Engineered Eats is all about the science and creative art of gastronomy. Feast your eyes, stomachs and minds on these experimental Milk-themed dishes & drinks during Beakerhead!
Scroll and drool, or jump to a restaurants' offerings (*lacto-vegetarian option, ^vegan option):
Anju* - Avec* - Bank & Baron* - Barcelona - Beltliner* - Blue Star* - Booker's - Brasserie* - Briggs* - Burnt to Order - Burger 320* - Butcher and the Baker - Container* - Coup^ - Fine Diner - Full Circle - Home & Away* - Klein/Harris* - Market* - Midtown* - Modern Steak* - Paper St.* - Pie Cloud - PRLR* - Raw Bar* - Redwater Aspen - Redwater MacLeod - Shokunin^ - Township* - Vintage - Wine Bar* - Workshop*
Milk poached halibut w/ citrus milk skin & curry rice noodle.
Did you know? Milk "skin" is formed when you heat milk above 185 Fahrenheit, as the protein molecules lose their normal shape and start binding to each other. Acid hastens this process, called "denaturing". It's also the first step to making many types of fresh cheese like Indian paneer.
Over the Moon Cocktail: Rice Pudding, White Rum, Calvados Apple Brandy, Bowmore Scotch, Yogurt Cotton, Candy Rim.
Cured salmon with buttermilk emulsion. $17, happy hour portion $8 [3-6pm].
The milk aspect will be a seasoned buttermilk foamed with the addition of xanthan gum (a potent plant-derived thickener) to make it light and airy.
Dark chocolate tart with crispy milk. $10.
Milk will be transformed by slowly whipping over heat with glucose to form a very airy consistency and then dehydrated to make it crispy.
Banana Milkshake with crumbled banana bread, caramelized bananas, and dulce de leche. $9.
Add a shot of liquor if you choose (Frangelico, Kahula, Baileys, etc...)
Dulce De Leche is made in house by boiling a can of condensed milk for six hours without opening it. After the boiling process, it is left to cool where it then turns into creamy caramel goodness to enjoy. The caramelized bananas are bruleed with sugar and finished off with a blow torch for a perfect golden banana every time!
Sous vide milk poached Veal tenderloin, milk braised celeriac purée, chorizo oil sautéed Grelos (which the Spaniards call rapini), finished with a saffron infused milk foam. The fourth way is that we are using local milk fed veal. $27.
Reverse milk and cookies [Dinner only]. $8.
The idea is to make crunchy milk, and liquid cookie. The process will be to gel milk, let it firm up over a few hours, cut it into cookie sized pieces, and fry it. The other side of it will be the cookie “milk,” for dipping. It will essentially be a tea made from cookies, where the flavour of a cookie can be transferred to the liquid without producing any texture in the liquid.
Milk washed, tea-infused vodka. $12.
Black tea infused vodka that has been milk washed, the process of fat washing the liquor with milk, adding Citric acid and removing the milk solids. You are left with a creamy version of the liquor. This will be added with honey, lemon and Kensington bitters for a crisp, refreshing drink.
Blue Star Diner
Milk Punch 'raindrop cake' / Milk Crumb / Ovaltine / Demerara syrup. $8.
Milk punch as an alcoholic beverage has roots as far back as the 16th century. The recipe is a 3 day process that develops multiple layers of flavour into the final product. A mixture of Chamomile, orange, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon and sugar are muddled and allowed to marinate for 24 hours. the next day, the liquid is strained and pressed through a fine mesh sieve and reserved for the next step. (Heres where the milk comes in) Whole milk is brought to a simmer and fresh lemon juice is added to the flavourful juice we made the previous day. The acidic juice is added to the warm milk and allowed to curdle and cool completely in the fridge. Once completely cooled, the split milk mixture is very slowly strained into a new container over cheesecloth, catching the curds. once the liquid has passed through the cheese cloth, leaving the curds behind, the liquid is gently poured over the curds once more and allowed to slowly filter through the curds again. The result is a slightly golden, crystal clear liquid that is warmed with a small amount of agar and formed into the raindrop cake.
Smoked Seafood Trio: Lobster, Snow crab, and Shrimp with Milk, Coconut Milk, and Miso. $34.95.
This dish has paprika in it too. Milk is one of the best substances for cooling your tongue after eating spicy food, find out why with MythBusters.
