Your chance to go to Harvard? Online course on science and cooking


Still trying to nail down spherification? What’s the science behind getting your steak a perfect medium rare? Want to know why your aioli breaks? Then the online course “Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science” might be for you.

Online university EdX, created by Harvard and MIT, is offering a new class starting Oct. 8 that helps make the link between cooking and science. Topics will include: soft matter materials, such as emulsions (aioli, for example); elasticity, exemplified by the done-ness of a steak; and diffusion, including spherification, or turning liquid into a solid sphere -- the culinary technique pioneered by Ferran Adrià.

It’s an introductory course so there aren’t any prerequisites, and tests are optional (yay). Ask questions online, experiment in your own kitchen.


Each week chefs will talk about their dishes, some in their own restaurants, and the Harvard team, including course founder Michael Brenner and other university professors and demonstrators, will explain the science behind the culinary creations, underscored by an “equation of the week” to go with the recipe of the week.

Chefs on the course roster include: Ferran Adria of ElBulli Foundation; Harold McGee, author of “On Food and Cooking”; Nathan Myhrvold of “Modernist Cuisine”; Jose Andres of ThinkFood Group; Dave Arnold of Booker and Dax and the coming Museum of Food and Drink; Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery and Myers & Chang; David Chang of the Momofuku restaurant group; WD-50’s Wylie Dufresne; Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain; Dan Barber of Blue Hill and more.

The course is free; register online at


Try this now: homemade hot sauce

A four-seat omakase raw bar at Octavio Becerra’s Acabar

Boob cookies for dogs, Scarpetta anniversary, make hoshigaki