Catalan cuisine fills the classrooms of Harvard

Renowned Catalan chefs Ferran Adrià, Joan Roca and Carme Ruscalleda are participating in a Harvard University course aimed at strengthening the bonds between science and cooking.


September 18, 2010 12:14 AM

Barcelona ( The first of four parts of the Harvard University course ‘Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to the Science of Soft Matter’ will be taught by a select group of Catalan chefs. The chefs will teach students about the determinant aspects of cooking and their relation to science.

The course began today with chefs Ferran Adrià and José Andrés accompanied by the scientists Harold McGee, known for his contribution to the science of food, and Pere Castells, head of investigation at the Fundació Alícia. Apart from Adrià (El Bulli), the Fundació Alícia has been responsible for gathering together renowned chefs like Joan Roca (El Celler de Can Roca), Carles Tejedor (Via Veneto), Enric Rovira (chocolatier), Nando Jubany (Can Jubany) and Carme Ruscalleda (Sant Pau) to teach the seminar course ‘Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to the Science of Soft Matter’ at Harvard University. The course aims to offer a set of educational activities specialised in the application of science in the culinary arts. The course was developed through a collaboration agreement between the Fundació Alícia and Harvard University. The course follows the objectives of the foundation that include fostering good health habits and investigating scientific applications for different foods.

After Ferran Adrià, the next sessions will be taught by Joan Roca on the 13th of September, Carles Tejedor on the 27th of September, Enric Rovira on the 4th of October, Nandu Jubany on the 18th of October and Carme Ruscalleda on the 1st of November. The four-month course will tackle themes such as foam, emulsion and even the art of fried foods. American culinary experts will also participate in the course, with names like Bill Yoses (White House chef), Grandt Achatz (Alinea), José Andrés (Jaleo), Wylie Dufresne (WD 50) and Dan Barber (Blue Hill). Each lecturer will offer a session about cooking that will serve as a base for a parallel session by investigators like Dave Weitz and Michael Brenner about the science applied to it. In addition, Harvard students may participate in projects and ‘cooking labs’ designed to test the techniques learned in the classroom.