One of the many astonishing aspects of Nathan Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine is his widespread use of cutaway cooking shots, a practical — and visually stunning — method of revealing what goes on inside a cooking vessel. Curious minds might have wondered how, exactly, such shots were fashioned: How do you cut a heavy steel-and-enamel dutch oven — not to mention an oven itself — in half? In this Ted Talks video, Myhrvold reveals precisely that. (Hint: You’ll need a machine shop.) The scientist turned chef also relays some anecdotes about working with half a barbecue grill (the coals kept falling off) or half a wok (the oil dripped on to the flame, causing repeated fires and the loss of one cook’s eyebrows). There’s also some gorgeous video of popcorn popping in slow motion and ballistic gelatin shaking and shuddering in midair until finally settling back down into its original block shape. See that in the video below.
Photo: Courtesy of Modernist Cuisine