Author(s): Nathan Myhrvold
The authors--scientists, inventors, and accomplished cooks in their own right--have created a six-volume, 2,400-page set that reveals science-inspired techniques for preparing food that ranges from the otherworldly to the sublime.
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 more than 250 patents issued or pending-including several related to food technology. Until 1999, Myhrvold was the first chief technology officer at Microsoft, establishing Microsoft Research and overseeing many advanced technology projects. After working for two years as a stagier at 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. Myhrvold 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 Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie television series on PBS. Myhrvold's formal education includes degrees in mathematics, geophysics, and space physics from UCLA, and PhDs 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 for five years to help develop its most innovative dishes. Young completed degrees in mathematics and biochemistry at the University of Washington. He let 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 managed recipe development for the critically acclaimed first and second seasons of BBC's Heston Blumenthal: In Search of Perfection. 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. Maxime Bilet received a BA in creative writing, literature, and visual art from Skidmore College. Bilet then graduated with highest honors from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. He completed a stage at Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar and was quickly hired by Jack Lamb to be head chef there. Moving to London, he accepted a stage with Heston Blumenthal's development team at The Fat Duck. Just prior to joining the culinary team at The Cooking Lab as head chef of researchand development, Bilet trained as sous chef to open the London branch of Auberge de L'Ile.