As you may have guessed, The Cooking Lab is a bit different than the restaurant kitchens most chefs work in (even discounting the presence of centrifuges and rotavaps). One thing it does have in common with other professional kitchens around the world, though, is this: it takes a lot of people to make it run smoothly. As Nathan points out, at one moment during the creation of Modernist Cuisine more than 30 people were at the lab working, from editing and photographing to consulting and, of course, cooking. Check out this video of Nathan introducing some of the key players, with clips of life in a Modernist kitchen.
Mr. Fahey-Burke grew up in Athens, Ohio and attended the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) immediately after high school. After completing his internship at Aureole in New York and graduating from culinary school, he enrolled in a six-month fellowship program at the CIA, which he spent at the Italian restaurant on campus.
Mr. Fahey-Burke then moved to Bray, U.K., where he worked at The Fat Duck for two years. He also held positions at COI in San Francisco and FiftyThree in Singapore before joining the Modernist Cuisine team as sous chef of the culinary lab.
Anjana Shanker: Chef
Ms. Shanker was born and raised in Coorg, Southern India. Her interest in food can be traced to her childhood spent on a cardamom, coffee, and orange plantation, where there was an emphasis on local, seasonal, and sustainable ingredients. Ms. Shanker inherited a love of cooking from her mother, who enjoyed sharing the family’s culinary secrets as they prepared elaborate meals together.
While growing up, Ms. Shanker dreamt of opening a café to feature her homegrown coffee and spices. She eventually left Coorg to attend college in Chennai, but her agrarian upbringing continues to influence her cooking. Ms. Shanker applies modern techniques to the flavors from her past and remains committed to using local, seasonal, and sustainable ingredients.
After attaining a BA in economics and history, Ms. Shanker worked for Nestlé and Singapore Airlines. She later moved to the U.S. to attend Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale, Arizona where she graduated with honors. This training broadened her gastronomic education and exposed her to different culinary traditions. Ms. Shanker’s culinary training continued at Mary Elaine’s in Scottsdale, and Lampreia in Seattle.
Ms. Shanker is inspired by chefs Alain Passard and Michel Bras’s vision and approach to cooking. She is constantly honing her skills and knowledge in their path. Preserving the essence and flavor of ingredients has become a passion for Ms. Shanker, as is her work with the Hunger Intervention Program, a Seattle charity where she has volunteered for the last three years.
Johnny Zhu: Chef
Originally from Shanghai, Mr. Zhu grew up in Seattle. His roots and upbringing helped shape his passion for food, as he grew up in a family that loved to eat, travel, and share their culinary adventures. Experiences such as eating his way through Singapore for his 30th birthday helped Mr. Zhu realize his love for intense flavors.
Mr. Zhu honed his love of food into a career. A graduate of Reed College and the Western Culinary Institute, he has worked for such notable restaurants as Alinea, Jean-Georges, and Spice Market. Mr. Zhu was chef de cuisine for Veil in Seattle and then head chef for Eric Bahn’s Monsoon restaurants before joining the Modernist Cuisine team.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.