From the blog January 2, 2013 Scott

Top Chef Seattle Visits Modernist Cuisine

When we found out that Top Chef would be filming season 10 in Seattle, we couldn’t let them leave town without stopping by the Modernist Cuisine lab. About midway through the season, we hosted Padma Lakshmi and the remaining contestants for a 22-course tasting to give them firsthand experience of some of the iconic dishes from Modernist Cuisine.

The 22-course meal (menu reprinted below) was prepared by our five full-time development chefs, including our previous head chef, Maxime Bilet, plus three stagiaires. The feast contained hundreds of individual components, so the team began its prep work weeks in advance. The entire dinner service lasted two and a half hours, which may sound lengthy but works out to an average duration of just six minutes and 48 seconds per course. Our original menu boasted more than 30 courses but had to be trimmed to meet time constraints.

The Top Chef production crew outnumbered the contestants by a wide margin, so we weren’t able to feed the entire crew. But, whenever possible, we sneaked samples of each dish to the crew members perched on the mezzanine above our kitchen and around the corner in our conference room, which had been annexed as “video village,” a space for the producers to watch video feeds from each camera.

Hardcore fans of Top Chef may recall that Nathan Myhrvold was a guest judge on last year’s “BBQ Pit Wars” episode. It was a pleasure to host the Top Chef team on our home turf and to give them a taste of our version of Seattle cooking.



Salt and Vinegar Pommes Soufflées

pregelatinized starch, spray-dried vinegar

Bread and Butter

centrifuged pea “butter”


freeze-dried corn, brown butter, cilantro blossoms


Steak Frites

ultrasonic fries, pressure-rendered beef mousseline


savory constructed cream, cherries





Squid Salad

crispy squid jerky, MAPP flame, Thai flavors


Spaghetti alle Vongole

Taylor’s geoduck, vacuum-molded and centrifuged broth






Summer Vegetable Broth

centrifuged peas, pickled Meyer lemon, sheep’s milk ricotta

Rare Beef Stew

sous vide rare beef jus, garden vegetables and cured beef marrow


Caramelized Carrot Soup

pressure caramelization, carotene butter, young coconut noodles



Gruyère velouté, flash-pickled grapes, lots of brassicas





Raw Quail Egg

a touch of protein from our rooftop farm


Polenta Marinara

pressure-cooked with corn juice


Mushroom Omelet

constructed egg stripes, combi oven, Porcini


Chinook King, Hazelnut, and Sorrel

aromatic nuts and seeds, lemon butter, wild greens


“Le Ski” Apple Snowball

vacuum-aerated sorbet, frozen fluid-gel powder

Roast Chicken

Mamie France’s cream sauce, morels, vin jaune



72 h sous vide, Taki’s sweet onion sauerkraut, fresh Oregon wasabi





Milk Shake

goat milk, vacuum reduction

Summer Minestrone

vacuum-infused fruits and vegetables, candied white beans

Pistachio Gelato

pistachio cream, strawberries, violet and pistachio crumble



Gummy Worms

peanut butter and jelly, fish-lure molds


  1. Maxlharris April 16, 2013 Reply

    8 soon.

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