Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Tasty Geek: Nathan Myhrvold Takes His Modernist Cuisine to “Top Chef”

Being the huge fan of “Top Chef” that I am — hellllloooo, Padma! — it was even more a treat to see former Microsoft legend, controversial patent grabber and full-time fiddler Nathan Myhrvold as a guest judge this past week on the current season of the popular cable television show.

For those who usually associate him with geekery, he is also a big foodie and the author of fancy tome “Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking.”

Right now, the six-volume, 2,400-page book set retails for $499 on Amazon. As described on the site: “The authors and their 20-person team at The Cooking Lab have achieved astounding new flavors and textures by using tools such as water baths, homogenizers, centrifuges, and ingredients such as hydrocolloids, emulsifiers, and enzymes.”

“Top Chef” is now set in Texas, so the topic was barbecue, an apparent fave of the techie too. But I really liked the competitor chefs’ race in the Quickfire Challenge to pull off some feat of molecular gastronomy best.

A side of patent troll pâté anyone?

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik