Harvard University hosts a number of open learning opportunities with free online courses. A 6 weeks-long course entitled ‘Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science (chemistry)’ is available for those who want to understand the minutiae of what happens when a chef creates chemical reactions that turn raw ingredients into epicurean art.
The course takes only 5-7 hours a week, it’s not like we all don’t have a little extra time right now, and covers 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 and how to think like a chef AND a scientist.
If you’ve ever wanted to understand better the scientific processes in cooking and understand why techniques are employed, this course is for you.
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 flavour; the role of heat in cooking; diffusion, revealed by the phenomenon of spherification, the culinary technique pioneered by Ferran Adrià.