Sunday, April 29, 2007


Born in 1954 in Bruck an der Mur, Austria, Erwin Wurm has always been involved in a question and answer game about sculpture and the way it is constituted. A multifaceted oeuvre has emerged over twenty-five years, which can be regarded as a continual investigation about the definition of sculpture. For Wurm, who is one of the most successful contemporary Austrian artists, actions, written or drawn instructions or even thoughts can become sculpture. This retrospective show presents for the first time, and on such a large scale, Wurm’s comprehensive oeuvre, which includes all forms of media and systems of reference.

For Wurm, one of the most successful contemporary artists, anything can become sculpture: actions, written or drawn instructions, or even a thought. His art often treats elementary as well as banal life needs and actions, as well as their perversion, as can be expressed in physical deformations. The artist explores issues such as the thinness craze and obesity, fashion, advertising, the cult of consumerism, whose central fetishes include the private home as well the car. The exhibition shows with more than 400 drawings, videos, photographs, and sculptures, the most expansive show of the artist's work to date.

[+ erik wurm]
[+ deichtorhallen]
via we make money not art

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Friday, April 27, 2007


Translation from an abstract of an article by Pieter van Doveren for Trends.

Rafael Garcia Santos, organizer of one of the world's most important culinairy congresses, was 2 days in Belgium. Together with Martin Berasategui he visited several adresses in belgium (see earlier post)including L'air du temps.

L'Air du temps is one of the most interesting places in the french part of belgium for gastronomic innovation. Rafael Garcia Santos and Martin Berasategui came over to see and taste if chef Sang-Hoon Degeimbre could be one of the chef who will do demonstrations in San Sebastian. Sang-Hoon Degeimbre made an exquisite diner where the talented sommelier Maximin De Munck added the wines.


- Tofu and miso with crispy black salsify and powder of dried tuna.
- Creamy mousseline made by in ginger water cooked sweet potato with spicy chorizo and a mousse of yoghurt.
- Crispy tube of pumpkin, filled with ice, slighty beaten foie gras and foam of licorice.
- Bulgur with small grey snails and curcuma sauce.
- Egg shell filled with truffle snow.

Main dishes:

- Oyster and Kiwi with a cream of coconut and sepia ink (wine:Dr. Bürklin-Wolf, 2006 Riesling.)
- Sushi of red tuna, Belgian caviar, Japanese algues and mayonaise with Ras-el-Hanout spices (wine:Sauvignon Claudy Bay 2006.)
- On 43 °C cooked salmon of Cherbourg with foie gras and mint, capers, pickled onions and lemon grass (wine:Anjou, Les Bonnes Blanches of René Moss.)
- Thymus and langoust with a butter made with berries, sirope of hoisin and rice vinegar.
- Waret pigeon, couscous with artichoke and lime, parfume of tonka beans (wine: austrian Arachon Evolution TFXT 1999.)


- cuberdon meringue tremped into liquid nitrogen.
- bonbon with an emulsion and crispy caramel
- Yoghurtbead with a soupe of mango and pineapple
- Soufflé of abricots
- Soupe of chocolate with marmelade of plums, sorbet of saffran

:: REPORT ::

Felicitations from Rafael Garcia Santos and Martin Berasategui. Sang-Hoon Degeimbre passed with brio for the test and was invited to do a demonstration in San Sebastian. Belgium can be proud.

Sang Hoon was also invited to Singapore a few weeks ago where he did some demonstrations and also met the belgian chef Emmanuel Stroobandt from Saint Pierre. If you like to read more about Sang Hoon, click on the click to an article of Reuters. L’Air du Temps: Chaussée de Louvain 181, 5310 Noville-sur-Mehaigne, 081 81 30 48, ‘Grand menu’ for 75 euro (110 euro with wines).[+ L'air du temps]
[+ Reuters about Sang Hoon]
[+ trends]

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Thursday, April 26, 2007


Observer Food Monthly and the Audi A6 have teamed up to present four films with the four most revolutionary young chefs in the country using cutting-edge philosophies of food, innovative technology and techniques to re-define our concept of food and some classic British menus.

In the fourth video 'The Science of Deliciousness'Flavour scientist Jane Parker meets top chef Daniel Clifford of Midsummer House to tell us just what makes the very best food so delicious. What can science offer the industry's top chefs? Is there something about really accomplished cuisine that just can't be analysed?
Jane Parker is telling on the foodpairing of pigeon and chocolate. How both have pyrazines in common.

Thanks to Jean Marc of Kalys for making us aware of the four films.

[+ video 4 'The Science of Deliciousness']

[+ midsummer house]

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007


This was a concept product design by sam hecht and architect kim colin for the paper company, Takeo. they made a translucent paper cup which uses waxed tracing paper. Everyone has probably been to a party and drunk wine out of a paper cup, so they know what a miserable experience that can be. Here, drinking became less about disposability and more about the enjoyment of the liquid inside. The cup changes the quality of the wine."


