Flavor Alchemy

Relating the journey through the science and art of cooking.


Science can make cooking a little easier to understand, a bit less mysterious.


The real Denis Papin was a fellow of the Royal Society and inventor of the steam digestor, what we like to call pressure cooker. I live near Washington, DC in the United States. I worked as a physicist for a decade (editing journals, getting funding, finding postdocs, and publishing once in a while). I had fun doing that, but I stumbled on a really cool problem that had to be solved outside academia, so I left.

I always had fun reading about the science of cooking, which is chemistry, cell biology, soft condensed matter, with some psychology thrown in.

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Solve et coagula was a motto for alchemists: take the soil, dissolve it, rejoin it. Not too far from what cooks do: take from the soil, heat it, plate it.