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Nathan Myhrvold 談前所未見的烹飪奇景

Nathan Myhrvold: Cooking as never seen before

 

Photo of three lions hunting on the Serengeti.

講者:Nathan Myhrvold

2011年3月演講,2011年7月在TED2011上線

 

翻譯:洪曉慧

編輯:朱學恆

簡繁轉換:洪曉慧

後製:洪曉慧

字幕影片後制:謝旻均

 

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關於這場演講

食譜作者Nathan Myhrvold談論他的鉅著,「現代主義烹飪」-並分享書中很酷的攝影插圖隱藏之奧秘,顯示出烹飪過程中的食物剖面。

 

關於Nathan Myhrvold

Nathan Myhrvold是個萬能專家。1999年離開微軟後,他曾榮獲世界燒烤冠軍,擔任野生動物攝影師,廚師,SETI(尋找外星智慧)計畫資助者和火山探險者。

 

為什麼要聽他演講

自從1999年(帶著一大筆財富)離開微軟技術總監的職位後,Nathan Myhrvold一直是「文藝復興人」的專業精神典範,自豪地追隨自我興趣前進。他對不同事物的熱情激發了一長串令人印象深刻的成就,包括贏得世界燒烤錦標賽,重大考古發現(幾副霸王龍骨架),獲獎的野生動物攝影作品,建造巴貝奇差分機2號,以及對真空烹調技術產生濃厚興趣。

 

在Malcolm Gladwell 的2008年紐約客人物簡介中,描述Nathan Myhrvold性格頑皮卻相當富有創造力,他最新成立的公司,Intellectual Ventures-投資於包羅萬象的智慧財產與專利-或許為世界所需的創新注入了充滿勇氣的力量。在資助如艾倫望遠鏡陣列等SETI(尋找外星智慧)計畫、探索活火山和調查企鵝消化系統後,Myhrvold堅持他的愛好不像表現上看起來那麼不著邊際。畢竟它們確實擁有一個共同點:他。

 

「他合群、熱情,具有相當程度的書呆子性格。」

-Malcolm Gladwell

 

Nathan Myhrvold的英語網上資料

Website: Intellectual Ventures

 

[TED科技‧娛樂‧設計]

已有中譯字幕的TED影片目錄(繁體)(簡體)。請注意繁簡目錄是不一樣的。

 

Nathan Myhrvold 談前所未見的烹飪奇景

我要告訴你們一些對食物的重新思考。長久以來,我對食物一直很感興趣,我用像這樣一大疊厚書自學烹飪,我到法國唸廚藝學校。這個世界以某種方式看待、描述和學習關於食物的事,這就是你在這些書中閱讀到的大部份內容。這是件美妙的事,但自從這個對食物的概念建立之後,有些事正不斷演變中。

 

過去20年,人們已經瞭解科學跟食物有很大關係,事實上,要瞭解烹飪如何進行,就必須瞭解烹飪的科學原理,瞭解一些烹飪的化學、物理原理等等。但這些書中沒有任何一本提及這些,也有許多廚師們已開發的技術,如新的食物美學、新的食物處理方法等。有一位名叫Ferran Adria的西班牙廚師,開發出一種非常前衛的美食;一位名叫Heston Blumenthal的英國人,他開發了獨特的前衛美食。過去20年期間,這些書中沒有任何一本提及這些人所開發的技術,他們都沒在烹飪學校授課,為了向他們學習,你必須到他們的餐廳工作,最後,還是得用舊有的方式來看待食物。

 

因此,幾年前-事實上是四年前,我說,是否有能使科學、技術和令人驚奇的美食連結起來的方法呢?是否有辦法用某種前所未見的方式將食物呈現在人們眼前?因此我們做了嘗試,我將向你們展示我們想出的方法。這是一幅所謂的剖面圖,事實上,這是我為這本書所拍攝的第一張照片。這裡的想法是,解釋蒸花椰菜時發生的情形,這幅神奇的視圖讓你能看見蒸花椰菜時發生的所有過程。圖片四周不同的小段文字解釋了一些實際情形。

