Science and Cooking 2018

Science and Cooking 2018

The Science and Cooking lecture series has ended for 2018. Thank you for joining us this semester!

If you have attended this fall, we would love to hear from you in our survey, available under the link.


food dish with electrical wiringMembers of the public will have the opportunity to learn about the scientific side of the culinary arts during the 2018 Science and Cooking public lecture series. The popular lecture series pairs Harvard professors with celebrated food experts and renowned chefs to showcase the science behind different culinary techniques.

If you have questions regarding the public lecture series, please contact

2018 Chef Lecture Dates

Monday, Sept. 10
“Current Trends in Science and Cooking”
Science Center Lecture Hall C, 7 p.m.
Dave Arnold (@CookingIssues), Booker and Dax, author of "Liquid Intelligence," host of "Cooking Issues," founder of the Museum of Food and Drink
Harold McGee (@Harold_McGee), author of "On Food and Cooking," "Curious Cook"

Monday, Sept. 17
“ACID TRIP: Brightening Your Life, through Food, with Vinegar”
Gabriel Bremer La Bodega (Watertown) and former Salts Restaurant (Cambridge) 
Michael Harlan Turkell (@harlanturk), author of "Acid Trip: Travels in the World of Vinegar," "The Beer Pantry," and "Offal Good;" host on The Food Seen, HeritageRadioNetwork and's BURNT TOAST podcast

Monday, Sept. 24
"The Science of Sugar"
Science Center Lecture Hall C, 7 p.m.
Joanne Chang ’91 (@jbchang), Flour Bakery and Café, Myers + Chang, author of "Flour,” "Flour Too," “Myers + Chang at Home,” and “Baking With Less Sugar”

Monday, Oct. 1   
“Gluten vs. Fiber: Innovative Approaches to Baking More Flavorful Bread”
Science Center Lecture Hall C, 7 p.m.
Ayr Muir (@CloverFoodLab), founder & CEO of Clover Food Lab

Monday, Oct. 15                              
“Liquid Fire: the Science of Philippine Kinilaw”
Science Center Lecture Hall C, 7 p.m.
Margarita Forés (@MargaritaFores), Asia’s Best Female Chef 2016, Cibo Restaurants, Manila, Philippines

Wednesday, Oct. 24
“Going Down the Donut Hole...”
Science Center Lecture Hall C, 7 p.m.
Wylie Dufresne (@WylieDufresne), Du’s Donuts & Coffee, BK, formerly WD~50
Ted Russin (@CIACulinarySci) School of Culinary Science and Nutrition, Culinary Institute of America

Monday, Oct. 29
"Let It Flow: Exploring Viscosity in Tate Dining Room & Bar"
Science Center Lecture Hall C, 7 p.m.
Vicky Lau, Asia’s Best Female Chef 2015, Tate Dining Room & Bar, Hong Kong

Monday, Nov. 5
“Gastronomic Sciences: The Interdisciplinary Approach of the Basque Culinary Center to Research and Innovation”
Science Center Lecture Hall C, 7 p.m.
Joxe Mari Aizega (@JMAizega), Basque Culinary Center
Diego Prado (@diegopradovs), BCCinnovation
Juan Carlos Arboleya (@JuanArboleya), Basque Culinary Center

Monday, Nov. 12
"From Low and Slow Smoking to High Heat Wok Cooking: Explore the Transfer of Heat and Application of Fire and Smoke. No Mirrors"
Science Center Lecture Hall C, 7 p.m.
Tiffani Faison (@TiffaniFaison), Sweet Cheeks BBQ, Tiger Mama, Fool’s Errand

Monday, Dec. 3
“Cooking is a Call to Act”
Science Center Lecture Hall C, 7 p.m.
Massimo Bottura (@MassimoBottura), Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, voted best restaurant in the world in 2018, founder of @foodforsoul_it

The Harvard College Course

The Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Alícia Foundation developed the 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.)

While limited to currently enrolled Harvard undergraduates, the class, which  brings together eminent Harvard researchers and world-class chefs, is available to others on-campus through the Harvard Extension School and online through the HarvardX platform (details below).


  • Michael Brenner, Michael F. Cronin Professor of Applied Mathematics and Applied Physics and Professor of Physics; Harvard College Professor
  • Pia Sörensen, Senior Preceptor in Chemical Engineering and Applied Materials
  • David Weitz, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and Applied Physics

Lab Design/Implementation

  • Pere Castells, Unitat UB-Bullipèdia

Science and Cooking on HarvardX

In HarvardX’s “Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science,” top chefs and Harvard researchers explore how everyday cooking and haute cuisine techniques illuminate scientific principles in physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering.  Part 1 of the online course launches again on August 23. Learners can also sign up for part 2 of the course which launched on May 17 and is still open.

SteamED Teacher Workshops 

SteamED adapts exercises from the popular Science and Cooking course and Young Chefs to fit Massachusetts state science standards. It is a rare opportunity for highly motivated teachers to bring these exercises into their classrooms.  Teachers, community program instructors, and after school program leaders are invited to register. More information is available on the SteamEd website, where future workshops will also be announced.