Well, the great Rafa Gil has finally arrived to Copenhagen, an event he has accurately described as “landing on Pinterest”. I thought it was a brilliant way to sum up the feeling you get when you find yourself surrounded by tons of stylish people and objects, they are just everywhere you look. Anyway, we met at the Central Station and went straight home to drop his bags, refresh a bit, drink a bottle of Russian beer I had in the fridge (a present from Anna, a Russian girl from Couchsurfing that I met a month ago), put some lights on our bikes, and headed to Christiania for a new edition of Science and Cocktails, this time focusing on molecular cooking.
The speaker was Hervé This, French Chemist and the father of molecular cooking. He talked about Note by note cooking, which basically consists of making dishes using pure compounds instead of using animal or plant tissues. An interesting idea, especially considering there’s a strong possibility we won’t have enough food for everyone by 2050. Harvé’s talk was funny and unpretentious, which is fascinating when you come to think of how intricate the core and the implications of his research are; there was this guy talking about chemical reactions, nutrition, toxicology, molecular structure and all sorts of phenomena occurring during dish preparation and consumption, in such a simple way that it was almost impossible to ignore him despite the complexity of the subject he was diving into. Maybe his presentation was a bit messy and his thick accent might have gotten in the way a couple of times but in my book, a French scientist who makes fun of French people in the audience, certainly earns the right to be messy and still can get away with it.
By the way, speaking of projected human food needs in 2050, check out this project developed at the Royal College of Arts, which explores the way we might “use technology to modify human digestive systems to exist within the limits of the environment rather than modifying the environment to meet our ever-expanding needs.” Pretty interesting stuff.
Rafa and I had a couple of cocktails (they were called “Black Holes” – I chose them only because it reminded me of Soundgarden) and then cycled to the nearest 7-eleven to have one of those glorious hot dogs that have the sausage wrapped in bacon, one of the best ideas anybody has ever come up with. We also had one of those sausages that come inside a slightly sweet bread (I have been in Denmark for 17 months and I still haven’t been able to learn what they are called). Once we got hunger out of the way, we rode to Mikkeler in Vesterbro for some top quality micro brewed beer. We had two small glasses of Mikkeller #1, enough alcohol to get us through some deep and personal reflections about life, long-standing friendships and social dynamics. I’m pretty sure we talked about boobs at some point, too.
At 1am, it felt like it was time to wrap it up and get some rest so we cycled home in the fresh Copenhagen night, trying not to get run over by many of the pissed off bell ringers that ride bikes in this city the way bad guys in Mad Max 2 would if they had fixies instead of powerful machines. However, unlike George Miller’s post-apocalyptic punk gang members, most of the people riding bikes in this city are graceful blondes in very short shorts and that, my friends, it’s an absolute game changer.