 

我們希望能達成兩方面效果,其一是能確實解釋蒸花椰菜時發生了什麼情形,但另一個目的是,也許我們可以吸引人們關心一些更技術性、更科學性,或許更貼近廚師的觀點,但卻是他們不曾知曉的事物。藉由那些美麗的圖片,也許我還可以將資訊整合成這個小方塊,顯示事實上蒸和煮花費的時間並不相同,用蒸的應該會更快些。結論是,這並不是所謂的薄膜冷凝效應,這張圖說明了這一點。

 

好,第一張剖面圖有了成效,所以我們說,「好,讓我們再接再厲。」因此,這是另一張圖,我們發現為什麼炒菜鍋要做成這種形狀,這種形狀炒菜鍋的運作效果並不是很好,它著火了三次,但是我們得到一個理念,它只要千分之一秒看起來不錯就行了。

 

(笑聲)

 

這是我們的罐頭剖面圖之一,一旦你開始將物體剖成一半,就多少會變得欲罷不能,所以你們看到,我們將廣口瓶及平底鍋做剖面,其中每個文字方塊解釋了所發生情況的關鍵要素。在這個例子中,煮沸法是用於將已具相當酸性的食物製成罐頭,你不需要將食物加熱到如同用高壓製造罐頭時那麼高的溫度,因為細菌孢子無法在酸性環境中生長,因此,這對我們在這裡用來做罐頭的醃製蔬菜來說很棒。

 

這是我們的漢堡剖面圖,這本書中有個理念是,任何菜餚本質上並沒有好壞之分,所以,你可以大方的,以完全相同的用心、技術做一個漢堡,就像你製作某些更加精美的菜餚一樣。如果你盡可能大方地使用許多技術,嘗試做出最優質的漢堡,一定會得到一點點效果。紐約時報在我的書延遲出版後寫了一篇報導,標題是「30小時漢堡的等待時間變長了」,因為我們的漢堡配方,我們的終極漢堡配方,如果製作漢堡的小圓麵包和醃肉全都由你親身力行,確實需要大約30小時。當然,你並不是整段時間都真的在做這些,大部分時間是坐在那裡等待。

 

這個剖面圖的重點,是向人們展示一種對漢堡前所未見的觀點,並解釋關於漢堡的物理和化學概念,因為,信不信由你,其中確實有些東西跟物理和化學有關,特別是漢堡下方的火焰。碳烤味這個特性主要並非來自於木材或木炭,購買牧豆樹製成的木炭事實上並不會造成太大差別,主要是來自於脂肪遇熱分解或燃燒,因此,漢堡的脂肪滴下並燃燒,因而產生這獨特的氣味。

 

現在,你們可能想知道我們如何做出這些剖面圖?大多數人認為我們是用Photoshop做的,答案是:不,不完全是,我們用的是一間機械工廠。事實證明,將東西剖開的最好方法,就是真的將它剖開,因此,我們擁有世上最佳廚房的其中兩半。(笑聲)我們將一個價值5000美元的餐館用烤箱切成兩半,製造商說,「你將它切成兩半有什麼作用?」我說,「我必須能讓它自由展現。」因此,它出現了,我們使用了它一會兒,將它切成兩半。

 

現在你們也可以看到一些我們拍攝出這些照片的方法。我們將一塊Pyrex,就是耐熱玻璃,黏在前方,我們使用一種紅色的、非常高溫的矽來做黏著劑。很棒的一點是,當你將某樣東西切成一半,就會得到另一半,所以,你可以在將它放在完全相同的位置拍攝,然後取代這部份。確實使用了Photoshop-只是邊緣而已。因此,這非常像好萊塢電影中,某個人吊著繩索從空中飛過,然後用數位技術移除繩索,看起來就像他正飛越空中。

 