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Tuesday, April 24, 2007


The heritage of a domestic handicraft, abandoned in contemporary interiors is shaped in a new form. Old handy crafted doilies from grandma are raised into bowls by crystallizing salt. Beautiful crystals are keeping the fragile textile in a blossom shape. A sustainable way of breathing new life into a forgotten decorative piece.

[+ the-home-project]

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Monday, April 23, 2007


Scientists of the University of Twente in The Netherlands won a prestigious place in the 'Hall of Fame' of videos about fluid-in-motion. They have made a video of leaping shampoo, in which they explain the so-called Kaye effect. Scientifically interesting but also of great aesthetic beauty!

The Kaye Effect is a strange property of complex liquids which was first described by the British engineer Alan Kaye in 1963.

While pouring one viscous mixture of an organic liquid onto a surface, the surface suddenly spouted an upcoming jet of liquid which merged with the downgoing one.

This phenomenon has since been discovered to be common in all thixotropic liquids (liquids which thin under shear stress). Common household liquids with this property are liquid hand soaps, shampoos and non-drip paint. The effect usually goes unnoticed, however, because it seldom lasts more than about 300 milliseconds.

[+ wiki]

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Friday, April 20, 2007


A third possibility of foodpairing what Francois Benzi of Firmenich was telling, is replacing food like herbs and spices by other herbs or spices. An example is basil. Suppose you want to make a tomato sauce with basil, but the basil is too volatile or browns too fast.
If you want a basil flavour, but not using basil, you have to look at the flavour composition of basil and try to reconstruct the basil flavour by combining other herbs.
To find the flavour composition you can use the book of Harold McGee (On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen) and go to the chapter dealing with herbs and spices. There you will find a list of herbs with the typical flavour components.
If we do this for basil we find in the list that basil contains linalool, estragol and eugenol. Then you use the same list to search for other herbs that contain the flavour. So search for in which other herbs do I find linalool or estagol or eugenol.

Linalool is present is a lot of herbs/ spices, but most linked to coriander. For estragol you can take tarragon, chervil or star anise. And eugenol is the typical flavour of cloves. So if you want to replace basil, you have to make a combination of coriander, star anise and cloves. Take in account that the quantity is very important, so you need to experiment before.

Another example is what Kevin Ryan is doing. In attachment you can find a link to a movie of this food scientist. Because of the resemblence of flavour molecules in stock and coffee. He is replacing stock with coffee (much easier to make) for making a gravy. So next time you make a gravy replace stock by fresh coffee.

People interested to do something with foodpairing, Martin Lersch from Khymos has post a blogproject where you can make a recipe by combining chocolate, coffee and garlic. To know more about this combination look to our post Foodpairing part II.

Foodpairing part IV will come up with some new foodpairing by belgian topchefs

[+ On Food and Cooking]
[+ Firmenich]
[+ Khymos TGRWT]

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With a Little Help of the Bees by Tomas Gabzdil Libertiny of Studio Libertiny is part of Droog’s Smart Deco 2 show.

Libertiny made a vase-shaped hive that the bees then colonised, building a hexagon comb around it. The wax sheets used to make the hive were embossed with a honeycomb pattern to help the bees on their way.

Libertiny calls the process “slow prototyping” - it took 40,000 bees a week to make the vase. Since the bees get aggressive when they are interrupted, Libertiny had to guess when it was time to remove the vase.

[+ website]

via denzeen

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An odd, six-sided, honeycomb-shaped feature circling the entire north pole of Saturn has captured the interest of scientists with NASA's Cassini mission.

"This is a very strange feature, lying in a precise geometric fashion with six nearly equally straight sides," said Kevin Baines, atmospheric expert and member of Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "We've never seen anything like this on any other planet. Indeed, Saturn's thick atmosphere where circularly-shaped waves and convective cells dominate is perhaps the last place you'd expect to see such a six-sided geometric figure, yet there it is."

The hexagon is similar to Earth's polar vortex, which has winds blowing in a circular pattern around the polar region. On Saturn, the vortex has a hexagonal rather than circular shape. The hexagon is nearly 25,000 kilometers (15,000 miles) across. Nearly four Earths could fit inside it.

via nasa

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Monday, April 16, 2007


Sam Mason, the former star pastry chef at wd-50, will be opening his own restaurant and lounge, Tailor, the coming weeks. Sam Mason has writen a number of articles on what it’s like to be a young chef about to open up his own restaurant for the first time. It seems to be not that simple. As he is one of our favorite pastry chefs, the first time we're back in NY we will certainly visit the restaurant.

