Interviewed by my niece…

My niece is a talented writer (in English and Spanish) at University.

Currently, I am taking a feature writing class, and we have to write a food related feature. I was wondering if I could interview you about your blog and your experiences with “Modernist Cuisine.”

And here it is my responses.

-What is “Modernist Cuisine?”
Modernist Cuisine is the “The Art and Science of Cooking”. It is created by modern chefs and scientists using tools and ingredients that were normally not thought of to be in the kitchen. The goal is to make the “perfect” recipe for what ever you are working on, and make it repeatable so it is perfect every time. The name was created to entitle a set of cookbooks:

Modernist Cuisine

This has been a real interest of mine over the last year or so.

-How did you discover it?
One of the authors is Nathan Myhrvold who was the Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft, where I work.


He came to the Redmond campus to give a talk about his books and I saw his net show recording. I was also sent a link to the books by several friends.

-Why did you decide to work through it? When did you decide to do it?
I was posting my cooking exploits on Facebook and a friend at work said “you need a blog” so I decided to start writing my cookbook by writing a blog, which was March 2011. In April I decided to purchase the books as it seemed like the ultimate set of books for cooking. I had to order them in the USA because there was no stock in the UK, and in fact it was not until about September there was stock in the UK.

-What are some of the positives of this experience? Negatives?
Well the positive things are the food. The taste and quality of the food is fantastic. I also think it is fun, and provides new ideas for my blog. The books are not just cookbooks, but delve into the “why” of cooking using thermodynamics, cryogenics, chemicals and laboratory equipment in a scientific manor.

The negatives are that it costs quite a bit of money to “tool up” to do this type of cuisine. It is also difficult to get some of the ingredients that the Modernist recipes call for, liquid nitrogen for example. This is starting to change though as some chemical companies are starting to put together Modernist starter packs, although they are also quite expensive.

For example, a kit I just purchased this week which would be about $75:
Molecular Gastronomy

-What is your favorite recipe? Why?
My favourite so far has to be sirloin steak in the Sous Vide, with home made chips. The reason I like it so much is the flavour and texture is consistent throughout the steak. I like mine medium rare so instead of just the middle of the steak being pink and juicy, the whole steak is the same and so tender. A little béarnaise sauce on the side is also very nice.

-What do you do with the food once you cook it?
Eat it and share it with friends. As I say on my blog, cooking is the way I can make things that makes other happy.

-Why did you decided to start the blog? When did you start it?
See above 🙂

-What is your following like?
I use Google Analytics, and I get about 10 hits a day. Although some of them are probably WordPress comments spam.

WordPress Spam

-How do you like writing compared to cooking?
I really like to both as much as the other. I really like writing, but it is time consuming since I also include photography with the text. Planning the meal and then picking the moments to take pictures is good fun. I think that editing photos and editing my writing take the most time, as I am not very good at grammar and spelling (I just had to go back and correct grammer, thanks Word).

-What would you like to do after you complete “Modernist Cuisine?
I have a stack of new books that I have purchased and are waiting in the wings:
Heston Bumenthal at home
The Hairy Bikers Perfect Pies (the pie-ble)
Tagines and CousCous
River Cottage Veg, everyday (I eat too much meat)

-Any advice for novice chefs and/or bloggers?
With the blog – keep it simple.
For chefs – save up for a Sous Vide.

-Is there anything else you think I should include?
If you have hard water in your area then steam your vegetables using bottled/filtered water, the difference is significant!

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