但大多數情況下並沒有玻璃,就像漢堡一樣,我們只是將烤爐切成兩半,所以這些煤炭不斷地從爐邊掉落,我們得不斷地將它放回。但同樣的,只需要千分之一秒看起來不錯就行。拍攝這個炒菜鍋時起火了三次,當你將炒菜鍋切成兩半時會發生的情況是,鍋中的油會滴落到火中,然後轟的一聲!我們有位廚師因此失去了他的眉毛,但是,嘿,它們長回來了。

 

除了拍攝剖面圖以外,我們也解釋物理學。這是傅立葉熱傳導定律,這是一個偏微分方程式,我們擁有世上唯一寫上偏微分方程式的食譜。但為了讓它看起來美味些,我們用鋼板割出這個方程式,將它放在火源前方,並拍成像這樣的照片。這本書中有很多小花絮,大家都知道,你使用的各種電器用品都有瓦數,對嗎?但你可能不是很瞭解關於詹姆斯瓦特(蒸汽機發明者)的事,但現在你將會知道。我們在食譜中放入了詹姆斯瓦特傳記,是幾段文字解釋,我們為什麼將熱的單位稱之為瓦特,以及他的靈感從何而來。原來他受僱於一間蘇格蘭酒廠,瞭解他們為什麼要燃燒這麼多泥煤來蒸餾威士忌。

 

我們也做了很多計算,我親自為這本食譜寫了幾千行代碼,這裡有一個計算過程,顯示當你遠離烤爐或其他輻射熱源時其熱度的變化情形。所以當你垂直移離這個表面時,熱度漸漸下降,當你從一側移到另一側時,熱度漸漸下降,這喇叭狀區域就是我們所謂的甜蜜點(sweet spot),這個地方的熱度均勻變化在百分之十以內,這就是你真正希望烹煮東西的地方,可以得出這個有趣的喇叭狀圖形。據我所知,同樣的,這是第一本寫這些東西的食譜,這也可能是最後一本寫這些東西的食譜。你知道,製造一個產品可以有兩種方法,你可以做大量市場調查,鎖定特定族群,瞭解人們真正想要的是什麼;或者你可以就只是勇往直前,寫出你想要的書,並希望其他人喜愛它。

 

這張圖循序漸進地顯示了絞漢堡肉的步驟,如果你真的想做出很棒的漢堡,事實證明,如果你將絞肉順著同方向排列,確實會有所不同。這相當簡單,如同你們在圖上所見,當肉從絞肉機送出時,你只需用一個小托盤,稍稍移動些,將它取走,然後將它堆疊起來,垂直切片。這是最後的漢堡成品,耗時30小時做出的漢堡。我們製做了這個漢堡的每一個環節,生菜已浸了煙燻調味料,書中也描述了如何製作小圓麵包、蘑菇、番茄醬等-諸如此類。

 

現在仔細看,這是爆米花,我會在這裡解釋,爆米花說明了一個物理學的關鍵,不是很美嗎?我們有一台非常高速的攝影機,讓我們在製作這本書時擁有很多樂趣。這裡的物理原理關鍵在於,當水沸騰變成蒸汽時,體積膨脹了1600倍,這就是發生在爆米花中水分的情況。因此,這是說明這個原理一個很棒的例子。

 

現在,我要以一段不尋常的影片結束這場演講。書中有一章是探討凝膠,因為很多人看《流言終結者》和《CSI犯罪現場》,我想,好,讓我們在書中放入彈道凝膠的配方。好,如果你有一台高速攝影機,面前放著一塊彈道凝膠,很快就有人會這樣做。(喘息聲)令人驚訝的是,彈道凝膠應該是模仿人體肌肉中槍時發生的情形-這就是為什麼你不該中槍。另一件令人驚訝的事是,當這塊彈道凝膠落下時,它仍是完好的一塊。

 

總之,就是這本書,在這裡,2,438頁,還有漂亮的大頁面。(掌聲)我有位朋友抱怨,這本書太大、太漂亮了,不適合放在廚房,所以這是本書的六卷裝版本,用可清洗的防水紙做的。

 

(掌聲)

 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About This Talk

Cookbook author (and geek) Nathan Myhrvold talks about his magisterial work, "Modernist Cuisine" -- and shares the secret of its cool photographic illustrations, which show cross-sections of food in the very act of being cooked.

