Thursday, March 20, 2008


For nearly four years, an obscure culinary discussion forum called eGullet has had an anonymous guru of sous-vide. The technique — which involves using vacuum-sealed plastic bags to cook foods in water at precisely controlled temperatures — is both relatively new to the home chef and poorly documented. But thanks to user "nathanm," eGullet offers a wealth of insider knowledge, everything from comprehensive tables of cooking times to tips on food safety.

So who is this mysterious Jedi Master? Turns out, nathanm is über-technologist Nathan Myhrvold, former CTO of Microsoft and noted billionaire. Myhrvold first encountered sous-vide at a culinary school in France, but he found the lack of practical information frustrating. "I wanted to figure out how long to cook things," says Myhrvold, now CEO of the "invention" firm Intellectual Ventures. "I did some experiments and then wrote a program using Mathematica to model how heat is transferred through food."

[+ more]
via wired lifestyle

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