Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Physics and the Art of Cooking


Nathan Myhrvold, a master French chef, nature and wildlife photographer, and computational genius (started college at the age of 13 and got a PhD by 23!) recently co-wrote a cookbook showing the Physics in cooking. Myhrvold and a team of scientists and chefs created “The Cooking Lab” where experiments were done to determine the best way to cook a variety of foods.

In the lab, Myhrvold and team had traditional cooking equipment alongside centrifuges, ultrahigh pressure homogenizers, ultrasonic bathes, etc.. The group used the science equipment to test new techniques for cooking a variety of every day foods, such as French Fries, find ways to make new foods, such as pea butter, and determine the best temperature and times for cooking different foods.

Myhrvold and team make it clear that physics and science play a key role in the art of cooking. Temperature, pressure, and classical dynamics all can be linked to the equipment and techniques that Myhrvold et al. employed to create masterful food.

Here is the link to the wired.com article (and the picture below): http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/02/ff_myhrvoldteam/

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