Posts

Thanksgiving Tips, Tricks, and DNA

ThanksgivingTurkey

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Discover Magazine gets up close and personal with Thanksgiving genomes, and Harold McGee leads the way to a more delicious Thanksgiving dinner. Read more

Harvard EdX Course: Science and Cooking

cooking_course

If you’ve ever wanted to take a class at Harvard, here’s your chance! Harvard is offering an online EdX version of its popular course “SPU27x: Science and Cooking – From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Physics.” Class starts October 8th and registration for the course is FREE.

During each week of the course, Ferran Adrià and other top chefs will reveal the secrets of some of their most famous culinary creations—often right in their own restaurants. Alongside this cooking mastery, the Harvard instructors will explain the science behind the recipe. Other guest instructors include David Chang, Wylie Dufresne, Dave Arnold, and Harold McGee.

Register for “Science and Cooking” at EdX

Pie Science & Fried Fish

NYTimesPie

Amy Rowat dissects the science of pie for the New York Times, while Harold McGee explains how vodka makes a light, crispy batter for frying fish. Apparently pie crust isn’t the only dough that benefits from a little alcohol! Read more

Chemophobia & The Myth of MSG

MythOfMSG

Chemistry professor Michelle Francl challenges our culture of chemophobia, while Harold McGee addresses some common misconceptions about “Chinese restaurant syndrome” and MSG. Read more

Eat Your Science

Professor Amy Rowat, Science & Food’s fearless leader, was lucky enough to spend the week at the 2013 World Science Festival in New York City.  Scientists featured in the festival discussed everything from quantum mechanics to nanomedicine; Professor Rowat helped bring scientific discovery to life at The Taste of Science, a multi-course meal highlighting the power of gastronomic experimentation.

And what a feast it was–physics, chemistry, neuroscience, and microbiology all packed into ten courses. Creative dishes prepared by visionary chefs provided an edible demonstration of intriguing scientific concepts. Writer and food critic Jeffrey Steingarten, notorious for his scathing reviews as an Iron Chef Judge and not one to dish out compliments, seemed quite delighted at the end of the night and even admitted that this was the overall best modernist meal he had ever had!

TasteOfSciencePrep

Before the event, Chef and Cocktail Master Dave Arnold of Booker & Dax and NYU Chemist Kent Kirshenbaum prepare for their presentation on cocktail science (left), and Dr. Kirshenbaum catches up on a little last-minute preparatory reading (right).

TasteOfScienceIntro

To kick off the night, science and food pioneer Harold McGee sets the stage with some historical perspective. (It’s been a while since the salon days of the early 1900s.)

TasteofScienceMenu

Jay Kenji Alt, mastermind of the Serious Eats Food Lab, emceed the event, guiding diners through their scientific meal and and peppering the speakers with questions throughout the evening

TasteOfSciencePlating

Chefs Najat Kaanache and Bill Yosses strategize their “chocolate paper” dessert, featuring the structural molecules of fruits, such as pectin (left). Meanwhile, Maxime Bilet’s team is hard at work plating their “Noble Roots” dish for the Neuroscience of Taste (right).

TasteOfScienceOlfaction

Equipped with complimentary nose plugs, neuroscientist Professor Stuart Firestein of Columbia University led the audience in a sensory experiment to experience the role of smell in taste perception. Jelly beans just don’t taste the same without a sense of smell!

TasteofScienceOlfactionExperiment

Professor Rowat’s dining partners, Harvard microbiologist Dr. Rachel Dutton (left) and Harold McGee (right), partake in the grand olfactory experiment.