Edible Science at Harvard


Photo: comedy_nose/Flickr

 This is really, really cool. The kind of thing that either makes you wistful for your college days or wish you had your own phalanx of eager young minds working through cooking conundrums for you.

This past semester, Harvard offered a course called “Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to the Science of Soft Matter.” Approximately 700 students tried to get in. Fewer than half made it. Those who did spent the next weeks applying creative thought and scientific inquiry to the solving of sticky (also savory, and sweet) culinary problems. Of real-life cooking forays gone wrong. Top chefs of the ilk of momofuku’s David Chang and White House Pastry Chef  Bill Yosses not only guest-lectured, but also helped propose ideas for the students’ end-of-the-semester projects, ideas that came directly from food prep obstacles such chefs, including Boston’s own Barbara Lynch, were facing in their own kitchens.

Last Tuesday an edible Science Fair (the best kind!) was held to showcase the students’ projects. A panel of international chefs judged them and chose a winning team, the members of whom will take as their grand prize a trip to Spain’s Alicia Foundation, founded by chef Ferran Adria of El Bulli, this Spring.

Read the write-up in the Harvard Gazette HERE. The projects are inspiring!
Link to Harvard’s video series of “Science and Cooking Public Lectures” HERE.
This was the class (SPU 27) written up in the Dining section of the NY Times in October.