Science and Cooking 2011

Science and Cooking Public Lectures 2011

Note: The 2011 Science & Cooking lecture series is now over. This page serves as an archive. Check back in the coming months for details on events in 2012-13.

Chef Lecture Dates

Inspired by the Harvard College General Education course “Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to the Science of Soft Matter," members of the public are invited to attend a series of lectures by world-class chefs and food experts. The lectures, while related, are not a replication of the course content.

  • All talks will take place in the Harvard Science Center (1 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA).
  • All talks will begin at 7.00 p.m. (unless otherwise noted).
  • Each talk will begin with a 15 minute lecture by a member of the course staff, which will discuss one of the scientific topics from that week's class.
  • Seating for all lectures (except the ticketed lecture with Ferran Adrià on December 4th) is first come, first seated. Last year, many of the talks were already full before they started, but we have a larger lecture hall this year and can therefore accommodate more people.
  • Questions regarding the public lecture series:
  • Lectures will be available for viewing online. See below for links to live video streaming and check iTunes and YouTube for recorded lectures.
  • Science and Cooking aprons will be available for purchase at all public lectures. $15.00 (cash or check)
Tuesday, September 6, 2011 Historical Context and Demos Illustrating the Relationship of Food and Science
  • Speakers: Dave Arnold (Food Arts magazine's Contributing Editor for Equipment & Food Science), Harold McGee (author of On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen andcolumnist for The New York Times) and David Weitz (Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics at Harvard)
  • Watch the lecture online at
Monday, September 12, 2011 Precision cooking: enabling new textures and flavors
  • Monday, September 19, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011 The Many Faces of Chocolate Monday, September 26, 2011 Exploring thickeners to manipulate mouthfeel  Monday, October 3, 2011 Food Texture and Mouth Feel Monday, October 10, 2011 Gelation Monday, October 17, 2011 Mixing the Unmixable Monday, October 24, 2011 Proteins & Enzymes: Transglutaminase Monday, October 31, 2011 Playing with Taste through Browning
  • Speaker: Carme Ruscalleda (Sant Pau, Sant Pau de Tòquio)
  • Location: Science Center C
  • Watch the lecture online at
Monday, November 7, 2011 Molecular Differences Between Production Methods Monday, November 14, 2011 Food Microbiology: An Overlooked Frontier

Monday, November 21, 2011

Science in the Kitchen

  • Speaker: Nathan Myhrvold (former Microsoft CTO; co-founder and CEO of Intellectual Ventures; and author of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking)
  • Location: Science Center C
  • Watch the lecture online at

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lip Smackin' Science: Crystals, Emulsions, Foams, and Pink Vanilla Cupcakes

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The New Culinary Think Tank - el bulli 2.0


We are grateful to our sponsors who help make the public lecture series possible.

The Course

The Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Alícia Foundation developed a General Education science course, "Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to the Science of Soft Matter," which debuted in the fall of 2010. The course uses food and cooking to explicate fundamental principles in applied physics and engineering. (Watch a video about the course.)

Limited to currently enrolled Harvard undergraduates, the class brings together eminent Harvard researchers and world-class chefs.


  • David Weitz (Faculty lead)
  • Pia Sörensen (Preceptor)

Lab Design/Implementation

  • Pere Castells, Alícia Foundation
  • Héloïse Vilaseca, Alícia Foundation (Lab Director)

In the News

2011 Speakers

Harold McGee: September 6

Fina Puigdevall and Pere Planaguma: September 26

Nandu Jubany: October 17

Dan Barber: November 7

Ferran Adria: December 4 (ticketed)

Dave Arnold: September 6

Carles Tejedor: September 26

Carles Gaig: October 17

David Chang: November 14

Joan Roca: September 12

Grant Achatz: October 3

Wylie Dufresne: October 24

Nathan Myhrvold: November 21

Ramon Morato: September 19

Jose Andres: October 10

Carme Ruscalleda: October 31

Bill Yosses: November 28