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Top Chef Masters: the scientists


MIT Lab for Chocolate Science

On a recent “Top Chef Masters” episode, each chef was assigned a scientific principle and a scientist for the Elimination Challenge. The scientists served as both consultants and sous chefs, explaining the scientific principle each chef had selected and helping to create dishes to demonstrate it. They’re writing about their experiences at the weblog Science Fare. There’s also a set of posts from the artist who created the posters used as backdrops during the demonstrations. The acidity poster lists the pH of several foods (also stomach acid, blood, and bleach) . During the episode, Chef Hugh Acheson made a crack about how his partner scientist, Augustine Urbas, had learned how to fry okra at MIT. It reminded me that I had heard mention of an MIT cooking course. “Kitchen Chemistry” has been taught by Patricia Christie in MIT’s Experimental Study Group since 2000. The 2009 course materials, syllabus and recipes (including Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream!) are online at MIT OpenCourseWare. The textbook is, of course, Harold McGee‘s “On Food and Cooking“. On my recent visit to the MIT campus, I spotted a poster for the Laboratory for Chocolate Science (“the only group on campus that orders more than 500lbs of chocolate a year”).

Written by ltao

June 10th, 2011 at 12:23 am

Posted in education,food