In 2012 I sat down for a meal at Chicago’s Alinea for an evening that was a collection of firsts. I was a young line cook at the time, training under Dave Arnold and his modernist cooking techniques, but I still hadn’t experienced this style of cooking as a diner. One of the first things I asked the staff after I sat at my table was: “Do you have the balloon?”
You know the one, the gelatin-based, green apple-flavored floating creation that’s one of many things Alinea is known for. Immediately after I asked, balloons started filing into the dining room, with one finally landing in front of me.
Now, years later, I’m trying to recreate the edible balloon on You Can Do This. I started by trying a recipe I found online but it broke continuously. So I made calls, sent emails, and did research to find a better way: It’s not nearly as perfect as Alinea’s, but it’s a solution that works.