Sunday, July 29, 2007


We were pleased to be invited at the renovated restaurant 'In de wulf' to enjoy a fantastic diner. We have always been excited by what Kobe Desramaults is doing in his kitchen. By renovating the restaurant, the picture of the food and the ambiance is better matched. A nice open rural interior combined with top gastronomy.
If you want to see what we have eaten, click on the flickr link. The pictures added here are; first the 'foie d'or' and secondly; textures of zucchini, bouillon of bouillabaise, rouget barbet.

[+ In de wulf]
[+ flickr]

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It's one thing to design a car that runs solely on biofuels; it's another thing entirely to design one that is also made out of biomass. Yet that appears to be exactly what Dr. Kerry Kirwan, a researcher at Warwick University's Warwick Manufacturing Group, has achieved with the revolutionary Eco One sports car he and Ben Wood, his student and collaborator on the project, unveiled a few days ago.

Boasting tyres made of potatoes, brake pads made of ground cashew shells and a body built from hemp and rapeseed oil, this speedy racer — which can attain a top speed of 150 mph — runs on a special biofuel made entirely from sugar beet and fermented wheat. Besides for the car's steering-wheel, seat and electrics — which are all made from conventional materials — only the car's chassis is made from a non plant-based material: steel. As a result, Eco One is 95% biodegradable.

Kirwan and Wood built the Eco One over the period of two months at a cost of £20,000 (or roughly $40,000). "If we can build a high-performance car that can virtually be grown from seed, just imagine what's possible for the average family car," said Ben Wood, who noted that it could do 0 - 62 mph in under 4 seconds flat thanks to a Triumph Daytona motorcycle engine.

The next step will be getting this car and the underlying technologies out into the mainstream car market. Kirwan and Wood have already been approached by several officials in the motor sports industry keen on supporting their efforts.

[+ picture]
via treehugger

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Friday, July 27, 2007


A new electronic music interface from Sebastian Tomczak using lasers, photocells and water.The laser shines through the water in the dish, and light dependent resistors on the other side respond to the position of the laser points.

[+ more]
via teemingvoid

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Sunday, July 22, 2007


I was wondering, chefs who know about foodpairing, can you see that in their recipes. Let's take for example Heston Blumenthal. Some reknown recipe of him like the salmon with licorice enveloppe, is that somehow a predictable recipe if you know foodpairing.

We did the test by looking at salmon. If you take the top 3 flavours of salmon and search for what other foodproduct has the same top 3, you obtain...licorice. Also if you scan for the total group of flavours, licorice is still in the 20% best pairings with salmon.

Another combination of Heston Blumenthal is oyster and passion fruit.
We talked already a few time about Sang Hoon Degeimbre his combination of kiwi and oyster, well oyster and passion fruit is the same story. Methyl hexanoate is the flavour that pairs the two together. Also in the Book of Yann Duytsche you will find a foodpairing combination based on that flavour; pineapple and hop.

Anyway it should be clear; it stays still a craft from the chef to turn the knowledge of a foodpairing into a good recipe. So don't think is only mixing some ingredients. Quantity/ balance is most important.

Picture was taken from Flickr, by ComeUndone.

[+ Yann Duytsche]


Monday, July 16, 2007


In previous posts we already talked about interchangeability of food. A new recipe from Sang Hoon Degeimbre illustrates this good. If you compare all the flavour components of tomato and search for the product most similar to those, you obtain...strawberry. So image you have orginally a recipe of lobster and tomato coulis, replace the tomato by strawberry coulis. The recipe of the first picture is called: 'Breton lobster, gaspacho of strawberries, lobster powder'
In the second picture you see the foodpairing of asparagus and violet essence.
The chef of L'air du temps has a talent for these combinations. One of the reasons why L'air du temps is one of our favourite restaurants.
Another nice foodpairing we ate at El Bulli was the combination of potato, coffee and capers. Really great combination. An italian chef started this combination and if you look on the internet you find recipes like risotto with espresso and capers.

[+ air du temps]

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Saturday, July 14, 2007


First, I want to thank Jean Pierre Gabriel, a journalist which we respect a lot, for giving us the opportunity to meet the chefs of 'El celler de can roca' and 'El Bulli'. Thank you Jean Pierre for the opportunity and the nice company!
We were very charmed by the open mentality of the chefs. So also thanks to Joan and Jordi Roca, Ferran Adria and Oriol Castro for spending some time with us.

In the morning we visited Alicia, the institute which will deal with gastronomy and science. Very nice location, an hour drive from Barcelona. During the noon we had a conversion with Joan and Jordi Roca. Very nice guys. They also showed their new restaurant which will open in autumn, a combination of a old building and new architecture.