Gateau au Trois Laits with milk chocolate wafer. $10.
The cake itself it quite dense, think poundcake density. Cake recipe is fairly straight forward and most recipes online follow the same style so I wont get into that. Whats amazing is the amount of dairy that this cake absorbs. A single recipe will absorb 2 cups whole milk, 1 (14 oz) can of condensed milk, 1 (12 fl oz) can of evaporated milk and 1.5 cups of whipping cream. After the cake is cooled it is pierced repeatedly with a fork. The combined milk mixture is then poured evenly over the cake in stages to ensure even distribution. The dairy does pool slightly upon the original addition but fully absorbs in approximately 10-12hrs. Think about eating a donut that you dipped in your coffee for like 15 seconds too long. That’s the texture, only its cold and tastes like heaven. From start to finish this process takes about 15-18 hrs. The chocolate garnish we have chosen is made out of milk chocolate, tempered then spread over bubble wrap and chilled. The result is a wafer like shape and crunchy melt on your tongue texture that will go nicely with the cake.
Pina Colada Milk Punch. $12.
The milk punch ends up being about a three day process starting with citrus and spices. The first night everything is left mulling together. In the second stage we add the boiled milk to the acidic mixture to clarify it pulling out most of the milk solids. It's left to settle another night with the last of solids remaining and the clear (ish) mixture left to drink!
Black and White: Hot Espresso, Licor 43 (a Spanish liquor), ice and half & half coffee cream. $8.
Did you know? An espresso steamed with half & half is called a breve. It's actually harder to get a good foam on a breve, because the fat gets between the hot protein molecules that make the foam. Learn more about the science of coffee foam here.
Burnt to Order
Crème and Carbon. $10. [Friday to Sunday Only]
Peach raspberry compote suspended under Madagascar Bourbon vanilla crème, topped with fizzy fruit salad.
Making the perfect crème brûlée depends on allowing the egg yolk and cream to coagulate at the perfect speed and temperature, we are using various dairy products to achieve a scientifically perfect coagulation.
The fruit suspension at the bottom of the crème brûlée requires a thorough understanding of the hygroscopic nature of sugar as well as how the acidity of fruit effects starches over time.
Dry ice is carbon dioxide in a solid form, when dry ice sublimes it turns into carbon dioxide gas. This gas is capable of penetrating the outer membrane of fruit. We will be using this chemistry to create fizzy (carbonated) fruit.
Crystallized Calcium Taco. $8.
Coolest ice cream sandwich in town!
Taco shell made from waffle cone, then dipped in Italian chocolate. Comes with soft serve gelato and a choice of toppings that include chocolate and caramel sauce, whipped cream, sprinkles and more.
Available at both Burger320 locations.
Mac + cheese: house-cured pork belly, sweet peas, ooey gooey three cheese sauce. $6.95.
We make a béchamel and then convert the béchamel into our version of Mornay Sauce for the dish. We use a blonde roux of equal parts fat (unsalted butter in our case) and all purpose flour to thicken our béchamel/Mornay sauce – a very traditional French technique in cooking.
Recipes are more than just a list of ingredients to combine...order matters! Learn the science behind why the flour doesn't just clump up in a béchamel by watching this video.
Monkey's Lunch. $8.
This cocktail uses banana infused milk as opposed to using a banana liqueur, and then floated with chilled espresso and Dark Rum. The drink is layered because the liquids are of different viscosity and specific gravity, meaning they are carefully put one on top of the other to prevent mixing.
To make the banana milk we're rehydrating dried bananas, then straining them out. We have found that it works much better and we get much more flavour from the bananas by using steamed milk - almost to the boiling point.
Macadamia milk horchata bubble tea [vegan, Dinner only]. $10 w/o alcohol, $15 with Ironworks Bluenose Black Rum.
This will be blended with Mexican vanilla bean and cinnamon, shaken with ice & served with ginger chai tapioca pearls. Like milk, horchata is traditional beverage to cool spicy dishes, and some recipes do include milk. Learn more about horchata from Serious Eats here.
Life in Five Bites. $27.
