Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Do Top Chefs dream of electric kitchens? Season 9 winner Paul Qui does

Paul Qui Austin Top Chef
Image used with permission by copyright holder

It’s not a trip to Austin without sampling some of the best local cuisine the town has to offer. Armed with our best appetite, we stopped by SouthBites, a food truck courtyard curated by Top Chef season 9 winner Paul Qui. The Austin local tells us the food truck gathering is a collection of things he enjoys eating, but what we want to know most is how to gear up our kitchen like a Top Chef would. And surprisingly? Qui’s a big fan of electric induction appliances.

Digital Trends: Not everyone can cook like a Top Chef, but we sure as heck wanna look like one. What would a Top Chef dream kitchen have?

GastrovacPaul: For cooking equipments, I definitely want a Gastrovac, Pacojet, a freeze dryer, centrifuge … I’m a big fan of induction, actually. It’s slightly more expensive than what we can afford in the kitchen right now but I really like running electrical equipment in the kitchen. It’s a lot cleaner.

DT: That seems to be the opposite reaction people have – most people say they want fire and gas burners.

Paul: I love working with gas and wood, so I would do a combination of both. I have three Green Egg [smoker grills] in the restaurant – so you gotta combine high and low: Old school and new school altogether. I like the flavor from smoke, but at the same time I enjoy the convenience of electrical equipment. With the technology these days, for me, it’s not about fire to bring out flavors; there are other ways to extract flavors from things.

DT: One of DT’s fascinations with cooking is molecular gastronomy, which you’ve dabbled with during your run on the show. Do you like cooking in that style?

Paul: I do quite a bit of molecular gastronomy, I use it for very practical reasons and try out different techniques. As far as a modernist’s approach towards food, I do a lot of monochromatic style of cuisine. I used to do Roy G. Biv-inspired tastings where each plate is based on primary colors. I just like to play with food, so any new technique, I’m always game.

DT: What’s one must-have cooking equipment I should own if I want to attempt things Top Chef style?

Paul: I’m a big fan of the Vitamix blender – you can do so many things with it. It’s a very handy tool.

Natt Garun
Former Digital Trends Contributor
An avid gadgets and Internet culture enthusiast, Natt Garun spends her days bringing you the funniest, coolest, and strangest…
Digital Trends’ Tech For Change CES 2023 Awards
Digital Trends CES 2023 Tech For Change Award Winners Feature

CES is more than just a neon-drenched show-and-tell session for the world’s biggest tech manufacturers. More and more, it’s also a place where companies showcase innovations that could truly make the world a better place — and at CES 2023, this type of tech was on full display. We saw everything from accessibility-minded PS5 controllers to pedal-powered smart desks. But of all the amazing innovations on display this year, these three impressed us the most:

Samsung's Relumino Mode
Across the globe, roughly 300 million people suffer from moderate to severe vision loss, and generally speaking, most TVs don’t take that into account. So in an effort to make television more accessible and enjoyable for those millions of people suffering from impaired vision, Samsung is adding a new picture mode to many of its new TVs.
[CES 2023] Relumino Mode: Innovation for every need | Samsung
Relumino Mode, as it’s called, works by adding a bunch of different visual filters to the picture simultaneously. Outlines of people and objects on screen are highlighted, the contrast and brightness of the overall picture are cranked up, and extra sharpness is applied to everything. The resulting video would likely look strange to people with normal vision, but for folks with low vision, it should look clearer and closer to "normal" than it otherwise would.
Excitingly, since Relumino Mode is ultimately just a clever software trick, this technology could theoretically be pushed out via a software update and installed on millions of existing Samsung TVs -- not just new and recently purchased ones.

Read more
AI turned Breaking Bad into an anime — and it’s terrifying
Split image of Breaking Bad anime characters.

These days, it seems like there's nothing AI programs can't do. Thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence, deepfakes have done digital "face-offs" with Hollywood celebrities in films and TV shows, VFX artists can de-age actors almost instantly, and ChatGPT has learned how to write big-budget screenplays in the blink of an eye. Pretty soon, AI will probably decide who wins at the Oscars.

Within the past year, AI has also been used to generate beautiful works of art in seconds, creating a viral new trend and causing a boon for fan artists everywhere. TikTok user @cyborgism recently broke the internet by posting a clip featuring many AI-generated pictures of Breaking Bad. The theme here is that the characters are depicted as anime characters straight out of the 1980s, and the result is concerning to say the least. Depending on your viewpoint, Breaking Bad AI (my unofficial name for it) shows how technology can either threaten the integrity of original works of art or nurture artistic expression.
What if AI created Breaking Bad as a 1980s anime?
Playing over Metro Boomin's rap remix of the famous "I am the one who knocks" monologue, the video features images of the cast that range from shockingly realistic to full-on exaggerated. The clip currently has over 65,000 likes on TikTok alone, and many other users have shared their thoughts on the art. One user wrote, "Regardless of the repercussions on the entertainment industry, I can't wait for AI to be advanced enough to animate the whole show like this."

Read more
4 simple pieces of tech that helped me run my first marathon
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar displaying pace information.

The fitness world is littered with opportunities to buy tech aimed at enhancing your physical performance. No matter your sport of choice or personal goals, there's a deep rabbit hole you can go down. It'll cost plenty of money, but the gains can be marginal -- and can honestly just be a distraction from what you should actually be focused on. Running is certainly susceptible to this.

A few months ago, I ran my first-ever marathon. It was an incredible accomplishment I had no idea I'd ever be able to reach, and it's now going to be the first of many I run in my lifetime. And despite my deep-rooted history in tech, and the endless opportunities for being baited into gearing myself up with every last product to help me get through the marathon, I went with a rather simple approach.

Read more