Four years ago I started an adventure of working for the inventors of the combi oven. Four years ago, on my second day of work, I was afforded the pleasure of walking into the home kitchen of one of the most incredible food minds in the world, Nathan Myhrvold. Today I had another experience that both blew my work mind as well as my own personal interests mind. I got to tour the Modernist Cuisine kitchen. If you don’t have this encyclopedia of the science of cooking, and have a few hundred dollars laying around, you should probably go out and make an investment, it will change your life as a cook/chef.
A couple weeks ago I was cooking at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago. Although very excited and honored to be popped into the kitchen for the show production, I was unable to spend any time with the ten or eleven people that had traveled all the way from the Northwest to Chicago to attend the show. One of those people was Scott Heimendinger, AKA the SeattleFoodGeek. My good buddy and Colleague, Chef Mulli shouted out to me while I was cooking “Hey, say hi to Scott!!” and we both shot a hello wave across our arena booth. I have known of Scott for quite a while as he is the software brain that posted the plans to an affordable immersion circulator on his blog that I have built and been using at home since (built2 of them now!). I was excited to have kinda met the guy, but was too focused on production to be able to step away.
So upon returning home and back to normal work, I contacted Scott and he invited me to come meet him at the Modernist Cuisine Kitchen. The first time I met Nathan I went to train his kitchen staff on two RATIONAL ovens that are NOT in the test kitchen, so this would be my first time seeing this place. In addition, the staff would be in full production mode for one of their dinners, which you don’t pay for, cannot make reservations for, and can only be blessed to attend with a personal invitation. I walk up to this secret location giddy as a school girl. When I enter, I sign my life away to promise I will never speak of the scientific craziness behind this door. (Scott told me I could post some of this, so im sorry I didnt have incredible pictures, but there are lasers that can split cut your car in half in the joint). Scott comes to meet me and I’m quite amazed at what a cool dude he is. Scott Heimendinger went from being a software brainiac to culinary mastermind… wonder why he works with Nathan Myrhvold? (if y’all dunno, Nathan was one of the founding papa’s of Microsoft and continued to pursue his passion, the science of cooking, ultimately producing the encyclopedia of modern cooking, Modernist Cuisine). We began the tour with a gigantic Rotary Evaporator that they use to get the essence of goat milk with. Then on to a Centrifuge the size of your washing machine where Scott removed some tomato water to show me. Hey, look over here, Cryo-Shucking Oysters… that’s how you do it at home huh? Oh, hey, vintage RATIONAL that is used to make the longest roast chicken process in the world! They described the process of using an ultra-sonic bath to make their signature French Fries. After a tour of the full on machinists workshop, and some of the serving-ware they have produced, and a long discussion of some business ideas, I was being walked out of the building. But on the way out, I was shown a laser system that was invented to fight malaria. Lasers that find and shoot mosquitos dead…. Whoa.
A Truby can only hope to be invited over for a dinner one day…