Smart Living

Meet the polymath who’s turning his hand to breadmaking

There's a one-of-a-kind breadmaking class at Borough Market tonight – and you're invited

Dr Nathan Myhrvold started university when he was only 14 years old. His biography calls him an avid inventor and prolific author in the fields of technology, paleontology, energy and bioterrorism. He worked on his postdoctoral research under Stephen Hawking, became Chief Technology Officer for Microsoft, and now is… a master breadmaker.

Not the turn you’d expect, but Myhrvold, founder of Modernist Cuisine (The Cooking Lab LLC) has never taken the conventional path.

Perhaps you’re one of those who’s felt the need to roll up their sleeves and try their hand at making bread? There’s no doubt interest in artisanal breadmaking is booming, and so Bread Ahead, one of London’s finest bakeries, is hosting Dr Myhrvold for the first in a series of lectures with visiting experts about what exactly it takes to make good bread.

It turns out, that as well as being a technological and mathematical polymath, Myhrvold is also a top notch baker. It was while he was working at Microsoft that he took a leave of absence to attend culinary school at École de Cuisine La Varenne in France. Years later when he left Microsoft, he shifted his attention to the world of food and assembled the Modernist Cuisine team, with the aim of filling the information gap on sous vide and culinary science. Since then he’s produced several books on what he calls Modernist Cuisine. His experimental, five part cookbook, Modernist Bread, is an exhaustive examination of the science and art of making bread. His premise is that though bread is one of the oldest and most mundane of foods, there’s plenty of scope for innovation. All bakers need to experiment is to have all the information to hand.

He’s a true one-off, and his talk, followed by a Q and A hosted by Bread Ahead founder Matthew Jones, promises to be something of a unique opportunity, whether you’re a keen bread maker, or just a passionate bread eater.

7pm, Friday, 23 February at Bread Ahead, Borough Market.  Tickets are free and available by email, subject to availability at