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Science + Cooking
April 15, 2012 3:17 AM   Subscribe

Harvard's Science & Cooking class - a collaboration between eminent Harvard researchers and world-class chefs - featured a series of public lectures from scientifically-minded A-list chefs, including Ferran Adrià (of elBulli), Wylie Dufresne (from wd~50), Grant Achatz (of Alinea), White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses, and Nathan Myhrvold .
posted by twoleftfeet (14 comments total) 85 users marked this as a favorite

 
Before any other comments, I'd like to thank the sponsors. Whole Foods, who provided many eggs for our experiments, and Lexus, because they gave us money.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:40 AM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


These lectures are pretty cool, I gained a lot of insight of modern techniques and respect for the chef Dan Barber from this video from the 2010 series: "Cultivating Flavor". He walks a nice line between being a chef who pursues the best favor with sustainable farming practices. (The link above goes directly to the beginning of his speech).
posted by jeremias at 5:25 AM on April 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here's a couple of lessons from the mentioned Heston Blumenthall, who has a very entertaining TV series.
posted by arzakh at 6:46 AM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Although Myrhvold seems to be regarded hereabouts as nothing but a patent troll, he's clearly a titanic intellect.

... began college at age 14. He studied mathematics, geophysics, and space physics at UCLA (BSc, Masters). He was awarded a Hertz Foundation Fellowship for graduate study and he chose to study at Princeton University, where he earned a master's degree in mathematical economics and completed a PhD in theoretical and mathematical physics by age 23. He also attended Santa Monica College. For one year, he held a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge working under Stephen Hawking, studying cosmology, quantum field theory in curved space time, and quantum theories of gravitation.

His six-volume Modernist Cuisine is available as a 2 GB torrent. It is the kind of intellectual achievement one would remove one's hat before - if men still wore hats.
posted by Trurl at 7:15 AM on April 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


See, real philosophers don't dine, they cook.
posted by polymodus at 9:40 AM on April 15, 2012


Although Myrhvold seems to be regarded hereabouts as nothing but a patent troll, he's clearly a titanic intellect.

Can't he be both?
posted by one_bean at 9:43 AM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here is a link to the playlist of the lectures, for those of us who are going to take our time watching all of them.
posted by thecjm at 9:54 AM on April 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Although Myrhvold seems to be regarded hereabouts as nothing but a patent troll, he's clearly a titanic intellect.

I just heard this was 4 real. How come nobody told me?!
posted by srboisvert at 11:30 AM on April 15, 2012


Myrhvold is definitely the odd one out. He's rich enough that he doesn't have to make a living by cooking; rich enough that he can spend most of his time playing. And it's fun to play with your food.

Myrhvold's Modernist Cuisine, with costs $453.46 and has a shipping weight of 51.3 pounds, is definitely worth procuring somehow. (Thanks Trurl!) If you like to cook it will open your mind to strange new possibilities. If you like to eat, the books have some very nice food porn.

But I wonder how that affects Myrhvold when he's at home. Somebody told me that most chefs - people who actually cook for a living - tend to eat very simple foods at home. I don't know if that's true, but is it true for the Myrhvold household? He actually has laboratory equipment in his home kitchen! If somebody has all that equipment, and likes to tinker with food, can he really come home after a hard day of patent trolling or whatever and just whip up some good old Kraft Mac & Cheese? I don't think so. Nathan Myrhvold comes home and cooks the macaroni sous vide for 4 hours, puts the cheese in a centrifuge and adds glucono delta-lactone. You know he does.

The man is cursed.

So be gentle on him, Metafilter.

And Nathan, if you read this, may I offer you a suggestion? It's impossible to completely hate anyone who just fed you the most delicious meal you've ever had. People would be like "that Hitler guy did all that killing and stuff but, man, those raspberry tarts he makes are out of this world!". And, Nathan, I know you can cook food that great. Would you be willing to invite all of Metafilter over to your place for a nice dinner? I will be there.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:30 PM on April 15, 2012


Before any other comments, I'd like to thank the sponsors. Whole Foods, who provided many eggs for our experiments, and Lexus, because they gave us money.

Us? Our? What is your connection to this? Should you be posting about this?
posted by briank at 7:20 PM on April 15, 2012


Should you be posting about this?

No eggs were used during the making of this post.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:58 PM on April 15, 2012


Us? Our? What is your connection to this? Should you be posting about this?
posted by briank

Hee! Look down at the bottom of the page on the first link briank. Hook. Line. And. Sinker.
posted by unliteral at 10:27 PM on April 15, 2012


Er, yeah... I was making a joke because I thought it was odd that Harvard has corporate sponsored lectures. The lectures are good though.

I promise you that I am not shilling for Whole Foods or Lexus.

On the other hand, I've been thinking about cooking great meals with my car engine and I can only imagine how much better they would be if I used those fresh ingredients available at Whole Foods and cooked them under the hood of a new Lexus LX.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:19 PM on April 15, 2012


Curse you Trurl. As if I don't have enough to get through with all my TV series, movies, music, podcasts, e-books and physical books - you had to turn me on to the easy availability of the 6 volume Modernist Cuisine? I'm madly cramming The Fat Duck Cookbook because of my impending encounter with Blumenthal next month and you drop this on me? I've scanned through the first volume today and I'm giddy over heels, so thank you and curse you.
posted by unliteral at 6:42 AM on April 16, 2012


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