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Former Microsoft CTO Builds Kitchen Laboratory

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the what-do-you-want-to-eat-today dept.

Idle 127

circletimessquare writes "Nathan Myhrvold, former CTO of Microsoft, is self-publishing a cook book with scientific underpinnings. The man who presided over the original iterations of Windows has built a laboratory kitchen, hired 5 chefs, and plays with misplaced lab equipment: using an autoclave as a pressure cooker, using a 100-ton hydraulic press to make beef jerky, and using an ultrasonic welder for... he's not sure yet. The article includes a video on how to cryosear and cryorender duck. 'It's basically like a software project,' Dr. Myhrvold said. 'It's very much like a review we would do at Microsoft.' Is it possible to BSoD food?"

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127 comments

"Is it possible to BSoD food?" (5, Funny)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 4 years ago | (#30140818)

It is now.

Re:"Is it possible to BSoD food?" (4, Funny)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30140856)

Bad Soup of Death?

Re:"Is it possible to BSoD food?" (4, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141226)

So they hired my mother-in-law?

Re:"Is it possible to BSoD food?" (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141232)

Boiled Soup of Dehydration.

Re:"Is it possible to BSoD food?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30141616)

personally I was thinking something more along the lines of "Bland Soup of Diarrhea"
after all... a BSOD doesn't normally 'kill' the computer... just puts it out of action untill you reset the system.

Re:"Is it possible to BSoD food?" (2, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142990)

Hmm...I kinda like this idea of science and cooking/food better the first time I heard about it when it was called Good Eats.

That and Alton Brown throws in a little Python-esqe humor with his stuff.

Re:"Is it possible to BSoD food?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143248)

No soup for you!

Re:"Is it possible to BSoD food?" (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143506)

Bad Soup of Death?

Eric XIV of Sweden [wikipedia.org] will vouch for this issue.

binspam from the patent troll myhrvold (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30142220)

Myhrvold is one of Microsoft's biggest and most active patent trolls [techcrunch.com] . Technically, blogging for pay is a legal business model. If slashdot is getting paid to market him, then fine, but at least disclose [spinwatch.org] it.

Re:"Is it possible to BSoD food?" (1)

Cassini2 (956052) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142318)

This is Microsoft we are talking about. They gave us the Blue Screen of Death.

Re:"Is it possible to BSoD food?" (1)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142486)

Beware the blue cheese, used for...

Blue Sauce of Death!

Re:"Is it possible to BSoD food?" (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143564)

If the duck is blue,
it's not for you.

Re:"Is it possible to BSoD food?" (1)

demachina (71715) | more than 4 years ago | (#30144090)

Botulism Salmonella or Diarrhea?

If it is as ... (1)

Unclenefeesa (640611) | more than 4 years ago | (#30140882)

... slow as Vista, we will starve to death.

Patent troll or genuis (or both ?) (3, Interesting)

iMaple (769378) | more than 4 years ago | (#30140886)

The was an article on him a few years ago which seemed to suggest that he was being a patent troll and his 'inventions' just a cover (though to be fair he is a real super genius... worked with Stephen Hawking, publications in Nature and Science and even a paper on paleontology !!! ):

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2006/07/10/8380798/ [cnn.com]

(Who's afraid of Nathan Myhrvold?
The giants of tech, that's who. And they have a nasty name for the former Microsoft honcho: "patent troll."
FORTUNE Magazine
By Nicholas Varchaver, FORTUNE senior writer
June 26 2006: 1:20 PM EDT)

Patent troll or not, I have to admit that kitchen would have any tech savy cook drooling :) :)

Re:Patent troll or genuis (or both ?) (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141594)

And now, they can make potato chips at EXACTY 204.6 C. And, perfect cooked rice

Heston Blumethal may have some prior art. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30141996)

http://www.fatduck.co.uk/

"We embrace innovation—new ingredients, techniques, appliances, information, and ideas—whenever it can make a real contribution to our cooking.

We do not pursue novelty for its own sake. We may use modern thickeners, sugar substitutes, enzymes, liquid nitrogen, sous-vide, dehydration, and other nontraditional means, but these do not define our cooking. They are a few of the many tools that we are fortunate to have available as we strive to make delicious and stimulating dishes.

Similarly, the disciplines of food chemistry and food technology are valuable sources of information and ideas for all cooks. Even the most straightforward traditional preparation can be strengthened by an understanding of its ingredients and methods, and chemists have been helping cooks for hundreds of years. The fashionable term “molecular gastronomy” was introduced relatively recently, in 1992, to name a particular academic workshop for scientists and chefs on the basic food chemistry of traditional dishes. That workshop did not influence our approach, and the term “molecular gastronomy” does not describe our cooking, or indeed any style of cooking." - Heston Blumethal

Dear Microsoft (0, Flamebait)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#30140890)

Thou shalt not brute-force cooking.

REAL chefs will have no interest in your stupid book.

Re:Dear Microsoft (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30140980)

Who said he wants chefs to read it?

maybe it's aimed at engineers, scientists and programmers, and people who like reading interesting things written by interesting people...

Besides, any fool can cook ordinary food in an ordinary kitchen. It's the mad food scientists like Heston Blumenthal and presumably this bloke (would help if it was actually possible to RTFA...) that are doing interesting and different things (they might be pointless and daft, but they're interesting and definitely book-worthy)

Re:Dear Microsoft (2, Informative)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141524)

Thou shalt not brute-force cooking. REAL chefs will have no interest in your stupid book.

Never heard of Heston Blumenthal then...

Re:Dear Microsoft (2, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142440)

"Thou shalt not brute-force cooking. REAL chefs will have no interest in your stupid book."

Never heard of Heston Blumenthal then...

Or Wylie Dufresne [wd-50.com] , or Homaro Cantu [wikipedia.org] , or the field of Molecular Gastronomy [wikipedia.org] .

Lots of chefs are using cutting edge technology to do really exotic things with food both in technique and results. And, they've been doing it for a long time.

Cheers

MS food (5, Funny)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#30140892)

After you consume it, 2 ports will open spontaneously and you will be ejecting data for days.

Re:MS food (2, Funny)

asliarun (636603) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141066)

Only if you eat spaghetti code.

Re:MS food (4, Funny)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141244)

The phrase 'core dump' springs to mind.

Re:MS food (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141372)

Definitely. [theregister.co.uk]

Re:MS food (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141994)

no that is what happens when you eat ham salad from dollar tree.

Think of the starving people in the world (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30140902)

This guy is treating food like he treats money -- something to play with instead of use for the benefit of Man.

Re:Think of the starving people in the world (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#30140920)

I presume you're posting from the library, that you may put the money you'd otherwise spend on an internet connection into feeding the poor?

Re:Think of the starving people in the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30141018)

The result of feeding flies is you get more flies. The world is maggot infested enough.

Re:Think of the starving people in the world (1)

BluBrick (1924) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141480)

Relax, AC's just making a slashdot post. It's not like he's over-engineering a recipe for a crappy bar-room snack by using heavy industrial equipment.

And so now they can claim... (1)

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30140908)

All your roast-beefs are belong to us ?!?

Microsoft! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30140972)

Wasting giant gobs of money in useless and stupid ways!

It's not something you can teach. You're just born to be that stupid.

Re:Microsoft! (1)

fotoguzzi (230256) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141002)

You're not thinking of this from the perspective of the 100-ton hydraulic press manufacturer.

just don't (1)

stillpixel (1575443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30140990)

try to get his ingredients.. or he'll sue your under the DMCA.

Method (3, Funny)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141000)

If they program like they cook, it explains ME and Vista.

Re:Method (2, Funny)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141246)

If they program like they cook, it explains ME and Vista.

I was thinking more along the lines of they ate too much of a bad batch of Win 98 and barfed up ME.

After snacking on that XP that had been left out of the refrigerator too long, barfed up Vista.

In software and the kitchen (1)

fotoguzzi (230256) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141030)

he's forcing ram to do preposterous things.

Heston Blumenthal got there first (4, Informative)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141036)

For those who don't know, this is nothing new. Heston Blumenthal, who runs The Fat Duck [fatduck.co.uk] at Bray, Berkshire, for those of you with a few hundred euros to spend on dinner, has been doing this for years. Blumenthal uses laboratory equipment because it gives better, more consistent results than standard cooking equipment and is designed to stand up to the workloads of a commercial kitchen, but he has extended this a long way to develop new ideas. I'm assuming that this guy knows about him and his work and decided to try to go one better (possibly because of his connection to a company famous for doing precisely that?)

Re:Heston Blumenthal got there first (2, Insightful)

beh (4759) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141060)

Same thought here - sounds a lot like Heston Blumenthal's approach to cooking... ...and in a true Microsoft way, Nathan Myhrvold will now 'innovate' this as the new way, long after others have 'paved the way'... ;-)

Though, I doubt Myhrvold will pick up 3 Michelin stars along the way, like Blumenthal has.