About the Speaker

Nathan Myhrvold is a professional jack-of-all-trades. After leaving Microsoft in 1999, he's been a world barbecue champion, a wildlife photographer, a chef, a contributor to SETI, and a volcano… Full bio and more links

Transcript

So I'm going to tell you a little bit about reimagining food. I've been interested in food for a long time. I taught myself to cook with a bunch of big books like this. I went to chef school in France. And there is a way the world both envisions food, the way the world writes about food and learns about food. And it's largely what you would find in these books. And it's a wonderful thing. But there's some things that have been going on since this idea of food was established.

In the last 20 years, people have realized that science has a tremendous amount to do with food. In fact, understanding why cooking works, requires knowing the science of cooking -- some of the chemistry, some of the physics and so forth. But that's not in any of those books. There's also a tremendous number of techniques that chefs have developed, some about new aesthetics, new approaches to food. There's a chef in Spain named Ferran Adria. He's developed a very avant-garde cuisine; a guy in England called Heston Blumenthal, he's developed his avant-garde cuisine. None of the techniques that these people have developed over the course of the last 20 years is in any of those books. None of them are taught in cooking schools. In order to learn them, you have to go work in those restaurants. And finally, there's the old way of viewing food is the old way.

And so a few years ago -- fours years ago, actually -- I set out to say, is there a way we can communicate science and technique and wonder? Is there a way we can show people food in a way they have not seen it before? So we tried, and I'll show you what we came up with. This is a picture called a cutaway. This is actually the first picture I took in the book. The idea here is to explain what happens when you steam broccoli. And this magic view allows you to see all of what's happening while the broccoli steams. Then each of the different little pieces around it explain some fact.

And the hope was two-fold. One is you can actually explain what happens when you steam broccoli. But the other thing is that maybe we could seduce people into stuff that was a little more technical, maybe a little bit more scientific, maybe a little bit more chef-y than they otherwise would have. Because with that beautiful photo, maybe I can also package this little box here that talks about how steaming and boiling actually take different amounts of time. Steaming ought to be faster. It turns out it isn't because of something called film condensation, and this explains that.

Well, that first cutaway picture worked, so we said, "Okay, let's do some more." So here's another one. We discovered why woks are the shape they are. This shaped wok doesn't work very well; this caught fire three times. But we had a philosophy, which is it only has to look good for a thousandth of a second.

(Laughter)

And one of our canning cutaways. Once you start cutting things in half, you kind of get carried away, so you see we cut the jars in half as well as the pan. And each of these text blocks explains a key thing that's going on. In this case, boiling water canning is for canning things that are already pretty acidic. You don't have to heat them up as hot as you would something you do pressure canning, because bacterial spores can't grow in the acid. So this is great for pickled vegetables, which is what we're canning here.

Here's our hamburger cutaway. One of our philosophies in the book is that no dish is really intrinsically any better than any other dish. So you can lavish all the same care, all the same technique, on a hamburger as you would on some much more fancy dish. And if you do lavish as much technique as possible, and you try to make the highest quality hamburger, it gets to be a little bit involved. The New York Times ran a piece after my book was delayed and it was called "The Wait for the 30 Hour Hamburger Just Got Longer." Because our hamburger recipe, our ultimate hamburger recipe, if you make the buns and you marinate the meat and you do all this stuff, it does take about 30 hours. Of course, you're not actually working the whole time. Most of the time is kind of sitting there.

The point of this cutaway is to show people a view of hamburgers they haven't seen before and to explain the physics of hamburgers and the chemistry of hamburgers, because, believe it or not, there is something to the physics and chemistry, in particular, those flames underneath the burger. Most of the characteristic char-grilled taste doesn't come from the wood or the charcoal. Buying mesquite charcoal will not actually make that much difference. Mostly it comes from fat pyrolyzing, or burning. So it's the fat that drips down and flares up that causes the characteristic taste.

