Britain's first "molecular gastro-pub" called Bacchus has opened in London's trendy Hoxton district. Head chef Nuno Mendes says it is about breaking down the barriers that people think should exist in cooking. Eighty per cent of the dishes are prepared with vacuum cookers, and include candied garlic and lemon mayonnaise sponge, black paella paint and iced peanut powder. The fad for combining unlikely ingredients was made famous by Fat Duck proprietor Heston Blumenthal, who created snail porridge at his Berkshire restaurant. Some restaurants in Chicago serve chocolate pudding tied in knots, while in London business consultant Lawrence Wale dishes up parmesan ice-cream. Some "purists" have condemned the technique as gimmicky. But Blumenthal argues that dining is increasingly being treated as a "theatrical spectacle". The Sunday Times 15/10/06 page 11