The career path of a chef today can take an interesting route, beginning as lowly stagiaire, and perhaps leading to chef-owner of an acclaimed restaurant or two, then books, endorsements, and television. Few have the opportunity to use a top university classroom as their stage.
This year, Harvard University has gathered 12 of the most accomplished chefs from around the world to teach “Science and Cooking’’ at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Each lecturer presents a class to a group of 400 undergraduates. In an effort to allow some public access (and accommodate overflow students), each chef also presents a weekly seminar one evening. They kicked off last week with the world’s most talked-about chef, Ferran Adria of El Bulli restaurant in Spain, the man at the forefront of molecular gastronomy — though he prefers the term “avant garde cuisine…”