This course introduces a number of basic scientific principles underpinning the methodology of cooking, food preparation and the enjoyment of food. All topics covered have a strong basis in biology, chemistry, and physics application. Among others, they include the consumption of cooked food, the physiological and evolutionary implication of the senses, geographic and cultural influences on food, and the rationale behind food preparation. We will also discuss issues such as coupling of senses to improve sense stimulation; altering flavor by chemical means; and modification of the coloration to improve the appearance of dishes. Following the video demonstrations of the scientific principles of cooking, you will learn to recognize the key ingredients and their combinations for preparing good healthy food. At the end of this course, you will be able to:
- appreciate the scientific basis of various recipes;
- develop your own recipes by integrating some of the scientific principles into new dishes;
- recognize the influence of the material world on human perception from the different senses;
- appreciate the art of integrating science into cooking and dining.
Important Note: This course is not designed for people with special dietary needs such as vegetarian, diabetic, and gluten-free diets. If you feel uncomfortable with any part of the assignments or activities of this course, you can substitute some of the ingredients or ask friends and family members to help with the tasting of your assignments. Alternatively, you may skip that specific assignment provided that you have fulfilled all other qualifying requirement to pass the course.
Orientation, Module 1 and Module 2 This week, we will focus on “Energy Transfer” and “Hunger and Satiety”. Before you start with the content for these modules, please watch the Course Overview, review the Grading Scheme, and read the Important Note on special dietary needs.
Module 3 and Module 4 This week, we will talk about how flavor and aroma of food affects our perception of taste of food.
Module 5 and Module 6 This week, we will talk about how color and texture of food affects our perception of taste of food.
Module 7 and Module 8 This week, we will look at how fruits and vegetables can enhance the quality in cooking and to learn about the properties of meat.
Module 8 (continued) and Module 9 This week, we will continue our focus on the preparation and cooking of meat and learn about the elements that affect the preparation of sauces.
Module 9 (continued) and Module 10 This week, we will continue our focus on the preparation of sauces and finish up the course with the last topic on dessert. After completing all the content, it's time to test your understanding on the entire course. Take the final exam and complete the post-course survey. Your valuable feedback will certainly help us improve future iterations of the course.
A moderately interesting introduction to the science involved in the cooking and enjoyment of food. It would be almost impossible to fail this course. Very few of the assignments have right or wrong answers. For most of the assignments, the instructors ask you to prepare foods in your kitchen using several variations on a recipe and to subjectively rate the results. Not recommended for those without access to a kitchen and a few common ingredients. Vegetarians should be aware that some of the assignments involve cooking and tasting chicken and seafood.
I absolutely enjoyed the course, It was intense and required much work and participation to understand the material. Since I work in the field of nutrition but did not have a good grasp of the subject, it has help to further my understanding, I would recommend this to professionals, The only challenge is determining the number of continuing education hours, You really do need to work 3 to 4 hours per week on the course.
I completed the first week (almost 2 hours of videos) and was very disappointed. There's no strong foundation, the instruction is weak, the content inconsistent. Lots of time spent saying not much at all, repeating the same thing over again, using a term inconsistently, or introducing a new term that has not yet been defined. I'm hoping there's a stronger course out there on the science of gastronomy, or that someone creates it soon. We need it.
Valeriacompleted this course, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
I would like to thank the instructors, they were really good even if I preferred the second one, which language was easier and more understandble for me. Thank you so much, I learnt so many advices on how cooking a better dish for me and for my friends. Thank you!
Everything was excellent. It has an adequate structure, as well as ample material and modules explained adequately. The videos presented were very suitable, with practical and interesting examples. Each lesson had assignments according to the theory, and easy to perform.