Thursday

Free Online Cooking Classes for Beginners

 

Watch the Course Intro Video

Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science

Top chefs and Harvard researchers explore how everyday cooking and haute cuisine can illuminate basic principles in physics and engineering, and vice versa.


School: HarvardX
Course code: SPU27x
Classes start: October 2013
Prerequisites: None



ABOUT THIS ONLINE COURSE

During each week of the course, you will watch as chefs reveal the secrets behind some of their most famous culinary creations — often right in their own restaurants. Inspired by such cooking mastery, the Harvard team will then explain, in simple and sophisticated ways, the science behind the recipe.

Topics will include: soft matter materials, such as emulsions, illustrated by aioli; elasticity, exemplified by the done-ness of a steak; and diffusion, revealed by the phenomenon of spherification, the culinary technique pioneered by Ferran Adrià.

To help you make the link between cooking and science, an “equation of the week” will capture the core scientific concept being explored. You will also have the opportunity to be an experimental scientist in your very own laboratory — your kitchen. By following along with the engaging recipe of the week, taking measurements, and making observations, you will learn to think both like a cook and a scientist. The lab is also one of the most unique components of this course — after all, in what other science course do you get to eat your lab?


 (click to enlarge)


COURSE STAFF


Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is the Glover Professor of Applied Mathematics and Applied Physics, and Harvard College Professor at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He developed the popular Harvard class, "Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to the Science of Soft Matter," with his colleague David Weitz and chef Ferran Adrià. His research uses mathematics to examine a wide variety of problems in science and engineering, ranging from understanding the shapes of bird beaks, whale flippers and fungal spores, to finding the principles for designing materials that can assemble themselves, to answering ordinary questions about daily life, such as why a droplet of fluid splashes when it collides with a solid surface.



David Weitz

David Weitz is a Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Department of Physics. He developed the popular Harvard class, "Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to the Science of Soft Matter," with his colleague Michael Brenner and chef Ferran Adrià. His research group studies the science of soft matter materials as well as biophysics and biotechnology.



Pia Sörensen

Pia Sörensen is Preceptor of Science and Cooking at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, and the HarvardX Fellow for Science & CookingX. She earned her PhD in Chemical Biology at Harvard University, studying small molecule inhibitors of cell division.


Ferran Adrià

Culinary Advisor: Ferran Adrià was the chef and owner of restaurant elBulli in Roses, Spain, the only restaurant to have been voted number one in the world a record five times by the World’s 50 best restaurant list. He is founder of the elBulli Foundation, a creative initiative intended to keep pushing the limits of culinary invention. His books include: A day at elBulliModern Gastronomy A to Z, and other books



Pere Castells

Culinary Advisor: Pere Castells is a chemist, teacher, and former head of the Alícia Foundation’s Scientific Research Department in Barcelona, Spain. He is currently coordinating the research project UB-Bullipèdia with the elBulli Foundation.



Daniel Rosenberg

Science Demo Guru: Daniel Rosenberg of Harvard University is the master mind behind the science demos in the course.



Harold McGee

Culinary Expert: Harold McGee is an expert on the chemistry, technique, and history of food, and will appear regularly, sharing his insights on these topics. He is the author of many books and articles, including the textbook for the course: On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen



Nathan Myhrvold

Culinary Expert: Nathan Myhrvold is the principal author of the six volume cookbook Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, as well as the shorter version, Modernist Cuisine at Home. He will be a regular contributor to the course. 



Jack Bishop

Culinary Expert: Jack Bishop from Americas Test Kitchen will be a contributor on the science of home-cooking throughout the course. Books from Americas Test Kitchen include: The Science of Good Cooking, Cook’s Illustrated Magazine and other books.



José Andres

Chef: José Andres is the founder of ThinkFood Group and chef and owner of several restaurants including Minibar, Jaleo and The Bazaar. His books include Made in Spain: Spanish Dishes for the American Kitchen and Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America.


Prerequisites: None


You have 7 minutes to spare? Read… Maillard Reaction Mechanism and Its Applications to Your Cooking or Try this recipe… Texas Barbecued Beef Brisket


cooking videos free online
culinary physics course at harvard university
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