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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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus