What Has It Been Like Applying Science to the Kitchen?

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Cooking is the only Science experiment most people do on a daily basis. Kind of sure a working Scientist, you don't do experience everyday. But, every time you cook, it's a little bit of an experiment. If you made something a hundred times before it's not that much, but still there can be different little variations that cause an unexpected result.

Cooking involves tremendous amounts of chemistry and physics. Most cooks aren't aware of that. Some people say, well, what's the point of telling us how these things work. I had one journalist say, what made you think you should brings science in the kitchen. No, science is always in the kitchen.

The laws of nature are always with us. All I was trying to do is bring knowledge of science in one the kitchen takes some of the ignorance out. In my fundamental belief, is if you know how something works, you'll do a better job of it. For a long time, people build bridges before they understood mechanical engineering and how to do calculations.

And sometimes those bridges fell down and sometimes they didn't. But we're all better for the fact that civil engineers can castellate exactly what makes a damn bridge stand up, or an airplanes stay in the sky and such. You really wouldn't want to find an airplane where all of the engineers had a in twive feel but didn't actually know what they were doing.

So, why should you have a kitchen like that? Well, one reason is that some people have this strange believe, strange to my way of thinking anyway, that somehow science kills the joy or the spirit of cooking. As if we've had some criticism from people saying, you are taking all the joy out, all the spiritual aspect out or some other stuff like that.

I say no, not really. This the understanding how cooking works at a scientific level, let's you make better results more reliably. What spiritual value is it if I overcook something, or burn it, or ruin it? I don't get it. If I use a digital thermostat, to control the temperature of something, why is that better they need controlling it, do I feel so awful because I sit there acting like a thermometer to cold, too high.

Well, I'm a terrible thermostat, just terrible. And the idea that you would view being a thermostat as my highest and best use I say that's silly, No, no, the point of a human chef is not that they have to be the thermostat it's so they should be the artist. That they should understand flavor and texture and how those juxtapositions of flavor and texture create the effects that they want to create.

And so, I think that in the food that we cook, the food that is empowered by the techniques in our book, is art. It is soulful and if you push me, maybe it's even spiritual. But, it's better informed by knowing how it works. And that doesn't remove the creativity, it unleashes it.