Photo: Chef Dan Felder in the Pilot R&D test kitchen.

Dan Felder against blue background
Dan Felder
Photo: Ali Bouzari

In the world of chefs, to come up with a new flavor combination or a new dish sometimes isn't enough. For a certain kind of restaurant, creativity is measured in how many new ideas or techniques you come up with - can you make food that literally no one has ever seen before? To do that, there is a whole class of chefs who basically never cook food you or I will ever eat. They're there purely for research and development or R&D. Ali Bouzari, a culinary scientist himself, interviewed his business partner Dan Felder, one of the brightest minds in this business, on some of the lengths he's gone to, to try to get a new idea right.

Dan Felder is the Chief Innovation Officer and a Co-Founder of Pilot R&D. Ali Bouzari is also a founder of Pilot R&D, and the author of Ingredient: Unveiling the Essential Elements of Food.

Ali Bouzari

Ali Bouzari is a culinary scientist, author, educator, and co-founder of Pilot R&D, a culinary research and development company, and Render, a new food company that collaborates with the best restaurant chefs in the country to reinvent the way food lovers eat. His book, Ingredient: Unveiling the Essential Elements of Food, won the 2017 IACP award for Best Reference Book. Ali also writes a monthly column, Housemade, for the San Francisco Chronicle.