As a PhD student, culinary scientist Ali Bouzari set out to find the best possible texture of mashed potatoes (he likes them really smooth and creamy

Q & A: Four years and 20,000 potatoes later, this man has a PhD in mashed potatoes

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2022-01-14 11:30:11

As a PhD student, culinary scientist Ali Bouzari set out to find the best possible texture of mashed potatoes (he likes them really smooth and creamy). He spent almost four years working in a lab to create — and replicate — the most delicious mashed potatoes. 

Read on to learn more about Bouzari's mashed potato journey. But if you only have a minute, here are his top three tips for perfect mashed potatoes:

Bouzari appears in the documentary Chef's Secrets: The Science of Cooking, which explores how understanding science can make you a better cook. 

A: I don't think there's anybody who doesn't like mashed potatoes, they're delicious. I don't know that I, like, grew up with a poster on my wall of a potato, but what I really liked about it is that it was something that felt fundamental and fairly universal: mashed root vegetable is found everywhere.

[When I got to grad school] I really wanted to find a project that was food focused, not just food science, not just "one trace molecule in a watermelon and how it evolves over the course of X, Y or Z."

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