MY FIRST RESTAURANT, Momofuku Noodle Bar, had an open kitchen. This wasn’t by choice—I didn’t have enough money or space to put it farther away from the diners. But cooking in front of my customers changed the way I look at food. In the early years, around 2004, we were improvising new recipes every day, and I could instantly tell what was working and what wasn’t by watching people eat. A great dish hits you like a Whip-It: There’s momentary elation, a brief ripple of pure pleasure in the spacetime continuum. That’s what I was chasing, that split second when someone tastes something so delicious that their conversation suddenly derails and they blurt out something guttural like they stubbed their toe.
By now, in 2015 with gluten excommunicated from diets and paleo celebrated and superfood vegetables being discovered left and right, we all generally know what kind of food is good for you and what kind of food is bad for you. But do most of us really know what a calorie is other than a big number being worse than a little number? Probably not! Here’s a video from Ted Ed breaking down the unit of measurement that runs so many lives.
Supercomputers are dreaming up crazy new ways to cook the food that we have today, but will we eat the same things in the future? For instance, when news of California’s drought began to hit, people wondered if switching to a diet rich in insects would be the only way to survive.