Dr. 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 stagierat 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.
Chris Young opened the experimental kitchen at The Fat Duck and worked under world-famous chef Heston Blumenthal to oversee development of his most innovative dishes. Young completed degrees in mathematics and biochemistry at the University of Washington. He left behind his doctoral work for a job as commis chef at one of Seattle’s top-rated restaurants, and quickly earned a reputation for his ability to apply science and technology in the kitchen.
At The Fat Duck, Young expanded the experimental kitchen from one to more than six full-time chefs. He also coordinated the work of several consultant scientists. Beyond developing new dishes for the Fat Duck’s menu, Young was responsible for managing the recipe development for the critically acclaimed first and second seasons of “BBC’s Perfection: With Heston Blumenthal.” Young has also written extensively on the science of food and cooking for The Fat Duck Cookbook and has published scholarly research in the Journal of Agricultural Chemistry and Food Science.
Young has been an invited speaker at the Culinary Institute of America, University of Washington, University of Reading, the British Society of Food Flavourists, and various food companies.
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.