Re:Heston Blumenthal got there first (1, Interesting)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141120)

Oh yes let's do crap dishes and make people pay oodles of money for it.

I have seen and heard about the Fat Duck and while the elite cuisine establishment can be quite anal, we don't need to go to molecular chemistry. For if we go to molecular chemistry why are we even using real food in the first place? Why not just synthesize everything in the first place? Would make life a lot easier for the Fat Duck....

What bothers me with people like Nathan and in fact the entire freaken generation like him is that they feel did something really big in one thing then they are God's gift to the world and can do everything else. I wish these folks would just sit on the sidelines and let people come up with real solutions. For if this nut job had real skills he would invent a way to grow an artificial piece of steak! Imagine how much better our planet would be if we could grow artificial steaks? We could eat meat and not have the side effects of screwing up our planet. But hey that would require real work and I doubt his generation wants to do that...

Re:Heston Blumenthal got there first (3, Interesting)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141182)

I'm assuming you've not eaten at the Fat Duck? It's not won the "world's best restaurant" title for nothing. Whilst you can take this too far and create some truly out-there dishes (HB's famous "Sound of the Sea" for example, the idea of taking a scientific approach to cooking, rather than the Mrs Beaton hand-me-down-old-wives-tales, isn't a bad one. You can use great, natural ingredients but cook them in accurate, innovative methods. Much like military/aeronautic technology trickles down to the consumer eventually, so might this: e.g. sous vide cooking in the home, etc.

Re:Heston Blumenthal got there first (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30144364)

Doing food chemistry in the kitchen is just novelty. The restaurant is loved because it's new and exciting to the jaded, idle rich. One immutable property of novelty is that it always wears off.

Re:Heston Blumenthal got there first (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141264)

I wish these folks would just sit on the sidelines and let people come up with real solutions

Perhaps you should ignore the media hype about the Fat duck and its so-called 'molecular cooking' (which is just a term used to describe thinking what happens when you cook - like protein chains tightening under heat, etc).

For real solutions, take a look at what he did with the restaurant chain Little Chef. This was an iconic British brand from years back that was in decline, so he came in to make menus for it that would fit its price range and quick cook requirements. He did very well at it too. There were 2 programmes on Channel 4 [channel4.com] about it, take a look.

The other programmes he did were to reinvent ancient recipes, and to show the 'ultimate' way of cooking favourite dishes. His steak one was impressive if impractical for your average home cook.

Re:Heston Blumenthal got there first (2, Insightful)

asliarun (636603) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142014)

Flamebait, but I'll bite.

Oh yes let's do crap dishes and make people pay oodles of money for it.

So what? You pay money for crappy food, don't you? Or do you eat Kobe steaks all the time? In any case, crappiness is purely a subjective thing. Lots of people don't seem to find it crappy at all.

I have seen and heard about the Fat Duck and while the elite cuisine establishment can be quite anal, we don't need to go to molecular chemistry. For if we go to molecular chemistry why are we even using real food in the first place? Why not just synthesize everything in the first place? Would make life a lot easier for the Fat Duck....

Sure, it could. However, why is the field of culinary fine dining suddenly beholden to your fancies? Fat Duck is doing what it wants to, and this is obviously working for them.

In any case, this so-called molecular gastronomy has been going on for a long long time. What do you think makes your cola sweet? Where do you think the colorings, preservatives, emulsifiers, stabilizers etc. come from? Real food?? Molecular gastronomy is only an effort to understand the nature of food, how cooking transforms food, and how ingredients affect food.

What's wrong if these ingredients are artificial instead of being natural. Just because something is "natural" doesn't make it any less toxic or more safe than an artificial ingredient. We've evolved way beyond the days when we would see an animal eat a fruit and hence know that it is safe to eat (the fruit, not the animal).

What bothers me with people like Nathan and in fact the entire freaken generation like him is that they feel did something really big in one thing then they are God's gift to the world and can do everything else. I wish these folks would just sit on the sidelines and let people come up with real solutions. For if this nut job had real skills he would invent a way to grow an artificial piece of steak! Imagine how much better our planet would be if we could grow artificial steaks? We could eat meat and not have the side effects of screwing up our planet. But hey that would require real work and I doubt his generation wants to do that...

