Ali Bouzari Stops at Uchiko Austin to Talk Ingredients


Ali Bouzari recently made a stop in Austin at Uchiko. He is a co-founder of Pilot R+D, a culinary scientist, author, educator, and a chef. Bouzari has influenced the thoughts of food science and culinary chemistry from inside and outside of the classroom. While studying his undergrad in Biochemistry, Bouzari cooked in kitchens. He taught lectors at The Culinary Institute of America. He even had the opportunity to give a Ted Talk at UC Davis, where he received his Ph.D. in Food Biochemistry while exploring the basics of what makes mashed potatoes so dang good. To say that we were thankful and elated to hear Bouzari speak would be an understatement. Above all, we were absolutely intrigued.

Bouzari’s message was simple, he wanted to change the way we talked about food. As many of you are aware, even the simplest of tasks can change the entire course of a meal or a dish. Bouzari’s idea was that every single food ingredient can be broken down and from there can be placed in eight separate groups: water, sugar, complex carbs, lipids, proteins, minerals, gases, and heat. Bouzari emphasized that these basic groups are the tool belts in food. If dishes are succulent, they are normally influenced by lipids. If a dish is juicy, it’s influenced by water. Even water, can influence our food dramatically, just by how it is treated.

With Bouzari’s wit and humorous approach towards these methods, I can honestly say we all left feeling more than intrigued; we were happily informed. Bouzari has been on a book tour throughout the US and Uchiko was one of the four stops that he made in Austin. His book, Ingredient: Unveiling the Essential Elements of Food was published today by Ecco. Bouzari emphasized on “re-introducing the science in sauces”, while still “embracing your Italian and Korean traditions.” Disregard modernist stuff for the sake of being modern and reach down to the fundamental roots that make us love amazing food.


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