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Harvard Science & Cooking lectures return

Posted by Devra First  June 22, 2011 05:44 PM

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Christopher Smith for The Boston Globe

El Bulli chef Ferran Adria gives a talk on technology and cooking at Harvard Nov. 30.

The series is back, starting Sept. 6. Many of the talks take place in the Harvard Science Center at 1 Oxford St., Cambridge, at 7 p.m. These public lectures featuring famous chefs and food experts have proved very popular. With the exception of a ticketed Nov. 30 talk by Catalan molecular gastronomist Ferran Adria, seating is first come, first served. Fortunately for those who don't get in, videos of the lectures will also appear online. (Past examples can be found here.)

Lectures I predict will be particularly hard to get into include "Food Texture and Mouth Feel" with Grant Achatz (Alinea) on Oct. 3, "Proteins & Enzymes: Transglutaminase" with Wylie Dufresne (wd~50) on Oct. 24, a talk by David Chang (Momofuku) on a subject TBD on Nov. 14, and "Heat Transfer" with Nathan Myhrvold (author of "Modernist Cuisine" and former Microsoft CTO) on Nov. 21. I'm particularly curious about Sept. 12's lecture on sous-vide (perhaps Boston's most used/least acknowledged cooking technique) by Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain.

I had the opportunity to experience Harvard's Science and Cooking class last year, and for anyone interested in the science of cooking, these are dates to put on the calendar. Here's the full schedule:

Sept. 6: Historical Context and Demos Illustrating the Relationship of Food and Science.
Speakers: Dave Arnold (Food Arts magazine), Harold McGee (author of "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen" and columnist for The New York Times), and David Weitz (Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics at Harvard).
Location: TBD.

Sept. 12: Sous-vide Cooking: Phases of Matter.
Speaker: Joan Roca (El Celler de Can Roca).
Location: Science Center C.

Sept. 19: Heat and Temperature Flux in Chocolate.
Speaker: Ramon Morato (Aula Chocovic).
Location: Science Center C.

Sept. 26: Viscosity and Thickeners.
Speaker: Carles Tejedor (Via Veneto), Fina Puigdevall and Pere Planaguma (les Coles).
Location: Science Center C.

Oct. 3: Food Texture and Mouth Feel.
Speaker: Grant Achatz (Alinea).
Location: Science Center C.

Oct. 10: Gelation.
Speaker: Jose Andres (ThinkFoodGroup, minibar, Jaleo).
Location: Science Center B.

Oct. 17: Emulsions: Traditional and New Emulsions.
Speaker: Nandu Jubany (Can Jubany) and Carles Gaig (Fonda Gaig).
Location: Science Center C.

Oct. 24: Proteins & Enzymes: Transglutaminase.
Speaker: Wylie Dufresne (wd~50).
Location: Science Center D.

Oct. 31: Browning Reactions: Culinary Examples.
Speaker: Carme Ruscalleda (Sant Pau, Sant Pau de Toquio).
Location: Science Center C.

Nov. 7: Molecular Differences Between Production Methods.
Speaker: Dan Barber (Blue Hill).
Location: Science Center C.

Nov. 14: Title to Come.
Speaker: David Chang (Momofuku).
Location: Science Center C.

Nov. 21: Heat Transfer.
Speaker: Nathan Myhrvold (former Microsoft CTO and author of "Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking").
Location: Science Center C.

Nov. 28: Dessert.
Speaker: Bill Yosses (White House).
Location: Science Center C.

Nov. 30: Technology and Cooking.
Speaker: Ferran Adria (El Bulli).
Tickets through the Harvard box office. Location: TBD.

About Dishing

What's cooking in the world of food.


Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.

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