Dessert + Science + Musical Theatre

What happens when dessert meets science?  Well, I recently found out at the World Science Festival  Gala, which kicks off the World Science Festival May 29-June 2.  I performed in musical numbers celebrating Dr. James Watson’s accomplishments (it was his 85th Birthday!) and honoring the culture and content of science.  Dr. James Watson was a co-discoverer of the structure of DNA.   Let me tell you, portraying the DNA nucleotide Adenine was so fun!  Following the performance was the highlight of my evening:  Dessert + Science.  Dessert really is a science and very different from cooking.  Everything must be measured and accounted for perfectly to ensure a great outcome.  One of my favorite desserts were caramel popcorn balls encased in a cool, smokey bowl (like dry ice).  I was served a cold cluster in my hand and then popped it in my mouth.  Smoke came out of my mouth as I blew, and even more when I starting chewing it!  SO COOL.

Other creations included:  Michael Cirino and Kevin Roche’s ( a razor, a shiny knife) popcorn ice cream.  Heres how it’s made, “they used iSi whippers to aerate the ice cream base while simultaneously freezing it in a basin of liquid nitrogen – this created popcorn flavored ice cream in the shape and size of popcorn.  The ice cream was finished with caramel sauce and presented in a small cup resting inside a popcorn box filled with popcorn.”  Holey cow’s milk this was delicious.  It seemed a party favorite – they ran out!  The salt and butter taste with the cool sweet cream satisfied all my taste buds.

Justin Hilbert and Owen Clark’s (Gwynnett Street) caramelized white chocolate, fermented and foamed cranberry juice, maple pâte des fruits.  This was refreshing and rich at the same time.  Rather light, I could have eaten a whole bowl of it.  (Check out the formula for caramalization!)
If you want to add something to your general cup of fruit, maybe carbonate it?!  That’s what

Homaro Cantu (ING Chicago) did!  This was incredible because the process takes days but the outcome is suttle.  Carbonated grapes, oranges, and pineapples were the juicy choices.  There was a “zip” to eat bight of fruit.  You could even squeeze the juice in a bowl and have a carbonated fruit drink!  Definitely the most health conscious of the dessert bunch yet still intriquing.
Dave Arnold and Tristan Willey (Booker and Dax) made some killer Thai Basil Daquiri’s.

They used centrifuge clarified lime juice, liquid nitrogen frozen, and then crushed/muddled thai basil.  Refreshing and light, I definitely had a few.  They also served Banana Justinos made with rum and bananas.  The fabulous DNA cake was made by the talented Cake Boss.  Vanilla and chocolate cake with complimenting icing – his work is always mouth-watering.  Just look at the masterpiece above!
The Gala was such a “treat” to be a part of, and after that evening, I’m not only a dessert lover, I’m a dessert expert!  Who knew sugar could be so intellectual.
Picture (below right):  Dr. James Watson and his nucleotides!

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