Big Bite Nite Video: The Science of Food – Ice Cream!

bbnlogoSome things we were just born to do. And, I believe one of the many reasons I was created is to eat at fine dining restaurants. There’s nothing more engaging than the ambiance and personality specific to that particular restaurant – often overflowing with charm, extraordinary music and a special menu focusing on fresh, seasonal ingredients locally grown.  What I anticipate the most, while dining at these specialty eateries, is the dessert menu – which often includes homemade sorbets or ice cream made especially for me by the Pastry Chef.

Between you and me, I figure I’ve had the very best. That is until I discovered Quattro’s Executive Pastry Chef Philippe Valladares’ vanilla bean ice cream.

 Quattro’s Executive Pastry
Chef Philippe Valladares
Creative Commons LicensePhoto Credit:
debora smail reality photography

Let me backup a bit. I have my own personal Best of the Best list for food—we all do. However, on my list “The best place to eat ice cream” category was taken and has been for a couple of years now. In a matter of an hour, Philippe easily captured the honors. See why in part two of our Science of Food video series by clicking play on the video below. Plus, meet Philippe in person at Big Bite Nite at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, April 30. You will adore what he has prepared especially for you.

Who’s your favorite Pastry Chef in Houston? Let us know.

P.S. Have you entered the “Show Us You Biggest Bite” Photo Contest yet? (There are great prizes at stake!) I got my Biggest Bite at Quattro while we filmed this video – where will you get yours?

Want to make your own homemade ice cream? Kat Havens teaches you how.
And, you can try your hand at Philippe’s recipe for Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with the recipe on our web site.

And in case you missed it: check out the first Science of Food video, “Butter Living Through Chemistry” with Polo Becerra, Culinary Director, and Adam Puskorius, Executive Chef, of Polo’s Signature.  

Chemistry in the Kitchen: The Science Behind Butter

 Photo credit: booleansplit

People have been enjoying the rich and wonderful taste of butter for more than 6,000 years.  Archaeologists have found pounds of ancient butter buried in the peat bogs of Ireland.  Butter is still made in essentially the same way as it has been for thousands of years.  Roll up your sleeves and make butter like the ancients!

Heavy whipping cream – you can buy this at the grocery store
Crackers – any kind you like
Clean baby food jar
Butter knife

1. Fill your baby food jar about ½ full with whipping cream.
2. Add a pinch of salt for taste.
3. Seal the cap on tight.
4. Shake your jar up and down vigorously.
5. You will notice that soon you will have a creamy substance that we know as whipped cream.  You’re not done yet!  Keep shaking!
6. Soon you will have a clump surrounded by a liquid.  The clump is your butter and the liquid is buttermilk.
7. Drink the buttermilk if you like, it’s full of protein.
8. Place your butter in a piece of cheesecloth and squeeze the excess liquid out.
9. Use your butter knife to spread your creation on crackers and enjoy!

When milk straight from the cow is left to stand it separates into skim milk and cream.  The cream rises to the top.  The cream is full of proteins and fat.  When you shake the cream and agitate the fat globules, they stick together to form butter.  The leftover liquid is called buttermilk and it is full of protein. 

Interested in learning more about cooking and the science behind it? BEYONDbones will be bringing you The Science of Food – a series of videos exploring the science involved in the culinary creations of some of the best chefs in town. Its all part of Big Bite Nite on April 30, an event featuring food from over 30 restaurants all in one location – HMNS.