A culinary collaboration with Restaurant Alchemist — MIT Media Lab
The R&D team, where I have been a part of for the last twelve months, is led by Diego Prado, who trained as a chef and has spent his career working in the field of cuisine and science in the best restaurants and universities around the world. Nabila Rodriguez Valeron is a chemist and flavor expert, and principal researcher at Alchemist who conducts experiments and helps turn research into edible creations. Mikel Olaizola Garcia is a chef who works across departments to translate both design concepts and culinary processes. The R&D team was first set up as an extension of the development kitchen to work on applications of new techniques and dishes, and also as a space dedicated to research to make the innovation that is taking place more accessible. in the professional kitchen.
Kitchens are complex laboratory spaces, but beyond the plate, there is no clear path to make a chef’s work accessible or for a chef to patent their creations. In recent years there has been a push for chefs to publish, and this has been promoted by the Harvard Science and Cooking Public Lecture Series, which brings together chefs and academics, and the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science. , a peer-reviewed journal known to feature chefs. As a researcher and designer, and budding cookit was quite special to find temporary accommodation, complementary to the MIT Media Lab, within an interdisciplinary team in a restaurant.