In recent years, chefs around the world have founded dedicated test kitchens as venues in which to create freely — without the pressures of a normal, working kitchen — and feed their restaurants new dishes, ideas, and techniques. Some of these projects delve into scientific, technological, and academic research (Momofuku, Mugaritz, Moto), while others stick to developing menus and working on food (Relae, ThinkFoodTank). For the most part, these are small kitchens that don’t serve diners or independently produce much or any profit.
The test kitchens of today owe much to Ferran Adrià, who would close his restaurant for half of the year, head to Barcelona, and work in a small space to develop an entirely new menu for the following season. It is, as NYU professor Anne McBride describes it, about “separating the creative process from the productive one.”
And with a good number of food labs or test kitchens popping up in the last three years, is this something many more restaurants will be adopting? According to McBride, the level of resources needed for these operations is simply too high for most chefs and restaurants.” However, she believes “that even without having defined test kitchens, the idea of allowing more space (physical and mental) to the creative process, will trickle down. I think that diners and the profession can only benefit from this push in creativity.”
Here are ten, but stay tuned for a new regular Eater feature highlighting these and more test kitchens around the globe.
Read and see all HERE