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It's geek to me: 'The Food Lab'

January 27, 2010 |  8:03 am


If there’s anything a food geek loves even more than his digital probe thermometer, it’s another food geek (with a digital probe thermometer). And one food geek I’m really loving lately is James Kenji Lopez-Alt. An MIT grad and a longtime contributor to Cooks Illustrated magazine, Alt also has a really cool blog on Serious Eats.

Alt writes “The Food Lab” for the website, and in it he applies the blog form to cooking experiments. It works really well – the ability to drop in color detail photographs at just the right moment helps illuminate some of the more arcane aspects of food science. He did a great post in December on the importance of resting meat after cooking, and to illustrate it, he photographed six steaks that had been rested for different periods side-by-side on white plates. The blood trail tells the whole story!

In his latest effort, Alt examines whether the mineral content of water affects the quality of pizza crust (inviting one of my other favorite food geeks, Jeff Steingarten, along as a judge). The results are inconclusive, as these kinds of things often are (there are so many variables in cooking it’s hard to isolate one, keeping everything else exactly the same). But it’s a really entertaining read. And there’s good pictures of pizza, too.

-- Russ Parsons

(Photo by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt)