The future of food is being written on an IdeaPaint wall. The not-so-mad scientist-chef holding the marker is Adam Melonas, who started experimenting with the molecular makeup of what we eat at the age of 14. His inquiring mind and stomach have landed him gigs at upscale restaurants and start-ups alike. Today, though, he runs Chew, a thinkspace of his own creation.
Tucked away in a residential neighborhood in Cambridge, Chew is not far from Kendall Square's infamous Innovation Corridor. It shares the tech community's imperative of creating better, more sustainable products faster. And yet, its subject matter is quite different. At any given time, 90 different foods and beverages are being tested, tasted, and tweaked.
For those unfamiliar with the chemical side of the culinary world, being meticulous is everything. As Melonas explains it, "Good cooking is small details done to perfection." That's where writable surfaces come in handy. They act as a catchall for half-baked ideas and as a place to track the minutia of every experiment. Because at Chew, progress looks more like theatre than anything else. Oil pops, notes flurry, and a path forward is decided upon quickly. That's Melonas' preferred method. As he says, "I'm not afraid of moving and adjusting. I'm afraid of staying still." Passionate, curious, and driven, he is the epitome of an innovator — always hungry for more.
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