Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science (chemistry)
Learn how chemistry and cooking are interconnected.
Top chefs and Harvard researchers explore how everyday cooking and haute cuisine can illuminate basic principles in chemistry, physics, and engineering. Learn about food molecules and how chemical reactions can affect food texture and flavor.
2-3 hours per week
What You'll Learn
During each week of this course, 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 the science behind the recipe.
Topics will include: how molecules influence flavor; the role of heat in cooking; diffusion, revealed by the phenomenon of spherification, the culinary technique pioneered by Ferran Adrià.
You will also have the opportunity to become an experimental scientist in your very own laboratory — your kitchen. By following along with the engaging recipe of the week, taking precise measurements, and making skillful observations, you will learn to think like both a cook and a scientist. The lab is certainly one of the most unique components of this course — After all, in what other science course can you eat your experiments?
The course will be delivered via edX and connect learners around the world. By the end of the course, participants will learn:
- The scientific concepts that underlie everyday cooking and haute cuisine techniques
- How to apply principles of physics, engineering, and chemistry to cooking
- How to become an experimental scientist in your own kitchen
- How to think like a chef AND a scientist
Ways to take this course
When you enroll in this course, you will have the option of pursuing a Verified Certificate or Auditing the Course.
A Verified Certificate costs $249 and provides unlimited access to full course materials, activities, tests, and forums. At the end of the course, learners who earn a passing grade can receive a certificate.
Alternatively, learners can Audit the course for free and have access to select course material, activities, tests, and forums. Please note that this track does not offer a certificate for learners who earn a passing grade.