Founder, Intellectual Ventures
Founder of The Cooking Lab, lead author of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking and Modernist Cuisine at Home and author of The Photography of Modernist Cuisine, Nathan earned a doctorate in theoretical and mathematical physics as well as a master’s degree in economics from Princeton University; he holds additional master’s degrees in geophysics and space physics and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles. He did postdoctoral work with Stephen Hawking at Cambridge University before starting a software company that would be acquired by Microsoft.Nathan retired from Microsoft in 1999 to found Intellectual Ventures and pursue lifelong interests in photography, cooking, and food science. Unable to find practical information about sous vide cooking, he decided to write the book he had hoped already existed—one that provided a scientific explanation of the cooking process, the history of cooking, and the techniques, equipment, and recipes involved in Modernist cuisine. In 2011, he founded The Cooking Lab, hired an interdisciplinary team that included scientists, research chefs, and writers, and published the acclaimed Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking. That was followed by Modernist Cuisine at Home in 2012, which applies the insights of the original book in a format designed for home cooks.
In 2014 he hired Francisco Migoya as head chef to work with him and the Modernist Cuisine team in researching and writing the next book, Modernist Bread: The Art and Science. At five volumes, the book will provide a comprehensive look at the history, techniques, ingredients, and equipment used to create yeast-leavened bread around the world.