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Pie Science & Chocolate Genetics

Rowat explains pie

Our very own Amy Rowat explains how to use science to bake a better pie, and geneticists look at the DNA of cacao beans to breed better chocolate beans.
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David Kinch

David Kinch is Chef-Proprietor of Manresa, a restaurant located in Los Gatos, California that has been awarded two Michelin stars for eight consecutive years. Kinch is a winner of the Best Chef in America award from the James Beard Foundation as well as dean of The International Culinary Center. Having studied the culinary arts in France, Spain, German, Japan, and the U.S., he is known for his French, Catalan, and Japanese-influenced California cuisine that has been lauded as simplistic yet creative.

David Kinch

What hooked you on cooking?
I became enamored with the restaurant business which led to being enamored with cooking. My first restaurant jobs were as dishwasher and front of house staff. In those roles, I got close to the kitchen and became fascinated with how the cooks worked. After that, I became interested in the idea of being creative and working with my hands. It was really inspiring to watch people enjoying the fruits of their labor through cooking.
The coolest example of science in your food?
Ice cream because it keeps things frozen on a hot day!
The food you find most fascinating?
I find Japanese food fascinating because of the complex simplicity of it.
What scientific concept–food related or otherwise–do you find most fascinating?
Fermentation
Your best example of a food that is better because of science?
One of my favorite examples is making chicharones by first cooking them sous vide so the collagen (and flavor!) don’t leach out into the water, creating a whole new, interesting and satisfying texture.
How do you think science will impact your world of food in the next 5 years?
Cooks are becoming more understanding of basic science and chemistry principles than ever before. To fundamentally understand basic principles will benefit the industry as a whole in understanding “how things work.”
One kitchen tool you could not live without?
Cake tester – I use it for testing the doneness of meat, fish, and vegetables.
Five things most likely to be found in your fridge?
Chez Pim jam, good butter, Champagne, Japanese pickles and yogurt
Your all-time favorite ingredient?
My favorite ingredient changes all the time. I can be a farm chicken to fennel bulb to an herb.
Your standard breakfast?
Good coffee and usually yogurt and honey. If I’m splurging, it is toast with Manresa’s butter, and Chez Pim jam. If I’m going out, it’s always huevos rancheros.

Insect Farmers & Kitchen Scientists

Insect farming

Larry Peterman of Hotlix insect-containing candies gives insight into insect farming, and Guy Crosby of Cooks Illustrated helps shed a scientific light on the mysteries of the kitchen.
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