Now you might wonder, how do we make these cutaways? Most people assume we use Photoshop. And the answer is: no, not really, we use a machine shop. And it turns out, the best way to cut things in half is to actually cut them in half. So we have two halves of one of the best kitchens in the world. (Laughter) We cut a $5,000 restaurant oven in half. The manufacturer said, "What would it take for you to cut one in half?" I said, "It would have to show up free." And so it showed up, we used it a little while, we cut it in half.

Now you can also see a little bit how we did some of these shots. We would glue a piece of Pyrex or heat-resistant glass in front. We used a red, very high-temperature silicon to do that. The great thing is, when you cut something in half, you have another half. So you photograph that in exactly the same position, and then you can substitute in -- and that part does use Photoshop -- just the edges. So it's very much like in a Hollywood movie where a guy flies through the air, supported by wires, and then they take the wires away digitally so you're flying through the air.

In most cases though there was no glass. Like for the hamburger, we just cut the damn barbecue. And so those coals that kept falling off the edge, we kept having to put them back up. But again, it only has to work for a thousandth of a second. The wok shot caught fire three times. What happens when you have your wok cut in half is the oil goes down into the fire and whoosh! One of our cooks lost his eyebrows that way. But hey, they grow back.

In addition to cutaways, we also explain physics. This is Fourier's law of heat conduction. It's a partial differential equation. We have the only cookbook in the world that has partial differential equations in it. But to make them palatable, we cut it out of a steel plate and put it in front of a fire and photographed it like this. We've got lots of little tidbits in the book. Everybody knows that your various appliances have wattage, right? But you probably don't know that much about James Watt. But now you will; we put a biography of James Watt in. It's a little couple paragraphs to explain why we call that unit of heat the watt, and where he got his inspiration. It turned out he was hired by a Scottish distillery to understand why they were burning so damn much peat to distill the whiskey.

We also did a lot of calculation. I personally wrote thousands of lines of code to write this cookbook. Here's a calculation that shows how the intensity of a barbecue, or other radiant heat source, goes as you move away from it. So as you move vertically away from this surface, the heat falls off. As you move side to side, it moves off. That horn-shaped region is what we call the sweet spot. That's the place where the heat is even to within 10 percent. So that's the place where you really want to cook. And it's got this funny horn-shaped thing, which as far as I know, again, the first cookbook to ever do this. Now it may also be the last cookbook that ever does it. You know, there's two ways you can make a product. You can do lots of market research and do focus groups and figure out what people really want, or you can just kind of go for it and make the book you want and hope other people like it.

Here's a step-by-step that shows grinding hamburger. If you really want great hamburger, it turns out it makes a difference if you align the grain. And it's really simple, as you can see here. As it comes out of the grinder, you just have a little tray, and you just take it off in little passes, build it up, slice it vertically. Here's the final hamburger. This is the 30 hour hamburger. We make every aspect of this burger. The lettuce has got liquid smoke infused into it. We also have things about how to make the bun. There's a mushroom, ketchup -- it goes on and on.

Now watch closely. This is popcorn. I'll explain it here. The popcorn is illustrating a key thing in physics. Isn't that beautiful. We have a very high-speed camera, which we had lots of fun with on the book. The key physics principle here is when water boils to steam it expands by a factor of 1,600. That's what's happening to the water inside that popcorn. So it's a great illustration of that.

Now I'm going to close with a video that is kind of unusual. We have a chapter on gels. And because people watch Mythbusters and CSI, I thought, well, let's put in a recipe for a ballistics gelatin. Well, if you have a high-speed camera, and you have a block of ballistics gelatin lying around, pretty soon somebody does this. (Gasps) Now the amazing thing here is that a ballistics gelatin is supposed to mimic what happens to human flesh when you get shot -- that's why you shouldn't get shot. The other amazing thing is, when this ballistics gelatin comes down, it falls back down as a nice block.

Anyway, here's the book. Here it is. 2,438 pages. And they're nice big pages too. (Applause) A friend of mine complained that this was too big and too pretty to go in the kitchen, so there's a sixth volume that has washable waterproof paper.

(Applause)
 


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