Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Harvard + Science and Cooking

Harvard: The Michigan of the East

Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science

This is the first course I've taken through HarvardX , the online learning portal for Harvard. 

It's pretty rigorous and not a beginner cooking class. Per class syllabus: "At the end of the course, students will be able to explain how a range of cooking techniques and recipes work, in terms of physical and chemical transformation of food."

Each week we virtually visit a world-famous chef, who shows some of the secrets of their cooking. These include:  Jose Andres, Nathan Myrhvold, Dan Barber, Ferran Adria, David Chang, Wylie Dufresne as well as author Harold McGee and food scientist Dave Arnold. We're using Harold McGee's "The Science of Food" as a textbook. 

We'll have homework each week of the 10-week course, and a new lab exercise every Tuesday, where we can experiment with the scientific concept of the week. We'll submit home and lab findings  and will finish with a final project where were can carry out our own scientific study of an aspect of cooking in your kitchen. 

As knowledge of high school physics and chemistry are useful, there are whole review sections on calculating density, pH, logorithms, geometry, and chemistry. Good combination of video and work pages. So I've been figuring volume of cubes, density of a solid in a solution,  and about to relive my chemistry class and taking multiple choice practice tests.  

Parts of my brain feel like the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz --- rusty but starting to move. 

I'm excited about this, and including it on the blog so I have some accountability and push through the hard parts. 

Wonder if I need Harvard t-shirt? 

No comments: