Jeff Potter

Hello, World! I’m Jeff Potter.

I love food and I love science. And what better way to teach science than with food? My book Cooking for Geeks shows people how to think smart in the kitchen — The Washington Post called it “one of the most useful books on understanding cooking.” Check it out on Amazon!

I'm not actually a chef. I don't run a restaurant and I haven’t been to culinary school. I studied computer science and visual art at Brown University, and I still do software engineering, working with Internet startups helping them with infrastructure and operations (devops).

Why write a book on cooking, you ask? I'm lucky to have parents who enjoy cooking, and as a kid, cooking was something we did together. Like any curious person, I'd ask "how does this work?" If I wasn’t sure how to make something—when making cookies, should I melt the butter or keep it chilled?—I’d try both, a simple “A/B” experiment, to see what would happen. Writing a book was an amazing opportunity for me to really dig deep into all the questions I had. And besides: science that you can eat!

My journey with food has been an amazing experience. I've given talks at events all over the globe—from Germany to California to Australia. I've experienced the unexpected joy (and terror) of making a 500 pound donut on a Food Network TV special. And I've been privileged to be involved as a trustee and spokesperson for Awesome Food, a non-profit that gives out $1,000 micro-grants to ideas related to food. It's been a humbling experience.

I'm thinking about writing another book looking at why we eat the way we do. It's a tough question to answer: unlike cooking, where a science experiment can show results in hours, studies that look at food and its impact can take decades. It's amazing how much we still don't know about food. If you have thoughts, questions, or interesting connections on this topic—or any other!—let me know. I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Cooking!

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