In the afternoon we met the chefs of El Bulli. Oriol Castro, the right hand of Ferran Adria, showed us around in the restaurant. Quiet impressive. If you want to see what was served for dinner, click on the link to Flickr. Photos and descriptions are added.

[+ Alicia]
[+ flickr]
[+ El celler de can roca]
[+ El Bulli]

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Friday, July 13, 2007


Operation Blessing, a non-profit committed to “breaking the cycle of suffering” has taken the age-old technique of harnessing the sun’s heat to cook food, and turned it into a viable design for off-the-grid, minimal-resource third-world demographics. In the Gansu Province of China, and soon in Darfur camps, the sun-powered parabolic solar oven allows the suffering and hungry to cleanly cook and boil water and without firewood, using only that always-renewable energy source: the sun. The oven’s design is also a great example of using ancient technologies in modern ways to address social problems.

The ovens are made of concrete and resemble a television satellite dish covered with reflective mirrors. They are easily pointed at the sun and the mirrors focus the energy on a cooking platform. It only takes minutes to achieve a cooking temperature, which will ignite a piece of paper held in front after only a few seconds. These ovens are easy and inexpensive to manufacture and can be used to cook and dehydrate foods for later consumption, and also to sanitize drinking water and medical equipment. Because the ovens use solar energy, there is no cost to operate them.

The technology is certainly nothing new- dating back to the ancient Greek philosopher Diocles, who invented the parabolic mirror (200 B.C.). In 1515, inventor/artist Leonardo da Vinci improved on the concept and invented a parabolic mirror device to concentrate heat and boil water for industrial use.

But the application is certainly ground-breaking. “In Gansu, like in many other poverty-stricken regions around the world, firewood is as precious as water,” said Operation Blessing president Bill Horan. “There are virtually no trees here, and so little rain, that the only bath most people take in their whole life is on their wedding day. These solar ovens are based on ancient technology and they are eco-friendly - a totally renewable energy source.”

[+ operation blessing ]
via inhabitat

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Thursday, July 12, 2007


Architecture and design outfit Kram Weisshaar has created a limited-edition series of dinner plates for porcelain brand Nymphenburg.Called My Private Sky, the plates combine computer technology and traditional craft techniques: the designers ask customers where and when they were born, and then use a specially written computer programme to generate the precise arrangement of stars and planets as they would have appeared at that particular time and place.The patterns are then hand-painted onto the plates by Nymphenburg artisans.

[+ more]
via dezeen

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007


This is fascinating: making an airship's surface contract and expand so as to enable it to "swim" through the atmosphere. These artificial muscles are made of polymers which deform when subjected to an electrical field.

Conventional propeller driven airships have their disadvantages. They are inefficient, and thereby wasteful of energy, and they are noisy too. Empa scientists are looking to solve both these problems by using a technology which is simultaneously very advanced and yet simple in concept – their design lets an airship “swim” through the air like a fish moving through water. That this idea could become reality thanks to the development of electroactive polymers (EAPs) is demonstrated by the first flight trials as well as computer simulations. The EAPs need further development, however, and their reliability and useful lifetime must be improved.

If the patented idea of Empa researcher Silvain Michel and his team becomes established, then the airship of the future will be a non-rigid airship (blimp) that glides through the air as silently and using the same means of propulsion as a trout swimming in a brook – by bending its body in one direction and simultaneously moving its tail in the opposite way. The technically simplified version of this trout-like motion, using three rigid, interconnected body segments, is known in scientific jargon as the “bending-rotation-stroke”, says Michel.

“This technique can be transferred directly from water to air”, he explains further. “A blimp moving through the air is, in terms of the physics involved, exactly the same as a fish moving through water. In both cases a body is moving through a fluid and is subject to the same laws of fluid dynamics.” The new propulsion technique, combine with a sleeker, trout-like shape, doubles the efficiency of the blimp design from an aerodynamic point of view.

[+ more]
via morfogen

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Just when you thought mushrooms were only useful as culinary garnishes, Gavin McIntyre and Eben Bayer, two students from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found a more noble purpose for the functional fungi- building insulation made from oyster mushrooms.

Greensulate is a fire-retardant board made out of water, flour, perlite, and mushroom spores. The idea came from an assignment which asked that they produce a form of sustainable insulation. The insulation material is grown by pouring the ingredients into 7 by 7 inch molds with hydrogen peroxide. When this mixture is placed in a dark environment, the mushroom oyster cells start to grow into a 1 inch thick panel, which is then dried to prevent fungus from growing. The pair have a working prototype, which in true college fashion, was grown under their beds.

“I think it has a lot of potential, and it could make a big difference in people’s lives,” said RPI Professor Burt Swersy, whose Inventor’s Studio course inspired the product’s creation. “It’s sustainable, and enviro-friendly, it’s not based on petrochemicals and doesn’t require much energy or cost to make it.”

[+ more]
via inhabitat

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