The nation's most influential food scientist, Harold McGee, is going to be giving a three-day seminar at the French Culinary Institute from March 15 to 17, but we were at first a little hesitant about going. The last time we attended such a talk, by molecular gastronomist Hervé This, the great man’s pronouncements were so profound, and his insights into the nature of matter so complex, that we were stymied and had to be woken up by security guards long after everyone else departed. McGee, though, will be giving practical demonstrations for three days, including six ways of searing a steak, everything you wanted to know about eggs and emulsions, and, on day three, a futuristic tour of enzymes, hydrocolloids, and “equipment such as freeze dryer’s vacuum packaging, and rotary evaporators.” Who could resist such a curriculum? For three days and $1,200, you can be the chef of the future!
Harold McGee Lecture Series [French Culinary Institute]
Related: Molecular Gastronomy Made Complicated via PowerPoint
Slate’s Sara Dickerman has a great piece this week about the Founding Fathers of food snobbery — the short library of books that real food snobs draw on, as opposed to the quick studies who are buying David Kamp’s The Food Snob’s Dictionary like hotcakes this holiday season. We applaud Dickerman for including not only the big, unwieldy references like Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking and Grub Street guru Hervé This’s Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor, but also the classic crackpot treatises like Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin’s 1825The Physiology of Taste and Alexandre Balthazar Laurent Grimod de la Reynière’s Gourmand’s Almanac (1803–12). Those great gastronomes of yore were the first and best food snobs, and today’s aspirants would do well to go back to the source.
Hey, Fromage Obsessive [Slate]
Related:David Kamp Brings Aid to Would-Be Food Snobs
Hell’s Kitchen: The last day to catch the Fancy Food Show at the Javits Center is tomorrow. [SpecialtyFood.com]
Lower East Side: The East Side Company Bar’s Black Cherry Daiquiri makes for a spot-on summer libation. [Down by the Hipster]
Red Hook: New owners plan to bring Pioneer Bar back, barbecue and all. [Eater]
Soho: Learn about the science of cooking from author Harold McGee in a three-day, $1,200 course starting July 14 at the French Culinary Institute. [Food Section]
Times Square: Celebrate Argentina’s independence from Spain tonight at Havana Central with a wine tasting hosted by Ellisa Cooper. [Grub Street]
Upper East Side: The MTA will change its design for the Second Avenue subway line to avoid closing two Food Emporiums. [Gothamist] And 62nd Street has gained a casual Italian restaurant, Pane e Vino, and a 24-hour eatery called David’s. [New York Social Diary]