Muffie Fulton’s passion for food began as a child in her home state of Colorado, where talking about food, trying new restaurants, and cooking were a way of life. Muffie and her brother spent their childhoods experimenting with new recipes; Muffie’s stepfather owned a restaurant; her grandmother was a phenomenal cook; and it wasn’t uncommon for the family to embark on spontaneous road trips to try new restaurants. These early experiences laid the groundwork for what would later become an obsession with mastering difficult cooking techniques and traveling to far-flung destinations to discover the best places to eat. But, first, a love of science and subsequent career in the biotech industry would pull Muffie in a different direction.
Muffie studied neuroscience and how the brain works at a molecular level as an undergraduate at Brown University. She then enrolled at Stanford University with the intention of getting a Ph.D. in neuroscience, studying neurodegeneration. As she progressed through the research-heavy program, she realized that it might not be the path she had originally envisioned, so she cut her studies short and earned a master’s degree instead.
After graduating, she went to Deloitte consulting, where she developed skills to explain complex ideas to non-technicians. She moved to Genentech, where she took on a role in global supply chain and operations management, planning drug production at the company’s facilities around the world. For Muffie, every destination offered a delicious new opportunity to try local cuisine. She planned weekend trips with countries mapped out by “must eat” restaurants—echoing her family’s spontaneous road trips and setting the stage for Bold Food Tours.
Always a voracious reader of cookbooks, Muffie experienced a food epiphany when she picked up a copy of Chef Ferran Adria’s book, A Day at elBulli. Adria’s book made her realize how much overlap there was between what high-end chefs were doing and her own scientific background. “Adria’s Mango and Black Olive Disc recipe was a revelation,” she said. “It looked beautiful, but I realized I didn’t have any of the knowledge or tools to cook it.”
At the time, modernist cooking was still a relatively new concept, and no one was teaching non-professionals the necessary skills. So Muffie took it upon herself to learn these difficult techniques, increasing her knowledge by reading books and taking what classes she could find, including one-on-one workshops with improvisational chef Alexander Talbot, who, not coincidentally, also teaches in his garage. Now Muffie can read a book like A Day at elBulli or Coi: Stories and Recipes and translate those recipes into language a home cook can understand.
After a stint at 23andMe leading supply chain and over 15 years in the corporate world, Muffie founded Bold Food in 2015. She teaches five different classes, which demonstrate how to use modernist techniques, like sous vide, spherification, hydrocolloids, foams, smoking guns, and fluid gels, to make food look and taste, as well as ways to recreate these techniques at home. Bold Food Classes are leading the way for adventurous home cooks to learn the same techniques professional chefs use in their restaurants.
In 2016, Muffie added Bold Food Tours, the only tours with world-class, “must-eat” restaurants included on the itinerary—very much like the exhaustive food trips she curated for herself when she was traveling for Genentech.
Bold Food is truly the fusion of Muffie’s lifelong passion for cooking and travel, her extensive experience as a planner and executor, and her deep knowledge of molecular science.