine Spectator and in 2008 received l’Ordre National du Québec, the highest distinction bestowed on citizens by the Québec government. The Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail named him one of the forty-five Canadians who have most influenced world change in 2010, recognizing his research work, scientific contributions, and role in the application of the theory of aromas in cooking. Chartier’s new television show on Télé-Québec, Papilles, introduces unpretentious aromatic recipes, reinvented classics, and cleverly chosen and accessible food and beverage pairings.
“The first step into a new world that is now open wide in all its splendour to those who love gastronomy”. Juli Soler and Ferran Adrià, El Bulli.
“If there were a Nobel Prize for gastronomy, François Chartier would be a deserving recipient. It took a large measure of genius, creativity, and audacity to (establish the relationship) between aromatic molecules in foods and wines”. Martin Loignon, PhD in molecular biology.
“François Chartier went beyond mere pondering and into some serious research. He might just have the keys to creating great wine and food matches more consistently”. Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator.
“An essential work for all those who love wine and the pleasures of the table in general”. Richard Béliveau.