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Watch Harold McGee and Michael Brenner Talk Cooking as the Root of Chemistry

Here's the latest lecture from José Andrés' new food class at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Though Andrés was out of town receiving an award in Spain, writer Harold McGee led off the class with a thorough discussion of how science has evolved through cooking. McGee points to how humans learned that fire transforms food early on as evidence that the "roots of chemistry lie in cooking." He goes through discoveries such as pressure cooking, canning, microbes, the importance of gums and so on. McGee then jumps ahead to how chefs like Ferran Adrià began to use science in their kitchens in a whole new way.

Then McGee turns it over to Michael Brenner — the Harvard professor behind the Science & Cooking lecture series — who joins the class via Skype to explain molecular gastronomy. He also explains that they put together the Harvard class to encourage students to take what was otherwise "often the worst class they have to take during their education." Here's the video:

Video: José Andrés George Washington University Food Course: Class 4

· José Andrés George Washington University Food Course: Class 4 [YouTube]
· All Harold McGee Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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