Nourishing Nuclear Mysticism

Everything in matter moves, a series of shifting dots like people in crowds, atoms in gas, stars in the night sky.

Salvador Dali, Galatea of the Spheres (1952) Worldwide rights © Salvador Dalí. Fundación Gala-Salvador Dali (Artists Rights Society) 2011

The legendary Catalan thinker Jorge Wagensberg Lubinski tells us the most important thing about particles is their relationship – and the essence of things is not in matter, but in its shape. Tell that to someone trying to fit size-10 feet into size-6 Manolo Blahnik pumps.

Air and paint, shoes and food … From the palette to the palate, what sacred shapes will we take into our mouths? Darlings, at our dinner parties Dali served fish in satin slippers. Now we take the fish apart and spherify its juice on a bed of scales.

Ingredients transformed, the meal becomes homage to nuclear mysticism.

Chef Paco Perez, another great Catalan, has perfected this art of culinary physics at his restaurant Miramar, in Llançà near my Dali’s homeland. He has a few Michelin stars – two I think, but who is counting. Next month, Perez honors The Dali Museum with an indulgent 16-course meal breaking the boundaries of molecular gastronomy.

I want to taste a cloud of lemon air and beetroot vapor. Let me lift a scented fork to melt frozen lamb custard along my tongue. The Surrealists have reclaimed Catalan cuisine. I welcome Chef Perez into our pantheon.

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