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Cooking high-tech style at CESMolly Wood talks to "Top Chef's" Richard Blais about molecular gastronomy and cooking tech, and gets hands-on with some liquid nitrogen. Turns out, it makes good popcorn!
-Hey everybody, I'm Molly Wood. I am here on the Bravo station. I'm here with Richard Blais, Celebrity Chief and current contestant on Top Chef All Stars. Now he already knows that he won. I'm speculating, but we are also waiting to find out who won. Thank you so much for talking to us. -Oh thanks for coming here. -So now, here's my real question, have you been to CES before? -This is my first time to CES, so-- -And what do you think? -as someone who obviously braces-- embraces technology and gadgets and toys, I mean it's a wonderland for sure. -Have you gotten to see anything yet? -I did a quick little you know tour around, but I haven't really gotten into it yet. I'm gonna wait for my last show and then I'm gonna get into it. -And so then, what kind of stuff are you doing here? -Well we're talking about how technology and food to make food more delicious. So, we're actually doing some snack and treats with one of my favorite ingredients, liquid nitrogens. So, that's pretty technical. Alright, that's a science and technology and if you've-- -I think you mean pretty terrifying? We're really close to a really large tank that's all I'm saying, is everything fine here? -Everything-- you are in good hands. You know, it's a 650-pound tank of liquid nitrogen, but you know I think I can handle it with my hands, so, even though there's some big gloves behind me, you're quite safe. -Okay, so, I'm-- I am supper excited coz' I'm actually gonna get to participate in a little liquid nitrogen demo, what are doing here? -Is this your first liquid nitrogen experience? -It is. It is and I'm more than a little nervous. I hope I have protection. -Well we have to give you your gear, right. So, there's your cryogenic gloves-- -Okay. -and your goggles. -Alright. -So, you're gonna have to get that on. -Here we go. -Put your gloves, I'll have one for my hand here. -Okay. This maybe the first time that anyone seen us right with the microphone in one hand and then-- -It is the first-- this is world premier right here. -I look good. -CES world premier, absolutely. -CES world premier with one glove and one hand. -And so-- so now this is nitrogen. Actually you know, just kinda prove a point, I'll just-- you know I can touch it with my hands, but I'm a trained professional-- -Okay. -but you have your gloves. -I'm not gonna do that, yeah. -So here's your popcornsicle. -Okay. -That's the caramel popcorn ball. -Popcorn ball. -And what we're gonna do is we actually gonna fry it in the liquid nitrogen. -Okay. -So, it's as simple as just taking your popcorn and go ahead and just fry it. Nitrogen is actually boiling away and the nitrogen is as cold as frying oil is hot. So, you are actually frying it. -It's literally, it's sizzling. -You wanna give it a little turn in there. Alright and then it's gonna be-- -Oh it's so cold; I can feel the temperature up. -And here's the great audio of those when you actually now you can pull it up and just when you take a bite, the crunch of this is gonna be amazing, shall we? -Yeah. Here we go. -Cheers. -Cheers. -Alright. -Alright that is so cold. So there seems to be-- I mean I am a tech geek, but I'm also a huge food geek and there seems to be a really natural crossover there. What do you think that's about? -Well, I mean I think just generally, if-- you know people that are into technology to make whatever their phones, or their televisions better or make the experience better, same with foods. So, if you can use science and technology to make food better, you know why not. So, I think there is that sort of crossover. -What are some of the technologies that you are a big fan of other than 650-pound tank of nitrogen? -Well I mean you know-- I mean as far as food or just general? I mean generally, I'm like everyone else, you know, the smart phone, the-- -What phone? -Wait what phone do you carry? -You know I carry an iPhone you know so I do, so. -That's cool, but then food technology too. Do you have like any favorites, any tricks that you are doing that you don't think anybody is doing? -You know, I mean I love sous vide as a food technology of course, its one of my favorites and even something that's old school like pressure cooking. There's a lot of science and technology that goes into that, so, I think there's a lot of neat toys and tools for cooking sous vide on the market and you know pressure cooking stuffs like that. -Any insider input on Top Chef All Stars, coz' I gotta say that season is totally working, its so high drama. -I mean as a-- I'm a big fan of the show, besides the participant and I you know, all I can say for sure is that you know every episode is just as intensive as it has been. It's just, the field is deep and competitive and the challenges are really tough. -Now you're here, you also have a new show on the Science Channel, you-- come on, everybody is assuming that means you won? -Oh not, you know, I wouldn't assume anything that's never good, you know. So, you know the new show is great, it plays off at Science Channel, again using technology to make food better, so. -Yeah, it's great that you obviously want something. Thanks so much for talking to us and have a good time at CES. You gotta get out there. -I will. -Alright, thanks enjoy the show.