A Data-Driven Guide to Buying a Diamond Engagement Ring

Edit Sep 14, 2016: I’ve created a diamond-focused site with new tools: www.diamondscreener.com This post is intended to be an intermediate-level guide after you’ve gotten serious about buying a ring. It covers the practical aspects of setting a budget and finding the best deal via the cost-efficiency frontier (interactive tool screenshot above). Hopefully it will help you cut … Read more

Aquaponics with the Back to the Roots Fish Tank

My dream home has a fully automated aquaponics system that grows tilapia and vegetables in the backyard. Alas, I live in San Francisco, so the closest I can get to experimenting with food self-sufficiency is this Back to the Roots Water Garden. Aquaponic farming is a closed system that captures the complete nitrogen cycle to … Read more

Vitamix vs Blendtec – Why not both?

The eternal question: Vitamix or Blendtec? Behold this chimera of a Vitamix base with a special Blendtec Rebel+ Jar. It’s the best of both worlds. The Blendtec jar is great – so great that Vitamix copied it. It’s short, easy to pour, and easy to clean. However, the controls on the Blendtec Total Blender are … Read more

Rhubarb Gin Fizz with Miracle Berry

Spring is rhubarb season. A rhubarb gin fizz with miracle berry is my variation of iNG Restaurant’s rhubarb whiskey sour. It starts sour then turns sweet, thanks to the miracle berry. The gin fizz is a laborious cocktail to make. It requires vigorously shaking a cocktail shaker to build up a good foam. Modernist tools … Read more

Ceci n’est pas un oeuf

The treachery of food at WD-50, where an egg is not an egg. The egg whites are coconut milk infused with cardamom. The yolks are carrot juice and smoked maple syrup. The texture is remarkably similar to a real sunny side up egg. Recipe from Modernist Cuisine. For the egg yolks: For the egg whites: … Read more

Akelarre’s Langosta Destilada (Distilled Lobster)

Akelare cooks a lobster dish tableside in a coffee vacuum siphon. Here’s the recipe as listed in the Akelare book.  My notes and substitutions are in parentheses. Ingredients: Special Equipment: Start by preparing the lobster stock. Humanely kill the lobster by slicing through the brain lengthwise. Dip the lobster into boiling water for 15 seconds … Read more

Puffed Egg with Bacon Dashi

Chef David Chang made Momofuku Ko’s Puffed Egg in episode 9 of The Mind of a Chef, but the show did not provide a complete recipe. After some research and experimentation, here’s the recipe I compiled for my adaptation: The bacon dashi recipe is from the Momofuku book. You’ll need: For the puffed egg you’ll … Read more

Edible Soap Bar with Honey Bubbles

Adapting Mugaritz’s edible soap bar via Modernist Cuisine. A literal palate cleanser! Ingredients: Special Equipment Modernist cuisine is an expensive hobby! The cost of the ingredients and equipment for this single dish is as much as a dinner at a Michelin star restaurant. I substituted orange blossom honey for wildflower honey because orange blossom honey … Read more

Gin and Tonic with Cucumber Bursting Boba

Here’s my attempt to recreate The Aviary‘s gin and tonic with encapsulated cucumber juice. The cucumber juice boba spheres are liquid on the inside and burst in the mouth. The drink is shown in the video below. Since the relative quantities of the ingredients weren’t mentioned in the video, I used the recipes for the … Read more

Chocolate Smore Bomb with Pop Rocks Shrapnel

A “chocolate smore bomb with pop rocks shrapnel” is my combination of moto restaurant’s smore bomb and Modernist Cuisine’s exploding chocolate. It’s a liquid graham cracker contained within a chocolate shell, covered in pop rocks, and finished with a “marshmallow” fuse. Light the fuse, wait for it to completely burn down to the chocolate, and … Read more