Author: Nathan

June 18, 2014

Welcoming Ferran Adrià

Ferran Adrià is one of the most creative and influential chefs alive, but that isn’t the entire story. He’s also a philosopher and an avant-garde provocateur. From 1983 until it closed in 2011, elBulli was a fountain of tremendous creativity and stimulation, and it was often a source of controversy because of its techniques, approaches […]

April 10, 2014

Celebrating Steven Shaw

The culinary world lost an innovative voice on Tuesday. I’m shocked and deeply saddened to lose Steven, who has been a great friend to me and to the entire culinary world.

November 5, 2013

Remembering Charlie Trotter

This morning, the world lost a culinary legend with the passing of Charlie Trotter, chef and owner of the world-famous Charlie Trotter’s restaurant Chicago. Charlie left a lasting legacy. He was a pioneer in the world of fine dining, and was one of the first American chefs to create a model for haute cuisine that […]

May 22, 2013

Announcing Our New Book: The Photography of Modernist Cuisine

When I began writing Modernist Cuisine, I had several goals in mind: to explore the scientific principles behind cooking, to explain the latest Modernist techniques from the top restaurants around the world, and to punctuate the collection with stunning visuals. Nearly every review that came in cited our photography; even commenters who took issue with […]

April 4, 2013

Six Steps for Deep-Frying Without a Deep Fryer

We’re big fans of deep-frying as a finishing technique after cooking sous vide. You don’t need to own a dedicated fryer. You just need a deep pot and the proper tools to insert and retrieve the food from a safe distance: long tongs, a slotted deep-fry spoon, or a frying basket. Follow the steps below […]

March 20, 2013

The Maillard Reaction

One of the most important flavor-producing reactions in cooking is the Maillard reaction. It is sometimes called the “browning reaction” in discussions of cooking, but that description is incomplete at best. Cooked meats, seafood, and other protein-laden foods that undergo the Maillard reaction do turn brown, but there are other reactions that also cause browning. […]

March 12, 2013

Is It Safe to Cook with Plastic?

Since writing Modernist Cuisine and Modernist Cuisine at Home, we’ve been asked many times to comment on the safety of cooking in plastic bags. Many of our sous vide recipes, from our Sous Vide Salmon and Rare Beef Jus to our Cranberry Consommé and Scrambled Egg Foam, require vacuum-sealing or using a zip-top bag. Similarly, […]

March 1, 2013

What Is Xanthan Gum?

Some people are suspicious of ingredients with unfamiliar names, such as xanthan gum. We are frequently asked, “Aren’t your dishes chock-full of chemicals?” Well, yes, but all foods are, including the most natural and organic ones. But nearly all of those chemicals are derived from natural ingredients or processes that have been used for decades. […]

February 19, 2013

How Whipping Siphons Work

Whipping siphons are useful for making so much more than whipped cream. We use ours all the time for making fresh soda, speeding up marinating, infusing fruit, or topping a dish with foam or flavor or textural contrast. Whether you’re carbonating, infusing, or foaming, there are a few basics you should know. The siphon requires […]

February 5, 2013

How Pressure Cookers Work

Pressure cookers are fantastic tools. They develop the characteristic flavors and textures of foods so quickly that what is conventionally a long, labor-intensive process becomes one hardly more time-consuming than a casual sauté. Risotto takes six minutes instead of 25. An intense chicken stock takes only 90 minutes. You can even pressure-cook food in canning […]

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