The ABCs of Hydrocolloids with ICE Chef Instructor Chris Gesualdi

More and more ICEstudents are interested in learning the modernist techniques that are becoming so popular in restaurant kitchens across the world.

Last night, one of ICE’s resident experts, Chef Instructor Chris Gesualdi, taught a class on how to use hydrocolloids, or gums, in the kitchen. In this hands-on class, Chef Chris taught alumni and current ICE students about how to use xanthan gum and carrageenan, as well as perform spherification and reverse spherification. For example, to start the class he blended water with precise weights of xantham gum measured by percentage to demonstrate the different textures the gums could create.

Chef Chris demonstrated how to use these products but also gave the students a chance to use them making a variety of treats like a creamsicle, olive coulis, chocolate–peanut butter flan and more. He taught the students how using the gums can create unique textures and shapes. To show the students the effect of the hydrocolloids, he made an olive coulis with and without xantham gum and drew a line of both on a plate.

The sauce without the gum quickly had syneresis, or weeping, while the one with the gum maintained its shape and body. It was an incredibly informative class for the students. Chef Chris demystified the complex world of hydrocolloids and made it easy for the professionals in the class to take these incredible ingredients into their own kitchens. Check out the photos of what they made!


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