During last week's SXSW Festival -- an event renowned as a launchpad for new and creative talent every year -- throngs of concert-goers and movie buffs were exposed to the culinary stylings of one Jeff Potter and his science-meets-savory interactive cooking demonstration called, "Cooking For Geeks: Science, Hacks, and Good Food."
In this demonstration, Potter showed several ways of how to balance science and experimentation with flavor and fun in the kitchen. He believes that understanding the "how" factor produces better food as a result -- which, as he says, is the reason why he became a "food hack." That's his definition for "using unusual tools or techniques or ingredients to make something yummy.” Here are some of the ways Jeff Potter "hacks" his cuisine:
- Altering a Brita water filter to produce superior vodka
- Baking a pizza at 900 degrees for crispiness
- Using a waffle iron to make cookies
- Poaching salmon in the dishwasher
Thinking outside the box for heating methods is an area where Potter excels. He says, "Once you understand the mechanisms, suddenly you’re free to wander away from a recipe and be confident that what you’re doing will work."
During the presentation, Potter also practiced his "super-tasting" experiment. He handed out chemically-treated strips of paper to the audience and asked for a taste test. Super-tasters thought the paper was extremely bitter, medium-tasters only found the paper slightly bitter, and non-tasters weren't able to discern a flavor at all. Results of the "super-tasting" survey are currently being processed on the Cooking For Geeks website.
Source: Cooking For Geeks