[+ articles in nymag]
[+ sam mason]
[+ tailor]



Sheets of plastic that fold into tiny pyramids, boxes and spheres when water is added have been created by French researchers. They think the technique could one day be used to mass-produce the microscopic 3D components used in found inside many different devices from printers to medical sensors.

José Bico and colleagues at the École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles (ESPCI), in Paris, together with a team from the Paris Institute of Technology have shown that water droplets can be used to make flat shapes fold up to create more complex 3D structures.

They add water droplets to flat plastic shapes just a couple of millimetres across. As a droplet evaporates, its volume changes while the surface tension holding it to the sheet remains the same. This pulls the shape into a more complex 3D structure. A time-lapse video shows a triangular shape folding into a pyramid (.mov format).

Bico and colleagues designed sheets to make different shapes. For example, a flower-like pattern produces a sphere, a triangle becomes a tetrahedron and a flat cross shape folds into a cube. They also discovered that varying the thickness of the sheet controls how much a structure folds up and that the effect of surface tension becomes stronger as the size is decreased. Make sure you watch the movie!

[+ movie]
via newscientist

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According to researchers, Edible Meat Can be Grown in a Lab on Industrial Scale. Winston Churchil, a carnivore to the core, already in 1936 predicted that “we shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium.” Today, growing meat in the lab still seems the stuff of science fiction, but reality is not far behind.

The picture above shows the Dressing the Meat of Tomorrow project by James King, who proposes scan the countryside looking for the most beautiful examples of cows, pigs, chickens and other livestock. Once located the animals are scanned from head to toe, creating precise cross-sectional images of its inner organs.The most interesting and aesthetically pleasing examples of anatomy are used as templates to create moulds for the in-vitro meat (we wouldn’t choose to eat the same old boring parts that we eat today). The result is a satisfyingly complicated and authentic form of food. The project was inspired by the Disembodied Cuisine project.

[+ james king]
via nextnature

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Sunday, April 15, 2007


Rafael Garcia Santos, the organiser of one of the most important culinar congresses in the world, Lomejordelagastronomia did a tour in Belgium a few months ago. The restaurants he visited were 'De Schone van boskoop', 'L'air du temps', 'Hertog Jan' and Bruneau.

Of course this is only a selection of the good restaurants in belgium.
L'air du temps, hertog jan, Hof van Cleve we already visited one of multiple times. 'De Schone van Boskoop' is reknown for his terroir and definetly on our to do list.

You can find more pictures of our restaurant visits on our flickr page.

[+ lomejordelagastronomia]
[+ hof van cleve]
[+ hertog jan]
[+ L'air du temps]


Saturday, April 14, 2007


We had a very nice dinner at 'De jonkman' in Bruges. The chef, Filip Claeys, worked several years at the side of Sergio Herman (Oud Sluis) and knows certainly what cooking is. We were impressed by combinations like chickpeas, shrimps, ajo blanco or the langoustine marinated in lemon myrtle and creation of cucumber,... This was the first time we ate there, many times will follow.

[+ de jonkman]
[+ flickr]


Thursday, April 12, 2007


Next to matching food by common flavour components or a range of flavour components in common, you can also use foodpairing to pair food that doesn't match. Like chocolate and garlic. The trick then is to search for a third food product that has something in common with chocolate and with garlic. An example is coffee. Coffee has flavour components in common with garlic: Dimethyl disulfide and with chocolate: Methyl pyrazine.

You can also replace the coffee by roasted chicory like the chocolatier Dominique Persoone did. He is one of the most innovative belgian chocolatiers. You should have a look at his website where you can see how he makes a ganache with peas or how he is smoking chocolate. He has also a famous shop in Bruges: the chocolateline and delivers chocolates to reknown toprestaurants like Oud Sluis and Comme chez soi

[+ dominique persoone]
[+ the chocolateline]


Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Most of us know what happens, when a bucket of water is rotated around its central axis: if the rotation is even, the water will slowly come to rest in the rotating frame, and the only effect of the rotation is that the surface will be curved into the shape of a paraboloid.

Now, what happens if only the bottom rotates? Recently, a team at the Physics Department at the Technical University of Denmark performed such an experiment. A cylindrical container, where the bottom plate can turn, is filled with water up to a certain height, and a motor sets the bottom plate rotating. Right away, the situation looks like what we are used to: the surface starts to bend since the water is forced out against the sides. Surprisingly enough, however, the surface can spontaneously deform, break the axial symmetry and create shapes that are most aptly described as “polygons”. They are stationary in a rotating frame - not, however, one that rotates with the speed of the bottom, but considerably slower.

The team consisted of three bachelor-students from the University of Copenhagen - Thomas Jansson, Kåre Hartvig Jensen and Martin Haspang - a visitor from Paris - Pascal Hersen - and Tomas Bohr from the Physics Department.

