David Binkle

Chef David Binkle currently serves as the director of food services for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), where he oversees a program serving more than 650,000 meals per day. Chef Binkle came to the LAUSD to develop a healthier cuisine for students. His goal is to improve the menu by having less processed foods and more garden-fresh products using locally grown produce.

See David Binkle speak at our next 2013 Science & Food public lecture!

Edible Education
Featuring Chef Alice Waters, Dr. Wendy Slusser, and Chef David Binkle
Thursday, April 25 @ 7:00pm
Royce Hall Auditorium (map)


What hooked you on cooking?
Growing up in Canada as a young teenager of 13, my mother was in the restaurant business and I was hired to be a busboy. After watching the cooks and chefs prepare and serve guests, I was hooked on the energy level required meal service after meal service. After being a busboy for 2 years, I started as a cook’s helper then eventually learning the grill station and prep areas.
The coolest example of science in your food?
Ripening of fruit. Ethylene gas, which causes fruit to convert its stored energy (in the form of starch) into sugar.
The food you find most fascinating?
What scientific concept–food related or otherwise–do you find most fascinating?
Carbohydrates composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen; and that various types of sugar are derived from different sources. Simple sugars called monosaccharides include glucose (dextrose), fructose, and galactose. The table or granulated sugar most customarily used as food is sucrose, a disaccharide (in the body, sucrose hydrolyses into fructose and glucose). Other disaccharides include maltose and lactose. What is fascinating is the complexity of sugarcane and sugar beet plants and the impact on the world that sugar has, including health-related disease and ingredient function in [food] preparation.
Your best example of a food that is better because of science?
Eggs. Coagulation during the heating process.
How do you think science will impact your world of food in the next 5 years?
Production of whole grain cookery and sweet to savory combinations, i.e. savory waffles.
One kitchen tool you could not live without?
A chef knife.
Five things most likely to be found in your fridge?
Milk, eggs, cheese, fresh vegetables, and grapes.
Your all-time favorite ingredient?
Favorite cookbook?
Le Guide Culinaire, Escoffier.
Your standard breakfast?
Plain yogurt and a banana. Coffee.