Top Chef's Tom Colicchio Is Glad This Food Trend Is Over

When it comes to food, it feels like we hit a new fad every month. Trends like whipped Dalgona coffee blew up on TikTok during 2020 thanks to how attractive the final product looks (via Forbes). Social media has taken the culinary fascination with novelty items to new heights and helped capture our imaginations with matcha, meals from food trucks, and even avocado toast (via Goodman Fielder Food Services). As all of these overnight phenomena are taking the dining world by storm, few items compare to the trendiness of molecular gastronomy

Molecular gastronomy entered the public consciousness through the haute cuisine of chefs like Thomas Keller, Grant Achatz, and Ferran Adria and explores the underlying science of how we approach cooking (via Kitchen Theory). Proponents of this culinary ethos find exciting new ways to transform textures, flavor, and even whole dishes into entirely new forms using tools and ingredients you might see in a science lab (via Science Of Cooking). Chemicals like liquid nitrogen flash-freeze ingredients you might never think of eating as a solid, while others transform tea into a foam or parmesan into ice cream. While many applaud this trend, others have found it less than appealing.

Not a trend for every chef

Many foodies love molecular gastronomy's approach to food, but some chefs have rallied against the style. Top Chef's Tom Colicchio reigns chief among these critics and enjoys molecular gastronomy's gradual decline in popularity. In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Colicchio described the food trends he saw over the years as a culinary judge and stated, "The cool thing is over the years, I mean, 17 seasons, and I think it's 13 years, you see trends come and go, which is kind of neat. The molecular gastronomy was kind of hot for a couple of seasons, and thank God that's gone." 

For a down-to-earth chef like Colicchio to reject this approach to cooking comes as a solid critique against the style. Only time can tell what directions food trends take next, but hopefully, they will continue to entice our taste buds while showing off beautiful creations we can devour with our eyes on social media. Colicchio will no doubt be judging the latest takes on trends during the newest season of Top Chef, premiering April 1st on Bravo.