Nobody has claimed that molecular gastronomy (or this guy for that matter) has the solution to world hunger. Your comment is no different from all the comments that routinely put down people doing something innovative just because "it has already been done before", "it is not perfect enough", "it really won't solve the problem", "it may create a blackhole and destroy us all", "the money could have been better used to feed the poor in Africa", or some such reason.

This guy is just a geek who has the money to play with expensive lab toys for heaven's sake. Wouldn't you like to have your own 100 ton press to play around with??

Molecular chemistry? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142634)

What's molecular chemistry? More to the point, what's nonmolecular chemistry?

Re:Heston Blumenthal got there first (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142648)

Cooking is applied chemistry. Ergo, understanding the chemistry of food can be useful for a chef, especially an experimental one.

Re:Heston Blumenthal got there first (1)

kjart (941720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141198)

FTA:

He hired 15 people, including 5 professional chefs, a photographer, an art director and writers and editors, to create it. They included Christopher Young, a biochemistry-graduate-student-turned-chef who headed the research kitchen at the Fat Duck near London

So, he's hired the guy that probably actually came up with that idea and is also apparently a 'master french chef' himself (according to Wikipedia at least). They also have a quote from Wylie Dufresne who sounded somewhat impressed, so I tend to think these guys are legit - definitely keeping an eye out for this book.

Re:Heston Blumenthal got there first (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141340)

If it's cheaper than the Fat Duck one - which was over £100 last time I checked - I shall pick up a copy. If only for entertainment purposes.

read the article: nathan HIRED the fat duck guy (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142576)

"He hired 15 people, including 5 professional chefs, a photographer, an art director and writers and editors, to create it. They included Christopher Young, a biochemistry-graduate-student-turned-chef who headed the research kitchen at the Fat Duck near London, one of the most innovative restaurants in the world."

Re:read the article: nathan HIRED the fat duck guy (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143596)

He's not "the" Fat Duck guy, he's "a" Fat Duck guy. The Fat Duck guy is Heston Blumenthal.

Re:Heston Blumenthal got there first (1)

Eevee (535658) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143158)

From the fine article you didn't read:

He hired 15 people, including 5 professional chefs, a photographer, an art director and writers and editors, to create it. They included Christopher Young, a biochemistry-graduate-student-turned-chef who headed the research kitchen at the Fat Duck near London, one of the most innovative restaurants in the world.

So yes, it isn't new. But the article didn't claim it was and even explicitly named the Fat Duck as one of the inspirations for the work.

Thanks.... (0, Troll)

matty619 (630957) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141046)

For using your riches to advance society. This is a remarkable use of resources....you're of course free to do as you wish with your money, but why must I read of it?

So he's been spending too much time reading... (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141052)

...Heston Blumenthal's output. Who hasn't? The only reason the rest of us don't have kitchens filled with expensive gadgets (and experienced help) is lack of finance. :)

Heston Blumenthal (1)

epo001 (558061) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141074)

Has been doing this for years. I am unsurprised that the NYT doesn't even bother to acknowledge this.

DLev (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30141096)

Dr. Myhrvold gave a great talk about his book at the University of Washington
http://norfolk.cs.washington.edu/htbin-post/unrestricted/colloq/details.cgi?id=842

Cooking? (1)

DavMz (1652411) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141100)

I hope that this laboratory kitchen is not to cooking what windows is to software.
But I can't help thinking it is...

That's such a waste of resources (food, talent, machine, time)

FUD — Fucking Unusable Diet ... (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141104)

... is to be the outcome.

Shades a new light on the idiom mischief is brewing.

CC.

Frankenstein (1)

valentyn (248783) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141106)

... inventing a new battery, taming hurricanes, defeating disease... attracting lightning, tunneling it into the autoclave... Frankenstein! Just like he did when he managed the Windows codebase.

Molecular gastronomy (2, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141124)

This is not a new idea. See wikipedia on molecular gastronomy [wikipedia.org] . Mhyrvold will probably try to patent [slashdot.org] it though.

Re:Molecular gastronomy (3, Funny)

Mark_in_Brazil (537925) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142006)

This is not a new idea. See wikipedia on molecular gastronomy [wikipedia.org] . Mhyrvold will probably try to patent [slashdot.org] it though.

Color me shocked that a Microsoftie is doing something unoriginal.

Now, if Microsoft-style food makes your stomach unstable, that's just because you can't expect the creator of the food to test it in every possible stomach, and I'm sure they'll fix it in one of the service packs.

