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By Sofia Perez

[Published by The New York Times, January 25, 2006]

José Andrés and Harold McGee (Photo by MadridFusión)

Chef José Andrés and Harold McGee (Photo by MadridFusion)

(MADRID)  It’s as if Eric Clapton went to Mississippi to tell Robert Johnson how to play the blues.

In Spain, the cradle of high-tech cuisine, the chef Homaro Cantu of the Chicago restaurant Moto stunned the crowd at the Madrid Fusión gastronomy conference in mid-January with a laser. Narrating a DVD that had been shot in his restaurant kitchen, Mr. Cantu described his use of a high-intensity laser to incinerate a pinpoint on the surface of a Styrofoam-like edible puff of corn starch. The result? His version of “caramelaserized” popcorn…

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