Chiaroscuro LARGE


blackberry caviar, coconut mousse, coconut crumb, coconut yolk, blackberry puree

Chiaroscuro SMALL II

Hi!  To any newcomers, welcome to my blog, and welcome to my project for UChicago’s spring Festival of the Arts!

(I’ll post more explaining this post-presentation, for all you laypeople.)

////// Okay!  SO Hi!  Yes!  Presentation went off without a hitch. \\\\\\

I gave a 7-ish minute spiel about molecular gastronomy, this here blog, my weird love of reverse frozen spherification, and the three desserts you see here, which were funded by FOTA.

Hopefully I didn’t embarrass myself too badly (I definitely did).Chiaroscuro SMALL I

Contrast, made edible.  Fruity, creamy, crunchy, chewy.

Why are there so many seeds in blackberries?  Getting ultra-smooth puree is a pain in the ass.

Fragola LARGE


black pepper cheesecake, lemon curd, lemon sorbet, ginger black pepper sand, walnuts, candied lemons, creme fraiche, honey

Fragola SMALL I

Early summer on a plate.  Spicy, sour, rich, fresh.

PSA: candied lemons are so incredibly addictive.  So is lemon curd.  OMg.

Fragola SMALL II

For my live presentation, I made a deconstructed strawberry pie: strawberry yolk, yogurt cream, 5-spice milk sand.
Simple, delicious.



mango yolk, watermelon tartar, avocado mousse,  lime curd, creme fraiche, grapefruit


A play on tuna tartare with raw egg yolk.  Tropical, crunchy, herb-y, tangy.
(There is nothing quite like cold watermelon on a hot day, amirite?!)


Happy to provide any of the recipes pictured for my fellow molecular nuts!

10 thoughts on “FOTA

  1. I stumbled upon your blog via pinterest and absolutely loved this post. I’ve done a few different pearls/spheres using reverse frozen spherification, I was wondering if you could share your technique and recipe on your blackberry pearls?

    Thanks in advance,

    1. Hi Nicole! I’m glad you found my blog! Under the “WISE” category on my blog, you’ll find posts with thoroughly tested and written out recipes.
      These blackberry pearls were actually just tiny balls of jelly, rather than self-contained spheres of liquid resulting from frozen reverse spherification. The recipe I used is similar to the tomato pearl recipe here, with the following changes: I used blackberry purée that had been pressed through a fine sieve twice and had no seeds and instead of a teaspoon of agar, I used a teaspoon of gelatin: bloom it in a tablespoon or two of water, then heat it up in the microwave for 30 seconds and quickly whisk into the blackberry purée and sugar. This purée is dropped into ice cold oil with a syringe and the resulting pearls are rinsed and used.
      I hope this is of help!

      1. Thank you so much for your quick response! I will give these a try soon! I absolutely love blackberries. I recently did a little grape “caviar’s”.. Why do you use cold oil? When I did the grape gels I used a alginate solution which contained gelatin.. Wondering your approach on this.


        1. Any cold, viscous solution could be used, I suppose. It needs to be thick enough to suspend the drops while they are rapidly chilled and the gelatin within them congeals, forming hard little spheres. Alginate is not necessary since there is no calcium alginate reaction occurring (no calcium in the puree). Glad you found me on Instagram! Let me know how your experimenting goes!

  2. Hi there! I discovered your blog via Pinterest, and I first want to complement you on your work. The photography is beautiful, and I can get lost in all of these pictures and projects (the most delicious looking procrastination ever!). I am a retired catering chef, and have recently become obsessed with molecular gastronomy for my own gratification and expansion. You mentioned that you would be happy to provide recipes, and I was just curious if I could in fact get the recipes for Chiaroscuro and Fragola? I would love to experiment with something like this! Thanks!

    1. Hi Malo! Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m so glad you’ve gotten into molecular gastronomy—it really is so much fun and is so rewarding. I’m a bit busy ATM, but as soon as I have time I’ll try to remember where I sourced the recipes—most were cobbled together (and this was over a year ago…). I will say that my favorite site for recipes is ; it was really my bible. If you search back in my site for molecular gastronomy, you’ll also find many properly documented recipes. Best of luck! xx

  3. Hi,
    I was wondering if you would be able to post the recipe for ‘chiaroscuro’ and ‘tuorlo’. I have just found your website while looking for some recipes for a school project and you’ve given me a much needed boost of motivation. Absolutely love WISE and all your other recipes.


  4. Hi there,

    Not sure if you’re aware but @chefbristol on instagram is using your photo passing it off as his own? Thought you’d want to know.

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