>Cook’s animated

>Tonight John and Barry and I went to hear Christopher Kimball, the driving force behind Cook’s Illustrated magazine and website and America’s Test Kitchen, speak at Third Place Books in Bothell. He was charming, and spent most of his time taking questions from the enthusiastic audience that packed the stage area and overflowed into the food court that adjoins the bookstore. I realized that I miss clever, articulate preppies. And I came away determined to try his new vodka pie crust for my next apple pie (though I’ll be using one of Martha’s designs for the crust assembly).

Before Kimball’s talk, the topic of molecular cooking came up. John said he hadn’t heard much about that trend. My knowledge of it is, unfortunately, abstract rather than experiential. Spearheaded by restaurants in first in Spain (El Bulli), and soon after in Chicago and New York, it uses scientific principles to create dishes such as fried mayonnaise, and pate that can be tied in a knot. Predictably, it’s also inspired a vituperative backlash — all of which is described well in this post at 3 Quarks Daily. And there’s even a website devoted to the broader topic of molecular gastronomy: khymos.org, which has tips for home chefs who want to try the molecular approach in their own kitchens.

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