Monday, April 23, 2007

Web Sites with Amazing Things for Chefs

Already this morning I've heard several great reports on The Chef's Alliance dinner last night. I heard most every dish was a hit and the wines were fantastic. (Maybe we'll hear a full report from Terry Kirts, who did attend.) While I was unable to attend, I made my own small contribution looking for meat glue last week -- also known to molecular gastronomes as transglutimanse -- for a chef who wanted to glue prosciutto to Kurabota pork. In the process, I found four websites that couldn't be more essential if you're playing with your food.

L'Epicerie -- -- From gourmet snacks to high end kitchenware, this website has it all. However, don't expect the mundane or inexpensive. Click on "hard to find" for a full range of baking and cooking products from chestnut paste to edible gold to concentrated citrus and fruit powders. First up? Matcha green tea powder which many west coast chefs are playing with today. You can also find a full range of gelatin, baking additives, and stabilizers. And don't forget their full range of nut and specialty oils, vinegars, verjus, and truffle products.

Will Powder -- --This line of specialty products from chef Will Goldfarb is less extensive, but no less interesting. From smoked salt to curry, this site also offers recipes and help for using many of their specialty products -- from lectin to xanthan gum to calcium chloride.

Paris Gourmet -- -- Paris Gourmet, the online store for New York's Paris Gourmet Education Center, is like stepping into an old world market. From cheeses and pates to caviars to demi-glaces and specialty meats, this site is a one-stop shop for those gourmet pieces you can't find in Indy. You'll find molecular gastronomy products under "technical products" and including a wide range of chemical additives that can be hard to find. They even have ice cream and sorbet stabilizers.

Texturas/el Bulli -- -- Looking to recreate that special Ferran Adriea fruit "caviar"? Look no further. Texturas is bleeding edge brothers Frerran and Albert Adria's own line of molecular gastronomy products. Search by what you want to do -- emulsification, gelling, or even "spherification." You'll even find (under "surprises") their own line of products for making food fizzy, light, or crunchy.

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