Friday, October 16, 2009

Hey, if I'm going to be talking about all things geek then I need to make a few things clear right up front. Geek culture is vast. I am generally a techno-geek but I'm also a language geek, a comic geek, a film geek, and several other categories of geek. Generally you can be a geek in almost every niche of culture by fully investing in that niche. However, for the purpose of this blog I will be using a more mainstream version of the term, so geekiness is measured by the technology invested or referenced as well as the potential for science. Science Fiction would fit in this category as well even if there is no basis in real science because I am not so concerned about real science, just potential for science.

Now that we are all on the same page, how does a geek cook? There are the old standby geek meals, which include pizza (frozen or delivered), microwave burritos, ramen noodles, and energy drinks, but many geeks want more. I, for one, believe that geek food can be good food. To that end I am gracious for Good Eats with Alton Brown. He brings geek chique to the Food Network. You can tell the difference between standard cooking and geek cooking because of the science and the tools used. In most episodes processes are described in science terms as well as anthropology and other useless information for actually making the meal. Useless to any non-geek but for the geek elite it is as precious as the food that nourishes us. Beyond that the tools used are impressive and diverse. It is nice enough that there are plenty of standard tools, but the geek code holds that if you can make something better to do a job then don't buy something to do the job. Alton often builds pretty amazing devices to do his cooking and also finds ways to incorporate power tools, which is a win.

Of course, geek cooking doesn't end with a single show. There are a multitude of gadgets out there for the geek in us all. There are fridges with tvs in the door and amazing new technology like the anti-griddle. These might be a bit out of the budget for your average geek, but that doesn't mean we have to go without. The nice thing about being a geek is the sheer volume of useful but no longer used gadgetry in the world. For example, I have a dead laptop with a perfectly good LCD screen. A little bit of dremel work, soldering, and hacking can result in a refrigerator with a TV in the door. If I have a serious need for an anti-griddle I could rig of something pretty quickly with an aluminum plate, and a modified window air conditioner.

Geek cooking is about the technology but also about making things happen and that is why I'm proud to be a geek. I'm feeling inspired to turn my fridge into a tv right now, I wonder if my wife will let me?