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  • Grant Achatz (chef): Achatz’s innovative ‘technoemotional’ cuisine was featured in a 2016 episode of Netflix’s Chef’s Table (Season 2, Episode 1). His flagship restaurant, Alinea, as well as two of his other gastronomic ventures, Next and The Aviary, are in Chicago.
  • Magnus Nilsson (chef): Nilsson’s “rektún mat” (“real food”) approach to cuisine was featured in a 2015 episode of Netflix’s Chef’s Table (Season 1, Episode 6). His flagship restaurant in Sweden, Fäviken, is most easily found by using its latitude and longitude coordinates (63,4353096° N, 13,293169° E).
  • Center for Genomic Gastronomy: How can you not be seduced by an organization whose goals include prototyping “alternative culinary futures” and imagining “a more just, biodiverse & beautiful food system.” Plus, their 2012 publication Pray for Beans contains one of my all-time favorite descriptions of an everyday kitchen staple, the bean. In case you’re too lazy to follow the link above, here’s their description:

Beans are a biotechnology.

Beans are a biologically constrained collection of decisions, artifacts and information, developed and maintained through human ingenuity, that do work in the world. Early agriculturalists selectively bred bean plants, and this biotechnological refinement continues to this day. Cooks developed systems for processing and mixing vegetable proteins with other ingredients to create tasty and nutritious recipes. Societies of eaters developed artifacts, customs and economies around these genomes.

Beans are a biotechnology but we don’t usually think of them that way.  Maybe because they are too old and obvious to spark our imagination. But DO think of them this way. Beans are a code. They need a certain platform to run: recipes, spices and societal acceptance. And their nitrogen-fixing abilities mean they are far from obsolete.