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Harvard students investigate the relation between food and health in Central Catalonia

The five top students of Harvard University course ‘Cuisine and Science’ are spending three weeks in the Fundació Alícia, a reference and unique centre exploring the link between food, health and innovation. The course is organised by Ferran Adrià and the Fundació Alícia, which is co-directed by the world-known chef. The prestigious American university will offer this course for at least the next five years.

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30 May 2011 11:29 PM

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ACN / Estefania Escolà

Sant Fruitós de Bages (ACN).- Exploring how to develop stable gel that can dive in hot soup; developing gluten free pasta, edible for coeliacs; or studying the different physical properties of jelly. Those are some of the projects in which five students from Harvard University are participating in the Fundació Alícia, located in the Bages county, in Central Catalonia. This foundation is a reference centre in the link between science and food, exploring innovative techniques, investigating its properties and promoting healthy eating. Fundació Alícia is a project co-directed by the world-famous chef Ferran Adrià, the creator of \u201Cmolecular cuisine\u201D and whose restaurant El Bulli was considered for many years the best restaurant in the world. The five students are spending three weeks in the foundation, participating in the centre\u2019s research work. They all followed Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences\u2019 course \u2018Cuisine and Science\u2019, which is co-organised by Ferran Adrià himself and the Fundació Alícia. They were the most successful in a course in which 10% of all the University students wanted to enrol in. Fundació Alicía\u2019s director Toni Massanés confesses that most of the students come attracted by Ferran Adrià who is \u201Cconsidered a super star in the United States\u201D.


The course \u2018Cuisine and Science\u2019 explored how science was intervening in food processes and counted with master classes by a sample of top Catalan chefs, such as Ferran Adrià, Carme Ruscalleda, Joan Roca or Nandu Jubany, among others. It was first held last autumn, and it will be offered for the next five years. The next course will go from September to December 2011 and 300 students will be able to follow it.

Bethania Bacigalupe was one of those on last year\u2019s course, and she is one of the five taking part in the three-weeks at the \u201CFundació Alícia\u201D. She is developing stable gels in hot soups. This experience enables her to link science and cuisine, while opening new investigation lines. She told CNA that the experience \u201Cis very rewarding\u201D, as it enables the scientist \u201Cto leave his or her office, to investigate, to think and to open new research lines\u201D.

These five Harvard students will also discover Catalan cuisine and some of Catalonia\u2019s culinary temples. They will visit Ferran Adrià\u2019s restaurant El Bulli, in the Costa Brava town of Roses, but also other top restaurants, such as El Celler de Can Roca, considered this year as the world\u2019s second best restaurant in the world, managed by Joan Roca and his two brothers. They will also go to the three-Michelin-star restaurant Sant Pau, where Carme Ruscalleda offers her work. \u201CThose students will bring home a bag full of knowledge and a part of the Catalan reality\u201D, explained Toni Massanés.

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  • One of Fundació Alícia's cooks teaches how to properly use a knife (by E. Escolà)

  • One of Fundació Alícia's cooks teaches how to properly use a knife (by E. Escolà)

  • One of Fundació Alícia's cooks teaches how to properly use a knife (by E. Escolà)
  • One of Fundació Alícia's cooks teaches how to properly use a knife (by E. Escolà)