My name is Nathan.  Until recently, I worked in the UC Berkeley chemistry department as a typical graduate student.  I liked to hike, read, cook, and brew beer, but spent most of my “free” time in lab.  Since then I have had a change of heart.  I’m still pretty typical for the Bay Area.  I like to hike, read, cook, and brew beer.  But as an unemployed 24 year-old, my schedule now looks a bit different and I have time to indulge.  Say hello to “The Kitchen Chemist”.

I doubt that anyone in my family is surprised by how much I cook.  My sisters and I grew up with a home-cooked family dinner seven nights per week.  I like good food too much to not end up a good cook, but it took a while to get there.  Specifically, a while equals freshman year of college, which I spent on the meal plan eating a LOT of overcooked pasta.  The next year I made sure I had an apartment with my own kitchen, got some cooking lessons from my parents, and ate a lot more pasta.  This time al dente.  By junior year I was known to handle stress by ignoring my homework and instead baking pies.  My roommates never complained.

My kitchen is an interesting place.  My favorite foods include steak, chicken, pasta, and sometimes rice.  Further down the list you can eventually find a number of different vegetables, but I can’t stand potatoes and have only recently warmed up to beans or tofu.  On the other side of the table sits Ali.  Ali is a dedicated vegetarian, whose favorite foods include beans, potatoes, beans, and more potatoes.  It makes for an interesting dynamic, has broadened my horizons, and I’m seldom happier than when the two of us work together on a meal.  It usually involves karaoke.  There may also be (bad) dancing.

So how does all of this come together?  My mom claims that she never left science.  Instead, she just moved her experimentation into the kitchen.  I never really understood that until I learned to cook.  Now I follow the same path, and this blog is the notebook for my new lab.  I’ll tackle everything from routine weekday meals to all-day weekend extravaganzas.  For the scientists among you, there will be a bit more detail than you might expect from a random food blog.  If you don’t want the science, well, hopefully you’ll stay for the food.


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