And the fact that Myhrvold doesn't yet know about things like pasteurization, filtering, and qualification of suppliers, used to deal with physical, chemical, and biological threats in the food does not mean that any food-borne pathogens, poisons, hormones, rocks or glass shards are his fault. He wants to dominate the market, and making lots of food for lots of people (he's working on deals with schools so kids won't be able to eat any kind of food but Myhrvold Food) means that there will be more of it in which pathogens, dangerous chemicals, and solid debris can hide. That's not Myhrvold's fault, and you fanbois who insist on eating food whose ingredients have been properly qualified, inspected, and treated to remove possible threats, well, the only reason your food is not being attacked is because Myhrvold's food presents a much more high-profile target for biological, chemical, and physical threats, so the threats don't even bother showing up in other food.

Plus, Myhrvold paid a company a bunch of money and they did a study showing that if you ignore hospital bills, funeral expenses, cleaning bills to remove spewed vomit, violently ejected diarrhea, and squirted blood from clothes, personal belongings, homes, places of work, car interiors, stores, schools, etc., and the permanent damage done to the digestive systems of those who have eaten Myhrvold Food and survived, then despite the fact that Myhrvold food is cheaper than what you get at those fancy restaurants that obey the safety and inspection laws, and even cheaper in total overall cost than the food you buy inexpensively at grocery stores and farmers' markets.

Re:Molecular gastronomy (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142512)

Who said it was? The article explains that he lured away one of Blumenthal's own research chefs for the book project, and even the summary is pretty clear on the matter.

Re:Molecular gastronomy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30142564)

This is old stuff. People at CERN are going to get into the business of subnuclear gastronomy, as soon as the supercollider is back into activity again.

Re:Molecular gastronomy (1)

dem0n1 (1170795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143206)

This is old stuff. People at CERN are going to get into the business of subnuclear gastronomy, as soon as the supercollider is back into activity again.

Why else would they be trying to train birds to drop baguettes in it?

Bloat... (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141138)

"The project has grown in size and scope. Originally planned as a 300-page discussion of sous vide, an increasingly popular restaurant technique of cooking food in vacuum-sealed bags in warm water baths, the book has swelled to 1,500 pages that will also cover microbiology, food safety, the physics of heat transfer on the stove and in the oven, formulas for turning fruit and vegetable juices into gels, and more."

Has gone from win 2000 to vista, how long before it cuts the bloat and comes to Win 7??

Re:Bloat... (2, Interesting)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141188)

sous vide rocks. probably not enough to warrant 300 pages discussing it, but it's great. you cook at sub-boiling temperatures, with food sealed in an evacuated plastic bag and placed under hot water for long periods. kills all bacteria, so the result doesn't need refridgerating and has a very long shelf life (I've started seeing sous-vide-cooked lamb in my local supermarket: might give the impression it's junk food as it's on the shelf next to the beans rather than in the chilled section but the taste is amazing), and the meat just melts off the bone. seriously good food. once sous vide waterbath cookers are more widespread, they'll get cheaper and you can try it at home.

Re:Bloat... (2, Interesting)

sed quid in infernos (1167989) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142672)

it's great. you cook at sub-boiling temperatures, with food sealed in an evacuated plastic bag and placed under hot water for long periods. kills all bacteria, so the result doesn't need refridgerating

This is not only wrong, but incredibly dangerous. While you can pasteurize food to kill bacteria (allowing you to safely cook chicken to only 141 degrees, for example, by keeping it at that temperature for a long enough time), sub-boiling temperatures do not kill botulism spores. Those spores are temporarily deactivated at cooking or refrigeration temperatures, but will survive the process. And, since they thrive in an anaerobic environment, the vacuum packing makes it more dangerous, not less, to store the results at room temperature.

There are industrial processes that cook sous-vide food in pressure cookers long enough to kill the spores. It's essentially canning in a different container. But that's most definitely not done at sub-boiling temperatures.

Sous vide cooking, done right, is safe. And it's more precisely repeatable than many other forms of cooking. I store sous vide meals in their packaging in my freezer indefinitely, and the fridge for a week or so. But unless you cook the food under to boiling under at least 15 PSI pressure for a long enough period of time, which you cannot do in the bags used for home vacuum sealers, it is life-threatening to store a sous vide meal at room temperature for more than a few hours.

I want a copy! (1)

richardkelleher (1184251) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141152)

I very much want a copy of that cook book! Oh, and the kitchen to go with it.

