Harvard science and cooking

By Lily Robles

Cooking and science are two things (beside graphic design) that Julia and I are passionate about.  Julia is a bit of a foodie, long time CSA-member, raises her own chickens, and former professional chocolatier. I love to watch the “How things work” on the Science Channel and somehow coaxed two daughters to select engineering as their field of study in college. These two passions came together when we met our client Naveen Singh, a mad smart graduate student at Harvard.

Harvard Science and Cooking Lecture

Naveen is a Ph.D. candidate at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and responsible for an awesome class for undergraduates that teaches scientific principles using cooking techniques. It is called, Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to the Science of Soft Matter. Guest chefs, including the father of modern gastronomy, Ferran Adrià, (elBulli) are brought in to teach and inspire. And students who might not otherwise engaged in science, learn that science can be fun! Opus Design is working with Naveen to design the resource website that students will use to find assignments, and review formulas, techniques, and recipes throughout the course.

The course inspired a series of very popular lectures open to the public. Julia and I went this week to see David Chang (momofuku, NYC) and Carles Tejedor (Via Veneto, Barcelona Spain) who spoke about “Microbes, Misos and Olives.”  They started with a lesson on emulsions and continued with their research to discover new ways to create “deliciousness” combining discarded or non-traditional food elements with global techniques like fermenting (think soy sauce and kimchi). The chefs provided samples of  cashew “soy” sauce, olive juice, and spherized yogurt to all the audience members.

I really like the idea of challenging oneself to reinvent stuff that people don’t usually care about, and make them “delicious.” Maybe this is why we are happy to work with presentation slides and powerpoint?