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Nathan Myhrvold


Dr. Nathan Myhrvold is chief exec­u­tive offi­cer and a founder of Intellectual Ventures, a firm ded­i­cated to cre­at­ing and invest­ing in inven­tions. In addi­tion to stim­u­lat­ing the inven­tion of oth­ers, Myhrvold is him­self an active inven­tor, with nearly 250 patents issued or pending—including sev­eral related to food tech­nol­ogy. Before found­ing his inven­tion com­pany, Myhrvold was the first chief tech­nol­ogy offi­cer at Microsoft. He estab­lished Microsoft Research, and dur­ing his tenure he over­saw many advanced tech­nol­ogy projects. He left Microsoft in 1999 to pur­sue sev­eral inter­ests, includ­ing a life­long inter­est in cook­ing and food science.

Myhrvold com­peted on a team that won first place in sev­eral cat­e­gories at the 1991 World Championship of Barbecue, includ­ing first prize in the spe­cial pasta cat­e­gory for a recipe that Myhrvold devel­oped on the day of the contest.

After work­ing for two years as a stagier at Seattle’s top French restau­rant, Rover’s, Myhrvold com­pleted culi­nary train­ing with renowned chef Anne Willan at the Ecole De La Varenne. In addi­tion, he has worked as Chief Gastronomic Officer for Zagat Survey, pub­lisher of the pop­u­lar Zagat restau­rant guide­books. Through his many vis­its to the world’s top restau­rants, Myhrvold has become per­son­ally acquainted with many of the lead­ing Modernist chefs and the science-inspired cook­ing tech­niques they have pioneered.

Myhrvold is him­self an accom­plished prac­ti­tioner of Modernist cui­sine. He has con­tributed orig­i­nal research on cook­ing sous vide to online culi­nary forums, and his sous vide tech­niques have been cov­ered in the New York Times Magazine, Wired, and PBS’s “Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie” tele­vi­sion series.

Myhrvold’s for­mal edu­ca­tion includes degrees in math­e­mat­ics, geo­physics, and space physics from UCLA, and PhDs in math­e­mat­i­cal eco­nom­ics and the­o­ret­i­cal physics from Princeton University. In his post-doctoral work at Cambridge University, Myhrvold worked on quan­tum the­o­ries of grav­ity with the renowned cos­mol­o­gist Stephen Hawking.

Read Bruce Palling's interview with Nathan Myhrvold on his blog Gastroenophile