Re:I want a copy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30141362)

I suppose that pirated copies of the coook book will appear very soon on the chinese market.

What the world needs...is vegan cheese. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30141158)

Given that he's experimenting with beef jerky and cryoseared duck, I doubt he'd go in such a direction but what I'd like to see is a good vegan cheese.

Those of you you have never tried the existing vegan cheese products will no doubt be puzzled - but those of you who have will either see the need or are hard-core masochists (the ethical problem with cheese is that to keep the cows producing milk the cows have to keep having calves and the calves get turned into veal which is quite unpleasant for the calves).

Anyway, it turns out that vegan cheese is a surprisingly difficult problem. Vegan milk isn't that hard (e.g. soy-milk) but vegan cheese is a tough problem. One school of thought is that milk is has evolved for young animals whose digestive systems are ultimately most suited to solid food but who lack the coordination to eat solid food without choking: milk forms a solid "clot" in the stomach in response to the acids and enzymes that exist in the stomach.

So, anyway, milk is capable of forming a complex gel/clot structure of protein and fat in response to cleavage by certain enzymes ("rennet") and acid. This gel has some fairly specific properties - such as melting at relatively low temperature (in general, protein precipitates don't melt) - that are very difficult to replicate with plant proteins.

The problem is probably solvable but finding the right combination of plant proteins to replicate the gelling properties of milk proteins will require a substantial amount of research into protein structure and bioinformatics.

Re:What the world needs...is vegan cheese. (1)

AnotherShep (599837) | more than 4 years ago | (#30144220)

Don't worry about the veal. My enjoyment evens out the calf's problems.

What?no one managed to have a5 star rated comment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30141180)

I know you hate him, c'mon he is long time microsoft. you gotta be able to hang some shit on him.

there were some pretty solid attempts, yeah! so he cooks/destroys food while the children in Africa are starving. So he has no moral highground or something? u serious?

guys, please!!

anyway, I only wish he would have chanelled more of his creativity and resourcefullness into making windows a bit more tasty, or at least digestable dish.

But after reading 'an autoclave as a pressure cooker, using a 100-ton hydraulic press to make beef jerky, and using an ultrasonic welder'
and his quote 'It's very much like a review we would do at Microsoft."

everything makes suddenly so much sense now!

In any case, I wish Dr. Myhrvold a lot of fun and success with his technical cooking and hope that he will fight against world famine by giving the Africans his ultrasonic welder rather than his food.
After all, if you consider that they are building wind generators from scrap parts without a guide, it might be just the thing they need in order to built their ultrasonic heat propulsed canon to fry all the excess freons in the atmosphere and turn them into gummy bears.

Chef Blows Off His Own Hands in Cooking Accident (2, Interesting)

initialE (758110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141186)

This [sky.com] is why kitchen laboratories should not be taken so lightly.

Sounds like he needs to team up with Ferran Adria (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141214)

For any who are new to this approach to cooking, it is called molecular gastronomy. See here [khymos.org] for a good primer.

This stuff is seriously cool and eating at a restaurant specializing in this style, while expensive, is definitely an experience worth having.

I live in Chicago and we are proud to have several famous chefs from this school of cooking with great restaurants including Alinea, Graham Elliot and Moto (along with its sister restaurant Otom). I only wish some of the ingredients and techniques were less expensive and more accessible although you can buy some of the things online easily enough.

Re:Sounds like he needs to team up with Ferran Adr (1)

stupid_is (716292) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141802)

Is it pure coincidence that the restaurant "Moto" is in the same city as a similarly titled mobile phone & network infrastructure company?

Autoclaved Turkey (2, Interesting)

Rollgunner (630808) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141218)

We did this once for a lab Christmas party. Frozen solid to cooked in about 25 minutes.

Problem is, with normal oven cooking, a lot of the liquids boil out and evaporate. Not so with the autoclave.

It was so juicy you could almost *drink* it.

Sure looks like Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30141276)

.. using the wrong tools for the job.

Bill Gates comment: (0, Troll)

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141382)

640 calories a day is enough for anyone.

Programming Language Suggestion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30141428)

Is he going to write it in Chef [wikipedia.org] ?

Been done before... and better (2, Insightful)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141532)

This has already been done before, and been done much better. This guy is just throwing random shit into random industrial equipment. Yeah, i guess it is a lot like MS code. Throw enough shit at the wall and some of it will stick. This isn't cooking, this is brute force mutilation of food.

