Ever wanted to see food sizzling from the inside of an oven? Or a levitating grilled cheese sandwich? Or how about the cellular make up of a blueberry? Then you’re in luck, because the Southern Food and Beverage Museum’s new exhibit showcases all of those images and more.

The Photography of Modernist Cuisine features over 45 large format photographs of food/cooking equipment, all taken by Nathan Myhrvold and his team of photography and food specialists in Seattle. The exhibit previously ran at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, and the The Museum of Science in Boston, but it’s run at the SoFAB Institute marks its premiere in the south, and at a food museum.

“It was a natural fit,” said Modernist Cuisine marketing and public relations director Melissa Lukach. “We want to show food in an nontraditional way to get people interested in what they’re eating from a different angle.”

Curators for the exhibit selected the photographs from a library of over 500,000 images, many of which were taken for Myhrvold’s critically acclaimed books Modernist Cuisine:The Art and Science of Cooking and Modernist Cuisine at Home. The images vary from high speed shots of eggs breaking, to microscopic looks at the cellular make up of vitamin C, to some truly stunning photographs from the inside of grills and ovens.

We want to show food in an nontraditional way to get people interested in what they're eating from a different angle. Melissa Lukach

“We wanted to get people looking at food at a level you would never be able to with the naked eye,” said Lukach. The exhibit also features some of the equipment used as subjects for the photographs, such as ovens, grills, and pots sliced in half.

Other highlights include a video of high speed Phantom photography that shows a variety of food presented in slow motion, and a collection of headscratching “levitating sandwich” photographs. So much of the joy from the exhibit comes from asking yourself, “how did they do that?” – a question that yields hunger and curiosity all at once.

The Photography of Modernist Cuisine is open to the public and runs through March, 2016. For ticketing information and hours, check out the Southern Food and Beverage Museum’s website.

Above Images

  • A Pressure Canner Uses Steam to Sterilze, Ryan Matthew Smith, 2009_
  • Beefsteak Tomato, Nathan Mhyrvold, 2008
  • Carnitas Under Pressure, Tyson Stole, 2012
  • Chocolate Starts as Cacao Fruit Pods, Nathan Mhyrvold, 2013
  • Crust of Seared Steak, Nathan Mhyrvold, 2008
  • Exploding Eggs, Ryan Matthew Smith, 2011
  • From Liquid To Foam, Ryan Matthew Smith, 2010
  • Forbidden Rice, Nathan Mhyrvold, 2010
  • Is Red Cabbage Really Red, Nathan Mhyrvold, 2008
  • Levitating Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Melissa Lchuta, 2012
  • Levitating Hamburger, Ryan Matthew Smith, 2009
  • Seared Steak, Nathan Mhyrvold, 2009
  • Wok Stir Fry, Ryan Matthew Smith, 2008

Our Local Publisher Partners

The Arts Council of New Orleans

The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.


WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at WWNO.org.


WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.


Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.


As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

The Historic New Orleans Collection

The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

Southern Food

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.



was added to your favorites.



Share On Twitter Share On Facebook