Stephan Pyles Talks About Molecular Gastronomy at Fuego in Dallas

Stephan Pyles reinvents the wheel. Well, he introduces molecular gastronomy to Dallas. Same difference.

On August 5, Stephan Pyles will debut Fuego, a 4-seat “restaurant” in front of the wood-burning oven inside his restaurant Stephan Pyles. Fuego will feature a 7-10 course tasting menu that will include many items created with molecular gastronomy techniques along with other dishes (foie gras!) finished off or seared in the oven. Fuego will offer two seatings (6:30 and 9:00) on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Cost is $125.00 for food. Wine pairing is an additional $75.00. It’s no surprise that Fuego is almost totally booked for August.

Yesterday, Andrew Chalk and I visited with Pyles and his execuchef Matt McCallister and checked out their new kitchen laboratory. They took us through a series of demonstrations on   “cooking” with emulsion blenders, liquid nitrogen, and reverse spherification. Hungry? I suggest you throw some popcorn into the sous vide thermal circulator and get ready to watch the future of cooking in Dallas. Well, part of Dallas. Below you will find some fascinating videos.

There is a revolution sweeping the world of cuisine. It is called molecular gastronomy and consists of a bit of science, a bit of technique, and a bit of ingredient selection. Many of its practitioners don’t label themselves with the term but nonetheless hew to the principles. Globally, the restaurant voted the best in the world by the professional tome Restaurant Magazine three years running, El Bulli, is run by the high priest of this school of cuisine, Ferran Adria, and he is considered the ne plus ultra of three-star Michelin chefs.

(Liquid nitrogen mojitos below. OMG.) New York, Washington D.C, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Miami are among the small but growing list of U.S. cities that have molecular gastronomy restaurants. Dallas is about to join their ranks. Stephan Pyles and executive chef  Matt McCallister have already invested over a year exploring and experimenting with food and techniques.

First they showed us a technique called reverse spherification.

And then they applied it.

However, perhaps the most visual techniques involved liquid nitrogen.

And if that drives you to drink, it is reassuring to know that there is molecular gastronomy mixology.

Alternatively, you can also make a watermelon melon look like Spanish ham (and even give it a similar texture.)

Stephan Pyles talks about Fuego’s menu.

Pyles and execuchef Matt McCallister describe their inspiration.

In the face of a gloomy business environment which has recently taken many prestigious restaurants down, it is reassuring to find such a significant culinary step taking place in town. This adds a whole new cuisine category to Dallas dining.

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