Is Molecular Gastronomy Ruining Fine Dining?

Artistic Eats Can Turn Dining Into an Endurance Race

By Chris Shott - Young and Hungry
|  Wednesday, Oct 26, 2011  |  Updated 2:30 PM EDT
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Is Molecular Gastronomy Ruining Fine Dining?

Darrow Montgomery

Chef RJ Cooper dishes at Rogue 24.

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HuffPo is foaming at the mouth about the pitfalls of molecular gastronomy, the über-artistic deconstructive and recreative take on food practiced at places like José Andrés' Minibar and R.J. Cooper's Rogue 24 (read Y&H's review here):

"Because of its great influence on food critics and patrons of top restaurants, molecular gastronomy, whatever its artistic merits, discards the capitalist, hospitable, popular traditions that have long made fine dining (in D.C. and elsewhere) the most culturally relevant of the arts."

The author argues that the genre too often puts "art above service" and can be a chore for the diner to experience: "Minibar (where I enjoyed most of my meal) left me with a sore back after sitting more than two hours on a backless bar stool."

As a trend, he concludes, molecular gastronomy "threatens to detach 'fine dining' from popular food culture. And that's not good for D.C."

What do you think?

Is Molecular Gastronomy Ruining Fine Dining? was originally published by Washington City Paper on Oct. 26, 2011.

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