In Wired march 2011, I read about Physics Meets Arts in the Cooking Lab. Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft's former CTO takes on Modernist Cuisine. I am a lousy cook, but a quite talented eater. And I like to celebrate one or the other dinners at a famous chef's place. As Grant Achatz' Alinea in Chicago, or Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck, near London, both renown for driving the tools and techniques of molecular cuisine, mentioned in the article.
In If UnRisk was a Restaurant, I have outlined my view on the mathematical cuisine - that if you want to make the best dish you reduce processes by extending knowledge from the cooking knowledge base "correctly".
Myhrvold the scientist emphasizes on the processes. Chicken, salmon and beef are all coked sous vide with temperature probes inserted so Myhrvold could track how the heat moved through the food. He wrote a Mathematica program to model the heat transfer though various shapes and sizes of food.
His Team and its Tools - chef-reasearchers working in the most high tech kitchen ever created.
In short, cooks need to understand the physics of diffusion? However, ironically, avant-garde, science-driven cooking - is waning. Chefs are propagating breaks of tradition by serving, say, French cuisine with Asian influences. Or as my favorite chef Massimiliano Alajmo says, there-is-no-other-truth-but-the-one-of-the-ingredients (the axioms).
Maybe, I cannot suppress what Dan Ariely calls our-irrational-fear-of-the-unnatural.