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Articles by Professional chef and mathematician Hari Pulapaka

Hari Pulapaka is an associate professor of mathematics and computer science at Stetson University and the executive chef and co-owner of the highly acclaimed Cress Restaurant in DeLand, Florida. He was named to the Grist 50 in 2017.

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Americans love to eat — and our eating habits are changing. In 2015, for likely the very first time in history, Americans consumed more food away from home than they did at home. Since then, “dining out” has fast outpaced “dining in” by most indicators. Assuming a modest linear trend applied to two decades of data between 1997-2017, in less than a decade, we will spend more than a trillion dollars annually on food away from home.

And guess who is going to prepare all that food? Professional cooks and their machines, that’s who.

As a mathematics professor and a chef, and someone who is passionate about finding solutions to climate change, I think about these things a lot. Food production by humans is changing the Earth’s climate. Conversely, climate change will alter the food that we are able to consume.

For three decades, at my day job, I’ve touted the virtues of mathematics and analytical thinking to my students and colleagues. For more than a decade, I’ve dedicated myself to preparing food at my restaurant, Cress, that excites, nourishes, enlightens, and inspires.

Chefs like me are in a unique and enviable position to leverage our professions and pa... Read more