An epic gastronomic poem representing the stages of life through Milk. First, we have a baby phase represented by pure spherified milk (barely solidified by sodium alginate) and a bit of banana puree. Pop it in your mouth whole and bite down to release the milk for an amazing sensory experience. Next, childhood is represented by crumbled Captain Crunch and mini milk beads. Adolescence is a precariously perched milk sphere, atop fresh summer savoury representing one's salad days. Adulthood yields a more sophisticated palate: raw wagyu beef, black tomatoes, and a tarragon milk espuma (a foam stabilized with soy lecithin). Finally, a roll of the many sided white and milk chocolate mousse die tells us when we will, well, die. Nasturtium flower petals and strawberry mint seal the deal.
Rolled Mozzarella with proscuitto and fresh basil. $15. Demo every day during Beakerhead at 7pm: We will be taking fresh cheese curd and stretching it into a long sheet.
Mozzarella is part of the family of cheeses call ed pasta filata which also includes provolone, caciocavallo and scamorza. All of these cheeses are stretched which involves another step in cheese making not done in other cheeses. In order to stretch the cheese you must let the cheese curd sit and ripen. As the curd is left to sit, it slowly becomes more acidic which is important for flavour but vital to its ability to stretch. The magic number is a pH of 5.2 in order to stretch. Once the proper acidity is reached you immerse the curd in hot water and then carefully stretch it by hand.
Chai whiskey cocktail with cold brewed coffee made with milk and coconut milk, walnut bitters. $12.
Did you know? Cold brewed coffee made with fatty colloids like cow's milk instead of water takes half the time to brew (e.g. 5-6h instead of 10-12h) because it extracts both the water and fat soluble coffee flavours efficiently.
A deconstructed Iced Coffee. $10.
The milk protein has been removed leaving behind the clarified whey. This had been infused with a citrus flavour. Vanilla vodka is the alcoholic component. It is served with coffee infused pearls to provide the coffee element.
Caramelized milk Panna cotta, fresh corn, milk Chicharron, fermented cilantro stem.
We cook the milk sous vide at 92 degrees for 18 hours. The caramelized result is used to flavour the panna cotta: an Italian dessert of milk, cream, sugar warmed and set with gelatin. There are myriad ways to tweak panna cotta ingredients, with the fat to gelatin ratio being key to the best texture. Learn more here.
The Dude: Park Espresso Vodka, Sons of Vancouver Amaretto, soda, heavy cream, dehydrated orange wheel, cinnamon stick, 2 espresso beans. $8.
Submerge the orange wheel and stir with the cinnamon stick to draw out all the flavours of the cinnamon and orange.
Mark's Modern Irish Cream. $13.
I have chosen an Irish whiskey to compliment the main ingredient (milk) because I am hoping to showcase a product from my home country. Irish whiskey tends to be left behind, as the poorer cousin of the huge market for scotch. Tullamore Dew has a sweet component to its flavour profile that will sit well with the fullness of the milk. The other ingredients will blend together to perfectly for that classic Irish Cream finish.
The cocktail is a versatile one as it is great as a pre-dinner drink, but it is also fantastic after the Modern Steak dinner experience. It will be served in a coupe but it can be served on the rocks as well.
Nutmeg and milk are great at the end of a great meal, to aid digestion. It will also help with sleep. It is the perfect night-cap. Nutmeg is an ancient sleep remedy , science or fiction? Experiment for yourself
Rosso coffee shaft float with homemade baileys ice cream. $10.
The decadent ice cream is made using whole eggs, egg yolks, milk, cream and sugar that are turned into a custard base. The alcohol and sugar in the Bailey's also added to the final smooth texture. Learn more about the effects of all these ingredients on the final product here.
The Roundtree: Milk, coffee, chocolate bitters, rosemary, dark rum, sugar, sunflower lecithin as the emulsifier, kappa carrageenan as the thickener, nitrogenated into a drinkable foam.
Pie Cloud Country Fried Steak and Gravy. $15.95
Did you know scientists say cockroach milk could be the next superfood? While that’s a strange and fascinating idea, at Pie Cloud Diner and Bakery we‘ve stuck strictly to the moo variety. In fact, we found the only problem creating a special dish featuring cow milk was narrowing down all our choices. We could use cheese or yogurt, curd or ice cream. As you likely already know, we’re pretty big on desserts around here, making ice cream pies and pie milkshakes regularly, but we decided that the nature of Beakerhead is experimentation, so we messed around with milk in its finest, liquid form and came up with a new dish that contains milk cooked three different ways. Our Beakerhead experiment is entitled “Pie Cloud’s Country Fried Steak with Gravy.” In it, milk is used as part of our dredge process and it becomes part of a crispy, pan-fried coating on a yummy, sirloin steak. Milk is then an integral ingredient in our creamy Southern-style gravy that smothers said steak, and we’ve even slow-smoked milk, and used that to make a mound of flavorful, mashed potatoes. A side of creamed carrots (again, sneaking in as much milk as we can!) adds a bit of veg to the formula, for optimum milk consumption and gratification.
