CHEF / SCIENTIST, JOSE ANDRES BRINGS HIS BRAND OF MOLECULAR GASTRONOMY TO "60 MINUTES," LEAVING ANDERSON COOPER'S TASTE BUDS "SMOKING"
Pioneering Chef Jose Andres takes Anderson Cooper's taste buds on a savory tour of his culinary laboratory, where soft foods meet crunchy, the sweet improves the smoky and something cold hides just beneath something hot. The result leaves Cooper's mouth smoking, literally. Andres' avant-garde cooking technique, a style called molecular gastronomy that he is credited with introducing to America, will be served up on 60 MINUTES, Sunday May 2 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Molecular gastronomy is about food textures, aromas, presentation, in short, fun, says food critic Ruth Reichl, and Chef Andres is like no other chef. "Food is going to do things that you never imagined. It's going to come floating at you. It's going to explode. It's going to have textures that you didn't ever think would be in your mouth," she tells Cooper in describing Andres' food. "It's like a circus of the mouth."
Anderson Cooper's trip to the big top began in Andres' Washington, D.C. restaurant called "minibar by jos� andr�s," where a temperature layered cocktail throws Cooper for a loop. "This is what we call a drink by the chef," says Andres. "Already, your taste buds...are being excited because they are asking themselves, �What's happening here?'" Cooper is then introduced to a tenet of molecular gastronomy, the deconstruction of food. Andres fixes Cooper's favorite soup, New England Clam Chowder, in a way that astonishes the reporter. Mixing fresh cream, bacon, a raw clams and ultra-light potato mousse, Andres has re-invented a staple. "This is what America is all about. A Spanish boy that came 18 years ago actually trying to move forward a classic American dish," he tells Cooper.
Andres' latest showcase, "The Bazaar" in Hollywood, is Los Angeles's only restaurant rated four stars by the Los Angeles Times. One of the reasons for its popularity is Andres' ability to challenge his diners. One example is a dish called "Dragon's Breath." Dipping a warm piece of caramelized popcorn into liquid nitrogen, the chef freezes in the warm flavor, causing cool vapor to emanate from the frozen exterior of the morsel. "Are you ready for this, because I believe your life is going to change forever," says a grinning Andres. Cooper pops it in his mouth and the spooky vapors come streaming out of his nose and mouth. "What just happened?" asks Cooper. Watch an excerpt.
"Eating has to be fun, has to be a social event," says Andres, who was born in Spain and was GQ magazine's Chef of the Year and is up for The James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Chef Award for minibar this Monday.