MCAH_Contributors_Nathan-Myhrvold_94Dr. Nathan Myhrvold is chief exec­u­tive offi­cer and a founder of Intellectual Ventures, a firm ded­i­cated to cre­at­ing and invest­ing in inven­tions. In addi­tion to stim­u­lat­ing the inven­tion of oth­ers, Myhrvold is him­self an active inven­tor, with nearly 250 patents issued or pending—including sev­eral related to food tech­nol­ogy. Before found­ing his inven­tion com­pany, Myhrvold was the first chief tech­nol­ogy offi­cer at Microsoft. He estab­lished Microsoft Research, and dur­ing his tenure he over­saw many advanced tech­nol­ogy projects. He left Microsoft in 1999 to pur­sue sev­eral inter­ests, includ­ing a life­long inter­est in cook­ing and food science.

Myhrvold com­peted on a team that won first place in sev­eral cat­e­gories at the 1991 World Championship of Barbecue, includ­ing first prize in the spe­cial pasta cat­e­gory for a recipe that Myhrvold devel­oped on the day of the contest.

After work­ing for two years as a stagier at Seattle’s top French restau­rant, Rover’s, Myhrvold com­pleted culi­nary train­ing with renowned chef Anne Willan at the Ecole De La Varenne. In addi­tion, he has worked as Chief Gastronomic Officer for Zagat Survey, pub­lisher of the pop­u­lar Zagat restau­rant guide­books. Through his many vis­its to the world’s top restau­rants, Myhrvold has become per­son­ally acquainted with many of the lead­ing Modernist chefs and the science-inspired cook­ing tech­niques they have pioneered.

Myhrvold is him­self an accom­plished prac­ti­tioner of Modernist cui­sine. He has con­tributed orig­i­nal research on cook­ing sous vide to online culi­nary forums, and his sous vide tech­niques have been cov­ered in the New York Times Magazine, Wired, and PBS’s “Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie” tele­vi­sion series.

Myhrvold’s for­mal edu­ca­tion includes degrees in math­e­mat­ics, geo­physics, and space physics from UCLA, and a PhD in math­e­mat­i­cal eco­nom­ics and the­o­ret­i­cal physics from Princeton University. In his post-doctoral work at Cambridge University, Myhrvold worked on quan­tum the­o­ries of grav­ity with the renowned cos­mol­o­gist Stephen Hawking.

Maxime Bilet

Maxime Bilet joined The Cooking Lab in 2007 as head chef and is a coauthor of Modernist Cuisine. He directs the research and development of recipes and culinary techniques with a team of four other full-time chefs and several part- time assistants. He is a coinventor on 10 pending patents that resulted from his experiments. Bilet also supervises the photo studio and has overseen styling of the unique food photography of both Modernist Cuisine and Modernist Cuisine at Home. He has led the culinary team’s dinners and events in Seattle and abroad. Bilet and the team have served the food of Modernist Cuisine to influential culinary thinkers, chefs, students, and journalists.

Scoffier magazine named Bilet one of the best emerging chefs in 2011, and Forbes magazine named him one of the top “30 under 30” in the food and wine industry. He has been a featured speaker at Madrid Fusión, the Epicurean Classic, Paris des Chefs, the International Culinary Center of New York, the Experimental Cuisine Collective Symposium, Maker Faire, and the Seattle Culinary Academy, among others. He and his work have also appeared in television programs, including the Martha Stewart show and “Modern Marvels.”

Bilet completed his baccalaureate at the Lycée Français of New York and his B.A. at Skidmore College in creative writing and art. He graduated with highest honors from the ICE culinary school in New York City. He became head chef at Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar at the age of 22 and later worked with Heston Blumenthal in the development kitchen at The Fat Duck.

Bilet is an active volunteer with the Hunger Intervention Program’s community kitchen, the Gossett Place youth center, and the Quick! Help for Meals program led by Peter Clarke and Susan Evans of the University of Southern California.