How Understanding Science Makes Me a Better Chef
The more knowledge you have about the science of cooking, the more control you can have over the
final product. I wasn’t interested in science until I discovered that it helped me become a better chef.
One time in class, the mayonnaise I was working on separated. Everyone laughed at me. I went back to
my dorm room and picked up Harold McGee’s “On Food and Cooking.” As I read his explanation of mastering
mayo, I started to visualize what I’d done wrong. I never broke a mayonnaise again.
It’s the same with proteins. What makes a delicious and perfectly cooked steak? If you can see in your
mind what the end product is, you can figure out how to achieve it.
At my restaurant Husk, we have to execute at a consistent level, because we’re so busy. Science and technology
help us run more efficiently. I document every system at every restaurant I visit, because there’s
always someone who’s refined something in a way you’d never think of.
It’s a never-ending journey. That’s why we’re chefs: because we love the process, the discoveries along
the way and the fact that we’re always learning.