Molecular gastronomy may sound more like a science fair experiment than an approach to cooking, but Chef Bernhard Klinger of artcafe26 is breaking down barriers between the science world and the culinary world.
Klinger and artcafe26, located at 5107-2 Center St. in New Town, have been honored with recent awards for an off-the-beaten-trail approach to cooking.
Artcafe26 founder and owner Sibilla Dengs said Klinger’s approach to cooking is to change the texture of food in order to enhance the taste. An example of his work is artcafe26’s ice cream and sorbet, which Klinger flash-freezes using liquid nitrogen.
“It’s an instant freeze … and it tastes unbelievable,” Dengs said.
In March, Klinger was named to the list of Best Chefs America, which is a list of chefs nominated for their culinary achievements by other chefs and food enthusiasts. Klinger joined the list with four other Historic Triangle chefs, all representing Williamsburg: Daniel Yves Abid of Le Yaca French Restaurant, Chun Felix of Opus 9, Thomas Powers Jr. of Fat Canary and Tim Westby-Gibson of Prime46Forty.
Dengs said a number of things led to Klinger’s name being added to the Best Chefs America list: “the consistency of quality, being creative, using local farms, incorporating a lot of organic food and just having incredible teamwork.”
Dengs and Klinger have been working together for five years, and Klinger was named co-owner three years ago; artcafe26 was founded in March 2006.
The teamwork of Dengs and Klinger in their business of exhibiting art and pairing culinary offerings with the art on display has also led artcafe26 to receive another award: OpenTable’s Top 100 Fit for Foodies Restaurants.
“We are absolutely overwhelmed and feel very honored, believe me it is not something I just say lightheartedly … When you think out of the box, that is a challenge, but obviously we must have done something right,” Dengs said.
The New Town restaurant joins 99 restaurants from 26 states, chosen from 5 million reviews of more than 15,000 restaurants across the country on OpenTable’s list of restaurants fit for foodies.
“These restaurants put the wow factor in everything they serve,” says Caroline Potter, OpenTable Chief Dining Officer, in a release. “Through pure imagination and ingenuity, they’re taking culinary creativity to another level with delicious dishes that are as fun to eat as they are to share on social media.”