Next time you order foie gras or gourmet ice cream at a high-brow restaurant, know that some very advanced equipment might have been behind those dishes. With molecular gastronomy catching on in the food world, many chefs are focusing on developing new, innovative methods of cooking.
The Huffington Post's Katie Linendoll recently sat down with Dave Arnold, a partner at the bar Booker and Dax in New York, who showed her several new gadgets that were invented to solve common kitchen problems. Among his latest items is the Searzall, which was designed to create a fine crust on delicate meats.
"It takes what would be the very intense heat of a torch and turns it into a very even kind of heat." Arnold explained. "What this allows you to do is get a very fine crust on something like a scallop and still have the inside be fundamentally sushi-raw."
HuffPost also spoke with chef Sam Mason, who has used his years of experience at the renowned wd~50 restaurant in New York to open up a small-batch ice cream store called OddFellows in Brooklyn. Mason is able to make ice cream flavors like lemon meringue by flash-freezing meringue and lemon curd in liquid nitrogen, shattering them into pieces and folding them into the cream.
"The technology and the techniques are actually making food more efficient," he said.
Earlier on HuffPost:
The practice of frying food in oil or fat is thought to have been <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=zSBY86k2st4C&pg=PT72&lpg=PT72&dq=2500+BC+frying&source=bl&ots=pvhHsp7n-M&sig=pAaISLY0-qhpP_i35hdpDiaiwZk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=YK5TUNjVE-fj0QHYyIGoDw&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=2500 BC frying&f=false" target="_hplink">invented by the ancient Egyptians around 2500 B.C.</a>
19. Microwave Oven
The microwave was <a href="http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/spencer.html" target="_hplink">invented by Dr. Percy Spencer</a>, who drew on radar technology invented during World War II. It was first sold commercially in 1947.
18. The Barrel
The Celts likely were the <a href="http://irishamerica.com/2012/01/slainte-wine-another-irish-triumph/" target="_hplink">first to create a barrel</a> similar to the ones we recognize today. Wooden staves were encircled by bands of iron and closed on both ends with flat wood caps.
17. The Cork
Up until 1650, French vintners didn't use corks -- they used <a href="http://books.google.com/books?ei=-KpTUKfxBO630QHw7YBA&id=Pd1JAAAAYAAJ&dq=Wine+From+Grape+to+Glass&q=oil+soaked#search_anchor" target="_hplink">oil-soaked rags</a>.
16. Eating Utensils
Utensils have been used in various forms for centuries. The fork, for instance, <a href="http://researcharchive.calacademy.org/research/anthropology/utensil/forks.htm" target="_hplink">gained a place at tables in Middle Eastern royal courts by the 7th century</a>.
15. The Knife
Although knives have been around since prehistoric times, it's only relatively recently in human history that specialized knives designed for specific uses in the kitchen came into existence.
14. The Pot
Pots have been around so long it's difficult to tell when they were first appeared in human history. The earliest may have been made of clay or stone, and today metal pots are most commonly produced commercially.
13. Crop Rotation
Throughout history, humans have employed the practice of <a href="http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/143973/crop-rotation" target="_hplink">cultivating a succession of different crops in a specific order on a single field</a>.
12. Fishing Net
The <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=ZljldSpV28UC&pg=PA54&lpg=PA54&dq=fishing+net+Antrea&source=bl&ots=iLL21Qi4ls&sig=24aO7cu8ETOpPUjRBsCgLm0Q_MA&hl=en#v=onepage&q=fishing net Antrea&f=false" target="_hplink">oldest surviving fishing net</a>, made of willow, dates to 8300 B.C. in Antrea, Finland.
Fermentation is a chemical process <a href="http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/204709/fermentation" target="_hplink">harnessed in the production of wine, beer and other products</a>. Humans have been fermenting foodstuffs for thousands of years, but the processes at play weren't understood until the 17th century.
10. The Plough
The plow is often credited as the <a href="http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/464972/plow" target="_hplink">most important agricultural implement since the beginning of history</a>. The mechanism, which has evolved considerably since Roman times, turns and breaks up soil to bury crop residues and control weeds.
Watermills were <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=Kj7PSOqTZ3IC&pg=PA42&lpg=PA42&dq=watermill+greece&source=bl&ots=HII-Mk9PCr&sig=7SI5IlAG7nuj0Eiqvt1_1ohLvbw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=-ZRTUNaiG-yC0QH8hIHACA&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=watermill greece&f=false" target="_hplink">first invented by the Greeks</a> to grind grain, reducing the amount of human labor necessary for the task.
8. Selective Breeding/Strains
Selective breeding, the process of breeding plants and animals for particular traits, was first explained in Charles Darwin's "Origin of Species," though there's evidence it's been <a href="http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/226430?uid=3739936&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21101048811523" target="_hplink">practiced for thousands of years</a>.
Egyptians are credited with the first intentional use of leavening, and were <a href="http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/49594/baking" target="_hplink">making bread with nearly-modern methods by 2600 B.C. </a>
6. Combine Harvester
American farmer and inventor Hiram Moore <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=n--ivouMng8C&pg=PA865&lpg=PA865&dq=Hiram+Moore+combine+harvester&source=bl&ots=CwZdF-GBMu&sig=Mbvqm1kKP41lqNvShItkMXQDvNs&hl=en#v=onepage&q=Hiram Moore combine harvester&f=false" target="_hplink">invented the combine harvester in 1834</a>. The early versions were pulled by a horse or mule. It's so named because it combines three separate operations: reaping, threshing, and winnowing.
In 6000 B.C., <a href="http://www.irrigationmuseum.org/exhibit2.aspx" target="_hplink">irrigation began roughly at the same time Egypt and Mesopotamia</a>. Waters from the flooded Nile, Tigres and Euphrates would be diverted for 40 to 60 days, then drained back into the river at the right moment in crops' growing cycle.
4. The Oven
Ovens have been around longer than some might suspect, going back perhaps thousands of years. The first written record of an oven being built <a href="http://uk.lifestyle.yahoo.com/oven-love-history-hot-box-kitchen-000000978.html" target="_hplink">dates to 1490 in France</a>.
The process of preserving food in an airtight container was originally conceived early in the Napoleonic Wars, when the French government offered cash prize of 12,000 francs to any inventor who could <a href="http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/30573/Nicolas-Appert" target="_hplink">develop a cheap way to preserve large amounts of food for its army</a>. Confectioner and brewer Nicolas Appert won the prize in 1810 after more than a decade of experimenting with corked-glass containers reinforced with wire and sealing wax, which he kept in boiling water for various lengths of time.
French chemist Louis Pasteur is credited with developing the modern concept of pasteurization, originally intended to keep beer and wine from going bad. The process involves heating food, usually a liquid, to a certain temperature for an amount of time and then immediately cooling it, which deters microbial growth.
The world's first patented refrigerator was created by Jacob Perkins in 1834, but it wasn't until 1913 that refrigerators were made for use at home.