Teenage Dream: Sparkling Gin & Juice, Amaretto Creamsicle. $16.
Cream is used in the creamsicle which is frozen in a 2 stage method (frozen, churned and aerated, then molded and frozen again. I have also used a milk based emulsifier (lecithin) in my sparkling gin & juice.
Butter poached beet salad with white chocolate honey thyme ice cream, goat cheese crème fraiche and duck prosciutto. $13.95.
I am using CO2 (dry ice) to make my ice cream. With this method the water in the dairy will freeze much faster thus creating a smaller ice crystal and a creamier product. I am also curing and smoking my own duck in house so I can achieve a flavour that will complement the dish more. I wanted to create a savoury dish with many “dessert” applications and give a twist on the perceived notation that chocolate and ice cream need to be used in a sweet dish.
Milk braised pork shoulder with coffee risotto, black garlic butter and asparagus [Dinner Only]. $27.50
The function of the milk in the braise is to help break down the connective tissue as well as adding great flavor.
Nitrogen laced Japanese whiskey sundae. $9. [5-9PM Only]
Tofu ice cream sundae using soy milk with candied black walnuts and a whiskey syrup.
Nitrogen is believed to be the seventh most abundant element in the universe. At normal atmospheric pressure, nitrogen liquifies at -195.79°C. Using liquid nitrogen causes super fast crystallization of the water in the ice cream ingredients, and fast crystallization = tiny crystals = super-smooth ice cream.
Rasgulla with Coconut milk foam, pistachio, honeycomb, saffron. $10
Rasgulla is an Indian dessert made with the following process: Whole milk is deliberately curdled then hung in a muslin cloth over night, formed into balls and poached in a simple syrup. When cooked it resembles the texture of buffalo mozzarella, with a cool sweet taste of cardamom and pistachios. “Ras” is the syrup and “gulla” is the cloud like milk ball.
Milk + Miso Broth/Milk Braised Pork Shoulder/Chili + brown butter powder. $18. [Lunch Only]
"Milk" chocolate truffles. $10
The chocolate must be tempered by bringing it to 118 degrees Fahrenheit then brought back down to 84 degrees and held at that temperature. We coat a thin layer of the chocolate in to a silicone mold and let harden. For the milk centres we bring milk to a simmer and add gelatine to set it. When it's cool but not set we pour it into the molds and allow to set then cover the remainder with tempered chocolate.
Siete Leches: Buttermilk Genoise, Goat Milk Caramel, Milk Marshmallow, Milk Crisp, Coconut Milk Espuma [Dinner only]. $11.
This dessert dish incorporates milk in various forms, and includes cows milk, goat milk and coconut milk. We apply scientific process at each level to manipulate textures, temperatures and resulting flavours. The goal is to present something at first familiar, but upon further investigation and some tableside instruction, the elements are revealed to be in a form that will surprise and excite diners. Spanish in origin, we have elevated this dessert to a new standard which also represents the WORKSHOP approach to cuisine. Goat Milk Caramel: also called “cajeta” this process utilizes the Maillard process which caramelizes the milk solids in the goat milk and produces a rich, concentrated and nutty flavoured caramel. Milk Marshmallow: Using whole milk and gelatin to emulate the protein bonds in egg white – traditionally used in marshmallow. The result is a cloud of puffed milk sponge which melts on the palate.Milk Crisp: Using glucose and heat foamed milk, the result is a stabilized milk foam which is dehydrated and crisped to become usable. Resulting texture is an off white colored crunchy shard of milk crisp. Milk Espuma: Coconut milk is stabilized with agar agar powder and xantham gum (food based hydrocolloid) which is then transferred to a Nitrogen charged chamber and dispensed at high pressure. The dessert is served with all these elements surrounding a velvety and light genoise style cake soaked with sweetened buttermilk, and will include a caramelized whey powder garnish as an added surprise finishing element.