A collaboration by the Foundation Alícia (Alimentació i Ciència), headed by chef Ferran Adrià of El Bulli fame, and the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has led to the creation of an undergraduate course on science and cooking.

Debuting next fall, “Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to the Science of Soft Matter” will be part of the new program in General Education at Harvard College. The course will bring together eminent Harvard researchers and world-class chefs, including Wylie Dufresne of wd-50 and Dan Barber of Blue Hill, as well as food scholar and writer Harold McGee, one of the leading authorities on kitchen science.

Adrià is considered a pioneer of exploiting scientific principles to push the limits of modern cuisine, manipulating the physical and chemical processes of cooking by using substances such as hydrocolloids, or “gums,” that enable a delicate fruit purée to be transformed into a dense gel, and deconstruction techniques such as spherification, creating a resistant skin of liquid (as in a pea soup held in a pod of nothing more than itself).

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