Will Goldfarb is careful about using the term “molecular” when it comes to describing his desserts. The 37-year-old internationally acclaimed confectionary maverick is explaining to me over the phone that molecular gastronomy is just a way to express what’s going on in the food. “It was used to define a process of learning whether stories about food were true or just old wives tales. Now when people use the term they tend to mean modern technique, a new machine or a novel industrial ingredient,” says Goldfarb.
Goldfarb’s resume reads like an impressive thesis. In 2005, he created Will Powder, a specially developed line of special pastry products that include spherification kits and industrial ingredients like gelling agents and sucrose easter (meant to form fat emulsion in nougatine and alcohol bubbles) which are made available to home chefs in small quantities—there are plans to launch them in Asia this year. In 2006, he opened the now defunct Room For Dessert in New York and offered an cutting edge menu of dessert cocktails, plated creations and thoughtful wine pairings. He also founded the Experimental Cuisine Collective, an interdisciplinary nexus of food, science, and social networks, with the New York University’s Chemistry and Food Studies Department. It sounds technical but it is not just hard food science. Goldfarb’s keen attention to aesthetic has led him to lecture on dessert design around the world.
Originally from Port Washington, Goldfarb opted to go to Paris to take pastry classes instead of law school. Since then, he has worked in some of the most famous kitchens belonging to Tetsuya Wakuda, Paul Liebrandt, Morimoto and Ferran Adrià. “I cooked for Pierre Gagnaire on my first day at El Bulli and for Pierre Hermé on my last day. That kind of summed up my year there,” he remembers, “Cooking for Hermé was probably the best I’ve ever cooked. We made five of everything just to have enough for him and his wife.”
Excerpt from the April issue of epicure.
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