We tried the most high-tech 3-course meal of all time, and it was glorious

international culinary institute cooking demo 20170321 160440
In the right hands, cutting-edge tech and cooking can be a killer combination — and if that’s a combination you’d like to try, you need look no further than the International Culinary Center’s New York City outpost, which hosts a food technology program focused on futuristic gastronomy.

Hervé Malivert, the center’s director, is an accomplished gourmand. He joined the International Culinary Center in 2006, after a culinary study in France and a two-decade tour in the restaurant business. He’s a traditionalist —  Malivert’s a card-carrying member of the Maître Cuisiniers de France (Master Chef of France), a 60-year-old society that’s among the most exclusive in the country — but one that’s not afraid of a little experimentation. Malivert made headlines last year when he worked alongside a Columbia engineering professor to prototype a 3D food printer.

To demonstrate the latest in high-tech cooking, Malivert invited Digital Trends to a three-course, brunch-themed cooking demo. Using techniques like “liquid nitrogen blending” and “immersion curing,” he whipped up dishes fit for Michelin. Here’s a taste of what we tried:

Olive Oil poached egg

international culinary institute cooking demo 20170321 171658

The first dish was a modernist take on an egg sandwich — three olive oil-cured yolks topped with with salmon roe, mustard seed, and a crème fraiche garnish. Malivert described it as an omage to “Oeufs au Caviar,” a eggs-and-caviar dish served at Jean-Georges in New York. His take was a little less extravagant — he subbed salmon roe for caviar — but no less visually stunning.

It was also deceptively complicated. The yolks alone required two hours of prep work, Malivert said — one hour in a vacuum seal infused with herbs, spices, and simmering water, and another in an immersion circulator — a  kitchen appliance that draws water from a tub or pot of water, heats it up to a precise temperature, and spits it back out.

The mustard seeds were just as labor-intensive. Once the seeds were blanched five times, they were pressure-cooked in a blend of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. The finished mixture was transferred to a bain marie (a slow-cooking container immersed in hot water), and left to cool on ice.

But the wait was worth it. The tart mustard, creamy crème fraiche, buttery brioche, and fatty yolk left us smacking our lips.

Short ribs pastrami

international culinary institute cooking demo 20170321 171701

The second dish — short ribs rubbed with peppercorn and finished with a gel-like fluid — was a little meatier than the first. But just like the olive oil-poached eggs before it, it wasn’t easy to assemble.

The short rib brine — a blend of salt, sugar, and rib fat — had been melding together in a refrigerator for five days, Malivert said. The pastrami had taken longer — once it was removed from the brine and rubbed with spices, it was smoked for four hours, then boiled, strained, cooled, vacuum-sealed, and cooked sous vide for 72 hours.

The fluid gel, a bright-colored substance that looked a little like thick ketchup, was the product of cooking liquid from the pastrami, vinegar, and sugar. It was brought to a boil, transferred to a container on ice to set, and blended in a food processor until smooth and creamy.

The dish was a stunner. The fluid gel’s sweetness complimented the melt-in-your-mouth pastrami beautifully, and the peppercorn rub lent just enough of a kick to keep things interesting.

Smoked Salmon en Brioche

international culinary institute cooking demo 20170321 171647

Malivert’s last dish was featured brioche, salmon, an orange jam, and watercress puree.

The salmon wasn’t your weeknight dinner variety. It was seasoned and vacuum-sealed in a refrigerator for 12 hours, and infused with smoke from a smoking gun. The barbecue-like flavor paired perfectly with the final component: A slice of egg white-brushed brioche.

The jam was just as labor-intensive. Malivert cut oranges into slices in and combined them with sugar, and then pressure-cooked them in a canning jar for two hours before chilling them. Finally, he blended them with oil.

After whipping up a simple peas puree — a mix of watercress, shallots, and vice vinegar blended together until they reach a smooth consistency — and a pickled tomato, Malivert plated the final dish. And what a dish: The savory-and-sweet salmon and jam combination was our favorite of the evening.

Emerging Tech

CERN plans to build a massive particle collider that dwarfs the LHC

CERN already has the world's biggest particle accelerator. Now it wants a bigger one. Meet the 9 billion euro Future Circular Collider that will allow physicists to extend their study of the universe and matter at the smallest level.
Smart Home

Thinking of buying an Instant Pot? Here's what you need to know

The Instant Pot is a powerful kitchen appliance that does everything from pressure cook to to slow cook to steam. Heck, you can even make yogurt in it. Here's all you need to know about the magic device.
Smart Home

Speed up cooking with one of the best pressure cookers on the market

Not all pressure cookers are created equally. You have to choose between stovetop cookers, multicookers, canners, and even microwave cookers. Our pressure cooking buyer's guide includes our picks for the best in each category.
Smart Home

The best multicookers for 2019 for everything from sauteing to slow cooking

Find the best multicookers for your cooking ambitions. Whether you are just getting started in the kitchen or you've been cooking for years and want a device to make it easier, these are the best smart pots for you to choose from.
Mobile

HMD Global shows us how a slice of Android Pie is baked up

Waiting for Android updates can be a real chore -- but it's nothing compared to the work manufacturers have to do. HMD Global has released an infographic showing how Android updates like Android Pie are cooked.
Emerging Tech

Forget fireworks. Japan will soon have artificial meteor showers on tap

Tokyo-based startup Astro Live Experiences is preparing to launch its first artificial meteor shower over Japan, serving as a showcase of its prowess in the space entertainment sector.
Cars

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.
Emerging Tech

Glowing space billboards could show ads in the night sky

Look up at the night sky in 2020 and you might see an ad for McDonald's floating among the stars. A Russian startup is working on a project that uses a constellation of small satellites in low-Earth orbit to create glowing ads.
Emerging Tech

New brainwave reader tells teachers if students are concentrating

Massachusetts-based startup BrainCo has developed brainwave-reading headbands which can reportedly help reveal if students are concentrating in class. Here's how they're being used.
Emerging Tech

Fears about kids’ screen use may have been overblown, Oxford researchers find

Many people take it as gospel that digital technologies are harmful to young people’s mental health. But is this true? A recent study from the University of Oxford takes a closer look.
Emerging Tech

Meet Wiliot, a battery-less Bluetooth chip that pulls power from thin air

A tiny chip from a semiconductor company called Wiliot could harvest energy out of thin air, the company claims. No battery needed. The paper-thin device pulls power from ambient radio frequencies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cell signals.
Emerging Tech

Hexbot is a modular robot arm that does everything from drawing to playing chess

Who wouldn’t want their own personal robot arm to do everything from laser engraving to competing against you in a game of chess? That's what Hexbot, a new modular robot, promises to deliver.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world will take your breath away

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.