Currently there is no theory for this experiment, so it is a challenge for all those who believe that Fluid Dynamics is a closed, well-understood part of physics.

[+ pictures]

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Friday, April 06, 2007


Erich Berghammer, also known as Odo7 is an aroma jockey or AJ for short. He blows scents over his audience with huge fans and has stocked up a pantry with exotic spices, roots, leafs, oils, extracts and herbs. The smells are vaporized using hot water. This video from Roskilde gives you an idea of the set up (but no smells unfortunately).

[+ website]
via khymos

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Thursday, April 05, 2007


We were honoured to be invited by Firmenich to have a discussion on foodpairing with one of their scientists; François Benzi. He is without doubt the scientist with the most expertise on this topic.

In one of the first Erice meeting (history MG) he was walking in the garden and smelled jasmin. Jasmin for a flavorist is indole. He was thinking where do I find else indole; in porc liver. Why don't we combine those two. They did and it worked perfect.

Some years later Heston Blumenthal was experimenting with salty ingredients and chocolate (salt deminishes the bitterness) and while doing he combined caviar and chocolate, which appeared to fit perfectly together. He contacted François Benzi to have a look at it. And looking at the flavour components François found that both contained trimethylamines. So a hypothesis popped up that you can pair two foods if they have major flaovur components in common.

To demonstrate François Benzi let us smell some flavours like methyl hexanoate. This flavour you find a lot in pineapple, but also in blue cheese. So blue cheese and pineapple will combine nice together.
So you have to look for food that contains the main flavour components in common.

Databases you can consult on these theme are VCF, flavournet.
While communicating with Martin Lersch and Sang Hoon it appears that also the number of flavour components in common is also an important indicator.

For example sauerkraut and chocolate have more than 50% of their flavour components in common and kiwi and oyster 40%.
Other insights of foodpairing will follow and within the next months we will launch a new website dedicated to foodpairing. Stay tunned for that!

[+ firmenich]

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Dutch outfit Freedom of Creation will launch four new rapid-prototyped products in Milan next month. FOC pioneered the use of rapid-prototyping technologies selective laser sintering and stereolithography to produce lamps and other objects, showing their iconic Lily lamp in Milan in 2003. Cambrian and Vasarely are two new lamps types shown at via Tortona 31 during the milano fair.

[+ website]
via denzeen

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007


A weed that turns red when it grows near land mines could help clear dangerous fields in war-torn countries such as Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The genetically modified Thales cress is sensitive to nitrogen dioxide, a byproduct of mines, and changes from green to red when the gas is present in soil.

Currently, mines can be detected only by human or canine probing. Scientists hope the plant will show where the land mines are so they can be removed safely, greatly reducing fatalities and injuries among those who hunt for mines and the unsuspecting public.

Danish biotechnology company Aresa Biodetection, which is creating the genetically altered plant, hopes to start selling it within a few years, after researchers complete field tests on its effectiveness.

Lab results so far look promising, says Simon Oestergaard, chief executive of Aresa. He envisions that the plant will be used mostly to clear fields suitable for farming. "The main target of this product is soil that will be used for different agricultural activities," he says.

One concern, however, is that the weed is shallow-rooted, so it would not be able to detect deeply planted mines. But most mines are found closer to the surface, says Geir Bjoersvik of the mine action unit at Norwegian Peoples Aid in Oslo.

Field tests, scheduled to start in Denmark this spring and in other countries soon after, will determine how sensitive the plant is to nitrogen dioxide and how much of the gas is required to make it turn red. So far, the plant has shown signs of being oversensitive. "It's better to have a red spot and check it and find there isn't a mine than miss one that's there," Dr. Meier says.

The plant is self-pollinating. Researchers also removed the gene for an important growth hormone, which eliminates the risk of spreading pollen to unmodified plants because the new weed neither germinates nor sets seeds unless a specific fertilizer is used.

[+ website]
via moreinspiration

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Monday, April 02, 2007


Nanobucky is a fun example of the ability to control the synthesis of nanoscale materials such as carbon nanofibers. Nanobucky is made entirely from tiny "hairs" of carbon nanofibers. These carbon nanofibers are about 50-75 nanometers in diameter, each about 1,000 times thinner than a human hair. The entire image of Bucky is about 15 microns (15,000 nm) in size. That means that we could fit approximately 9,000 complete NanoBuckys onto the head of a pin. NanoBucky was created by graduate students Sarah Baker, Kiu-Yuen Tse and Jeremy Streifer, postdoc Matthew Marcus, and Prof. Robert Hamers, at UW-Madison.

The carbon nanofibers that make up Bucky are of great interest for practical applications such as chemical and biological sensing and as high surface-area materials for use in a applications such as energy storage. So, while NanoBucky is fun, there is some serious science behind making structures such as this. Below you'll find a link to the description of how Bucky was made.

[+ more]
via primidi

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