A med & grad student who used to work the line in LA, NYC, SF and Napa talking about the science of cooking and cooking with science. Harold McGee's On Food And Cooking - The Science and Lore of the Kitchen never satisfied my kitchen curiosity and more than one Chef grew exasperated with my asking "Why?" I'll try to stay on topic, but you may see a kvetch or two about the school & hospital.
My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.
Please wait while my tweets load
So, introductions. Right. I’m a “grad” student in NorCal, and you can pretty much narrow down which institution from there. I’ll try to keep this pseudo-anonymous as my school has actual restrictions on blogging and social media about what goes on there, hence the quotation marks around “grad.” Which is hilarious because they still want us to go out and promote the school every so often at local high schools and whatnot. I don’t make policy there I just follow it. Sometimes. I’m still pissed about the whole scrubs thing. Vile, disgusting garments, we may as well be dressing like hobos with lab coats and stethoscopes.
But, I digress. In addition to subjecting myself to the joys of med school, I’ve also worked “the line.” “What’s the line,” you ask? The line is basically the kitchen at a restaurant. It’s split up into different stations (grill, fry, cold, etc.), and everyone who works a station is a “linecook.” There are other guys there who have “Chef” in their title – Sous Chef, Executive Chef, Chef de Cuisine – and those are the guys everyone knows. I wasn’t one of those guys.
I’ve worked for a couple restaurants throughout life and undergrad. Whenever I’ve had to make ends meet my CV went out, and I had the chance to learn from some great and not so great chefs. In another world, I may have made a career out of it. That other world would have to have never encountered the phrases, “well done,” “Can they make a beurre blanc without butter?” and my personal favorite, “Why is this tartare raw?” That last one required the General Manager and both owners to restrain the Chef.
The science of cooking has fascinated me for a long time. Cooking in general interested me for even longer. After school was spent channel surfing during homework between GI Joe, Thundercats, Julia Child and Jacques Pepin. Then I discovered Harold McGee's On Food And Cooking - The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, and it was game over. From there I jumped to Hervé This and Ferran Adria’s work and geeked out. Seriously. There were days spent making French macrons with soy lecithin, to keep the meringues from deflating, and making bacon and bourbon ice cream. My O-Chem class gained an average of twenty pounds the first semester, because some idea would kick around in my head and I’d keep bringing food to lecture.
The idea for this blog has been kicking around for the past few months as I ended my tenure with my former employer and eased myself back into the school grind. Since leaving the restaurant, I’d been prodded by friends to blog about “molecular gastronomy” (I hate that term and may share why in the future), especially over dinner – or if they couldn’t make it to weekly dinner then over text messages. Usually because I’d already sent them a picture of what they were missing. The replies also contained vulgarity, questions of my parentage and suggestion of positions I’m just don’t bend that way for. And when I recently started sharing what I was doing over twitter, a few more suggestions were dropped and Overlord invited me. So, here I am to cook for you all.
Wait, does this mean I finally get to say I’m a Chef?
This post has been viewed: 927 time(s)
I think it means you're can call yourself a Blef.
Welcome. My blog doesn't seem to bring my girlfriend to this site, but I know yours will get her here ;)
The only thing I don't like about this is that your avatars ALWAYS make me hungry. Damn you...
Dude if we ever have a blogger meetup, your cooking.
this is a super cool topic and i (a fellow lover of cooking chemistry) am looking forward to reading your posts! Cheers and good luck! Jeanne
Wow.. Science and food in the same place? Yippie.. Welcome JaySee :)
Heh, this tartare is raw. We used to get that all the time with our carpaccio (back in the day's I worked in a restaurant myself).
The next time I order Tuna Tataki, I'll have to remember to use that line.. heh..
Can we please have a blogger meet-up where you cook? That would be AWESOME. yummm.
Welcome!! Cooking and science - my two best loves (behind Hubby and Monkey of course ;-).
Thanks, everyone for the welcome.
@GR & Gerty - Uhhh, so long as no one asks for well done, or if I can make vegan pot roast, or something equally ludicrous...maybe?
@Brian - You must...really hate my twitter feed some days, then.
Awesome blog topic, I look forward to drooling over my keyboard!
Thanks for the post. Using this, and just wanted to give the shout out. Oh, and Thanks for the post. Using this, and just wanted to give the shout out. Oh, and Very happy to visit your blog, if you can, you can make friends, write well. Come on. Glad it was here too. :)