Experimental Cuisine

Patrons of Jerusalem's Canela restaurant are in for an experience - molecular cooking.

experimental cuisine (photo credit: Courtesy)
experimental cuisine
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Canela's head chef Lior Hafzadi has teamed up with molecular-cooking specialist Liran Groda to provide his customers with something new and different. This technique borders on scientific experiment, for sure. Professor of molecular gastronomy, Peter Barham, describes molecular cooking as, "The application of scientific principles to the understanding and improvement of domestic and gastronomic food preparation." Coined back in 1988, the term molecular gastronomy is, in addition to a social phenomenon, a technique that combines both artistic and technical components. Devices used to create such food include: food particle accelerators, fine-needle syringes, cooking thermometers accurate to within one degree and natural nitrogen gas jets. Molecular cooking is an art form, says Hafzadi. "We change the texture and the flavor of the food, but it looks the same. It's an innovative system and it gives us the opportunity to make things you've never heard about, like bubbles of caviar and chocolate sand." Sunday night's meal will include traditional dishes from Canela's menu, which serves French and Continental cuisines. Though, while they will look familiar, the dishes will be made of alternative ingredients. "It's the old with the new," Hafzadi says, describing Sunday night's event, which is a meeting point of Canela's traditional cuisine and Groda's avant-garde cooking methods. According to Groda, the night will include an array of finger foods, giving diners an entirely new experience of aroma, flavor and texture. Planned offerings include: green mountain sashimi, chicken curry, beetroot ravioli with artichoke and truffles, duck fillet with honey macaroni and dried fruit ice cream, beef fillet and goose liver. Groda trained with Moshik Rot, a molecular cooking expert, in Amsterdam. Groda has since returned to teach the technique at cooking schools in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Two months ago, Groda and Hafzadi met and decided to bring this innovative and different taste to Jerusalem. Owing to the complexity of the preparations, 12 chefs will be employed for the night's event. "There are a lot of machines involved in the preparation of molecular food. It takes a long time to make," Hafzadi axplains. This will be the first time that Groda, who has cooked at Tel Aviv's Condito and RDB restaurant, will put his culinary talents on display in Jerusalem. However this is the second time that molecular meals are to be served in Jerusalem as last year chef Daniel Pekkar cooked a molecular meal at the city's renowned Arcadia restaurant. Canela is located at 8 Shlomzion Hamalka St., (02) 622-2293; kosher. Reservations are highly recommended. Sunday evening events will begin on February 22nd.