Posts Tagged ‘interview’

TFP 2010: Interview with Bernard Lahousse (part 4)

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Bernard Lahousse, project manager of The Flemish Primitives.

I’ve written a couple of posts about The Flemish Primitives 2010 event (and there are more to come), but I also wanted to do an interview with Bernard Lahousse, the project manager of the event. Bernard first contacted me back in 2006 and we met at the EuroFoodChem conference in Paris in 2007. Those who’ve followed Khymos for a while may remember pointers to the “Food for design” blog and the foodpairing website which Bernard has set up.

ML: It seems you have always had an interest for things in the cross section of science and art? When we first came in contact you were writing the “Food for design” blog which covered gastronomy, science and design – what happend to it?

BL: Indeed, I’ve always been interested in the cross-section between different disciplines. Not only science-art or science-gastronomy, but many more. My belief is that the interesting stuff is happening where people with different background meet. As I lack time (and also Lieven), we made a choice to put Food for design on hold and concentrate on other topics. For me that’s foodpairing and my company. For Lieven it is his PhD.

ML: Could you briefly describe your educational background and how you ended up as a project manager for The Flemish Primitives?

A mathematician cooks sous vide

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

Douglas Baldwin with two immersion circulators and a vacuum chamber sealer.

Since I got my immersion circulator in December I’ve discovered that there are two critical questions that always come up as I hold a piece of meat in my hands, ready to cook it sous vide: At what temperature should I cook this? And for how long? Despite the fact that two books were published on sous vide last fall it is the short yet comprehensive guide “A Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking” by Douglas Baldwin that I’ve found most useful to answer these questions. Those who have followed the eGullet thread on sous vide cooking will probably recognize Douglas Baldwin as one of the major contributors alongside Nathan Myhrvold. Out of curiosity and eager to learn more I therefore emailed Douglas and asked if he would be interested in doing an email interview.

ML: From your homepage I see that you are a PhD student in applied mathematics, how did you become interested in sous vide?

DB: I have always loved to cook. Before last January, though, I mainly cooked slow food. That is when I saw sous vide mentioned in one of Harold McGee’s NY Times articles. Wow. Cooking meat at its desired final core temperature is so obvious! As a mathematician, I kicked myself for never asking “if overcooked meat is bad, what temperature should the meat be cooked at?” A question which many mathematician would instantly answer, “just above the temperature you want it to end up at.”