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Best of All-Time Online Course

The Science of Gastronomy

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology via Coursera

Overview

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.

Course Overview video: https://youtu.be/H5vlaR0_X2I

Syllabus

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.

Taught by

King Chow and Lam Lung Yeung

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Reviews

4.3 rating, based on 79 reviews

Start your review of The Science of Gastronomy

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I went through all the 6 weeks (didn't pay for it so I just could take a look into the assignments). I felt disapointed since the beginning but it became worse from module 8 to the end. I will point out couple of reasons: - Too much time spent in repeating...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this 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.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    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.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    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.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    This course is very interesting full of classic information. It helps me to understand food and how all these different products work together to make fabulous tasting dishes. This styles opens up a world of imagination for playing with food from different...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The course has taught me valuable things about cooking as well as the scientific background of it. I enjoyed it. I hope this will be an investment to the future career path I'm choosing.The explanations were good. The modules were organized really well even though some videos were a bit longer than anticipated. The demonstrations were really simple yet made it very easier to understand the concepts. They were fun to watch, so many videos were not boring at all. The grading system was good, but the final exam was a bit tough for me. If anybody who wishes to know more about cooking and underlying science of it, this is a good place to start.
  • Anonymous
    The course focused very heavily on theoretical concepts and too little on the actual application of these in cooking and preparing the food. They did not even prepare a complete complex meal. The demo meals were so simple and can actually be prepared by most already. I'm disappointed.

    I learned some things about which ingredients and flavors clash and enhance each other. However, most of them I know already.

    This course might be helpful for someone who has zero idea when it comes to cooking or preparing dishes. But if you can already cook, you probably already know most of the things discussed here.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The course is very informative and educational. The lecturer delivers the course in a well verse easy manner. All the topics herein are significant learning guides for everyone who wish to pursue a career in culinary, hospitality and nutrition. The course also upgraded the professional star of every person's currently enjoying life in all types of kitchens. The topics in course greatly satisfied my room of improvement. The lecturer is awesomely great. He deserves a rated 10 being the best. Thank you.
  • Anonymous
    VERY INTERESTING COURSE. I APPRECIATE THE TIME, EFFORT AND SELFLESSNESS OF PEOPLE. i THINK I ARCHIEVED THE OBJECTIVES:

    I can appreciate the scientific basis of various recipes; I feel confident to develop my own recipes by integrating some of the scientific principles into new dishes; I can recognize the influence of the material world on human perception from the different senses; and I can appreciate the art of integrating science into cooking and dining

    RECOMMENDED
  • Alain Rostain completed this 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.
  • Anonymous
    Although I had many busy days I was able to complete every lesson and assignment, it really doesn't take long to complete the course, it is very easy to understand the topics and it's also entertaining for those who have affinity for cooking.

    The course requires multiple ingredients but they are easy to find in most of the supermarkets or even in our own kitchen.
  • Akshata Murari

    Akshata Murari completed this course.

    I absolutely enjoyed the course, It was intense and required much work and participation to understand the material. The demonstration videos were so helpful for me to learn fast and understand very easily. 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.
  • Anonymous
    The course helped me a lot in my area of study and I complement the information that I already knew and added new knowledge, I liked the experimental way of giving the classes because it made the subjects something dynamic and easy to learn, I consider that I address subjects that I did not expect see in the course but they helped me a lot
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    It' s the perfect course, I could not say more.

    I have some kitchen experience but with this course I feel much more prepare to take on bigger challenges inside a kitchen environment.

    Special thanks to the Professors and assistants without you my dream of becoming an complete cook won't have been possible.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This course is amazing. I recommend everyone interested in cooking or studying in hospitality/ tourism degrees or even working in a restaurant environment to take this course and learn all the important techniques and the science behind the cooking process. I enjoyed this course very much
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    The course is unfortunately difficult to understand due to the lack of lecturer's proficiency in the use of the english language. As a back up the transcript of the lessons are not accurate therefore one has inaccuracy in some of the key principles being taught and would lead to confusion.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This course was truly profound and very interesting. I am an amateur cooking man, but I consider I have a good foundation and a good but not intense training, and I certainly learned quite a few new things in this course, which I have already applied to my routine cooking.
    Congratulations
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    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.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Very well designed and delivered a course. The instructors really did well in delivering the course. The content was just right and I have learned a lot. If possible a certificate of participation could be made available for those who cannot pay for the official certificate.
  • Winnie Wong

    Winnie Wong completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    I enjoyed this interesting class and was able to discover the theory behind cooking. The learning scope is comprehensive, which covers different aspects about cooking methods, recipe setting, and human sensory of enjoying food. It helps me a lot when preparing the next meals.

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