You don't just take a random piece of equipment and say "hey, let's throw all sorts of food into this and see if it makes it taste good". You think about what you can use the equipment for, then what you need done to food. You look for how these two things coincide. Yeah, there's a bit of experimentation involved, but it's not random shit. You don't take a damn ultrasonic welder and say "LOLOL LET'S USE THIS ON FOODSTUFFS AND CALL IT COOKING!!!"

Typical MS nonsense.

REAL chefs use rotovaps for distilling marinades and such. Things that the equiptment is good for. They use temperature controlled baths to control the temperature of things that need to be temperature controlled. They don't use 10 ton presses at all. Ten tons is good for just about nothing except obliterating your food.

Re:Been done before... and better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30142104)

Sit down, kid. You're out of his league. This guy defines commercial success & academic brilliance. Masters degree in geophysics & space physics from UCLA. PhD in theoretical and mathematical physics and a masters in mathematical economics from Princeton. Hes all that, and all you have is a juvenile comment on a website.

You are part of the tiny dot in slashdot. The slash / represents the upward graph of the revenue Microsoft keeps generating year after year. The . is the collective jealous losers on this website who probably owe their livelihood to Microsoft for creating the PC industry. Microsoft like everyone started at 0% market-share, not 100%. They blasted through competition and created the worlds most popular OS that runs on standardized hardware. This was the basis of the commodity IBM compatible hardware that the nerds use here to run Linux. It would be best if you just said thanks and moved along.

Re:Been done before... and better (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142948)

This guy is just throwing random shit into random industrial equipment. Yeah, i guess it is a lot like MS code. Throw enough shit at the wall and some of it will stick. This isn't cooking, this is brute force mutilation of food.

There is a board of health after all.

--

Bubble sorted mousse, may contain moose.

How cute. (-1, Flamebait)

rr00 (1549037) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141606)

Oh, lookie here.

Dr. Myrrvold - doing weird shit to poultry. That's worthy of thousands of minutes of REAL human life. To read something that one person thought was special, even though it's stupid and completely inapplicable to our living condition.

To the douche who made this is a headline: "Hello world, look at me! I am capable of using above-average vocabulary and grammatical syntax, by some genetic gift or process that I will never be aware of!"

Dude (dudette) -> circletimessquare, or whatever your real name is.

Does anyone REALLY give a shit?

I mean, really.

You need to stop projecting your insecurities onto us, and instead, realize that you're a worthy human being . Yes, even without trying to seem clever, distinct, and included to like-minded people.

Instead, why not spend your time at a bar and try to impregnate the hottest woman (or man) you see? Spread your genes along with beauty, and improve the human condition. If you're too fearful to do so, then realize that your perceptions are an illusion, and even the stupid jock fucks realized this a decade+ before I mentioned it here.

You are not alone. Be yourself. We are like you, and love you as you are.

As long as you let Dr. Myhvold do whatever the fuck he does to his ducks in private. What he does behind closed doors is his business, even if some large PR firm or corporation wants to promote something to sell.

(I hate geek culture. Fuck you all, in a sincere and appreciative way. You are not empowered by your intellect. Accept that and play the game, and know that the stupid fuck jock will win sometimes.)

r-r-0-0

Re:How cute. (1)

rr00 (1549037) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141640)

(obviously you can not impregnate a man. fuckings.)

Re:How cute. (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142030)

Accept that and play the game I just lost.

Re:How cute. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142208)

Are you in a manic phase?

Man, if you have to throw money around like that, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30141768)

how about throwing some of it my way?

Woops. I forget myself. I don't want money stained by Microsoft. Can't imagine how to cut loose all the strings that it comes attached with. Carry on, I guess. This is one way to pump money back into the economy, anyway.

More like Toad (1)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141842)

Dr. Myhrvold has long pursued a Renaissance man portfolio of interests.

Renaissance man? More like Toad from the "Wind and the Willows".

No wonder (1)

pizza_milkshake (580452) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141864)

Microsoft : overkill.

Alton Brown... look out for charlatans bearing $$$ (1)

gavron (1300111) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142096)

Food Science should be left to food scientists.

"Having money should never be confused for a license to be a fuckwit." - eg

Nathan Myhrvold should stick to what he does best.
Retirement.

Ehud

Nathan on 'free' software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30142140)

"If nobody can beat Linux and Apache [slated.org] with commercial products, then shame on all of us in the industry!

