Harvard SEAS lecture, 11/21/11, Nathan Myhrvold

Random thought – I am jealous of the students who get to take this class. Last week, they got to attend a cooking panel starring some famous local chefs like Jody Adams (Rialto) and Joanne Chang (Flour).


For those unfamiliar with Nathan Myhrvold, he’s the driving force behind the “Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking” books. It’s a six volume book that retails at $625. The books set out to show 1) step by step instructions for cooks at all levels, 2) show technique, 3) be modern, and 4) explain some food science. It’s 1500 pages. One volume alone has four pounds of ink in it. It’s got food history, equipment explanations, and an insert of the recipes on washable paper. Nathan admits that 50% of the recipes are doable by your average home cook. Another 25% requires some high tech equipment, and the last 25% of the recipes cannot even be done at the more high tech, haute cuisine restaurants.

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Harvard SEAS lecture, 10/3/11, Grant Achatz and Craig Schoettler

Technically, tonight’s lecture was about texture and mouth feel, but really it was about the cocktails at Grant Achatz’s bar/lounge in Chicago. And since, it’s Grant Achatz we’re talking about, he doesn’t like limiting himself to the ordinary. “Why must cocktails be served in glass? Do cocktails need to be liquids?” You get the idea. And when cocktails have re-emerged as the new hip thing, how does one go about setting themselves apart? How does one go about making this about the experience overall?

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