“From Sous Vide to Social Search, How Technology is Changing How We Cook and Eat”

Addie Broyles
Food writer and blogger, Austin American-Statesman,,
Michael Chu
Engineer and Founder of Cooking for Engineers

Michael Chu

Addie Broyles

Tuesday, August 7, 2012
5:45 p.m. – Networking Reception
6:30 p.m. – Presentation

Despite predictions of nutrient-packed pills that would replace traditional meals, we’re still cooking in kitchens and eating off plates. But technological advances in the past decade have nonetheless influenced almost every aspect of our food culture.

The Internet and social media revolution have turned the process of picking restaurants and finding new recipes on its head. Food bloggers aren’t the only people who snap pictures of their food when they go out to eat, and they certainly aren’t the only ones connecting with their peers online and off to talk about what we eat and why.

At the same time, technologies beyond the web have made cooking (in restaurants and at home) more efficient, interesting and adventurous. Sous vide cooking (where food is cooked in a controlled warm-water bath) and spherification (where liquids are made into solid or semi-solid balls) are two examples of how new equipment and modern techniques are altering what’s possible in the kitchen. These technologies aren’t just gimmicks but can actually improve the taste, texture and nutrition of the food we eat.

Cooking For Engineers founder Michael Chu and Austin American-Statesman food writer Addie Broyles will talk about some of these technology-driven changes and what innovations in food might be around the corner.


Addie Broyles is the food writer for the Austin American-Statesman, where she writes a weekly column and blog called Relish Austin and contributes to the newspaper’s monthly magazine, Real. When she’s not chasing after her two young sons or tweeting about her latest kitchen successes (or failures), the Ozarks native and University of Missouri graduate writes about women and food at and is the advisory council chair of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance.

In 2011, Addie was named by Tribeza magazine as one of the top 10 Austinites to watch and was voted the top food writer in the city by the Austin Chronicle. She recently won the National Headliner Award for special or feature column on one subject by an individual and has been a judge for the James Beard Foundation’s media and journalism awards.

Michael Chu is the founder of Cooking For Engineers, a food and cooking website dedicated to analytical thinkers. He is a computer engineer who has been awarded patents in computer graphics and vision, helped develop and design notebook computers, and is currently the lead architect for social networking website Fanpop. He also enjoys dining at both the high-end (Michelin 3-star restaurants) and low-end (national fast food chains), cooking for friends and family, and writing about food. His work on Cooking For Engineers has been featured in the New York Times, Time Magazine, Wired Magazine, and Gourmet.