"Even if Linux is on a path that ultimately bumps against economic realities, it might take years, or even a decade for that to occur. In the meantime it could be an important competitor, wreaking havoc with established OS providers. There are several ways to look at Linux as a competitor"

"As a desktop phenomenon, I don't think that Linux is very important. The application set is too limited, and they are too far behind. The place where Unix is very important (i.e. dangerous [slated.org] ) is on the server "

"This happens at an interesting time, because server based computing is exploding. The Internet creates a vast need for new servers at every level"

ugg boot,nike jordan shoes,coach,gucci,handbags, (-1, Troll)

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About time (1)

LarrySDonald (1172757) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142448)

Growing up with a mom working as a chef or cook in various kitchens the whole way, I'd often be baffled by how awkward and backwards the tech involved was. Tons of stuff was clearly considered way obsolete by standards in non-food engineering. Like many fields (like cells having features you'd never see on a cordless or a car having features a house rarely has) cooking sticks to tradition for no particular reason. It's of course ok to treat it as an art, but while painting in oil has it's place it's also useful to have photoshop and an inkjet printer for when you need speed, flexibility and consistent results.

"No particular reason" (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142580)

Er, no. The reason that houses mostly don't have all the features that cars have is because houses are much bigger and the costs are much higher, also houses have to operate 24/7 and cars don't. Most people simply can't afford it, or they prefer the old ways because, let's face it, they are more aesthetically attractive. I've just moved from a house in a conservation area to one with modern tech, and although I really like the convenience, I miss my open fireplaces, hardwood windows and solid stone walls. Kitchen technology is very conservative because:
  • It has to be used by all kinds of people including many with little education
  • Training is mainly passed down from generation to generation
  • It needs to be simple and reliable to be cost effective

There are kitchen machines that work better than traditional technology. Panasonic breadmakers, microwave ovens, fan ovens, force-sensing food processors. But traditional technology has generally evolved around human factors and has taken thousands of years to do it. There is a lot of knowledge hidden in those apparently simple tools.

BSoD Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30142866)

Blue food it typically toxic, so yes in the kitchen, blue screen (sieve) is death.
But non-toxic blue food makes you immortal. Eat some every day and you will live forever.
Bleu cheese? Closer to grey neurotoxin.
Blueberries? Blue on the bush; but purple on the plate.
Blue Meat? Run away, run away.

Very relieved! (1)

mattr (78516) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143042)

I don't know about you, but I feel WAY SAFER now that Nathan Myhrvold is staying away from Microsoft and spending his time having fun with his molecular gastronomy investigation venture. I mean, this is the guy who was going to take over the world with a micropayments scheme. He could mess up your world if he really was a black hat. But if you want to you just don't have to eat his cooking... well unless it's THAT good. ;)

Of course, if you consider how much El Bulli's cookbook cost, if he could release it on the net for free he would really make friends.

I'd also like to know how he is organizing the whole project. What software does he use to handle the data? Don't tell me it's SourceSafe!

It sounds like he's having fun and if he discovers new things that's great. In case people don't know it, real chefs do know a bit of molecular gastronomy though not as equations maybe. Probably most chefs don't think of the intentional molecular gastronomists as so relevant to everyday customers but I'd like to try it some time. Of course the cheapest result of this field I expect could be found at McDonalds. He sounds like he is having fun but a dedicated chef goes about fun by working in the kitchen, a billionaire chef creates a whole documentary with cooking staff he supervises, I guess! I'd like to see one of his recipes without the gastronomy. Slow food style. Maybe Nathan's next project?

100 ton press (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143198)

That's it? At my previous job those were the SMALL ones. If you really wanted to have fun the 500 Ton was sitting around idle a lot. Not sure how well it would make beef jerky though - kinda oily & not a lot of heat.

Of course, I'm a mechanical engineer - what do I know?

publicity whoring as a hobby (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143334)

Just waiting (actually not, I know how Myhrvold looks like) for the sex tape to hit Youtube.

The power of suggestion. (1)

trudyscousin (258684) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143510)

Is it possible to BSOD food?

The article includes a video on how to cyanosear and cyanorender duck, doesn't it?

(blink)

Never mind.

Now I see ... (1)

fkx (453233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143702)

I think we may be getting an insight into the reason for the underlying problems windows has had since the beginning ... are there discarded code modules from 1980? Altair code?

A Kitchen huh? (3, Funny)

dontPanik (1296779) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143990)

Can we have a Windows 7 release party in his kitchen?
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