Is Heston ‘Noroboy’ Blumenthal worried? Top chefs ditch molecules and embrace producers

AFP reports that after years of enthusiasm for molecular gastronomy, with its battery of gels and emulsions, many leading chefs are turning back to focus on ingredients and where they come from.

A number of Michelin-starred chefs at this week’s Madrid Fusion, an annual gastronomy fair in the Spanish capital, said they were now looking to take more care in sourcing their ingredients — by getting to know the producers, for example.

Michel Troisgros, the owner of the Maison Troisgros restaurant in Roanne, central France, told AFP,

"In traditional cooking too, there were obsessions, techniques, ways of presenting the food, stupidities, mistakes, excesses, ignorance."

Troisgros believes more care should be taken over ingredients, saying he recently went to meet caviar producers in Granada, southern Spain.

"It was the first time I’d ever seen sturgeons being farmed or watched the caviar being taken from the fish," he said, calling the experience "wonderful."

It may do wonderful things for food safety, if the chefs ask the right questions of their suppliers. Things like water quality, soil amendments, and human hygiene.

"Now when I make endives with caviar, I know where the caviar came from, I know it is organic and I know the endives came from my local producer — I know the people and I know the product.”

Sigh. Local does not make the product microbiologically safe. I’m sure the producer is a wonderful person – but show me that data.

Alain Ducasse, the head of an international empire with a total of nine Michelin stars for his restaurants in London, Paris and Monaco said chefs have a role to play in leading opinion in this field, “… talking about ingredients, producers, sustainable development, the planet — things I have supported for a long time."

Try not to make your customers barf.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time