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The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

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

4.4 rating, based on 111 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
    This course covered a lot more that what I was expecting when I first enrolled in. Its so detailed and science based. I'm a nutritionist, and I'm currently at a cuisine school to eventually become a chef and who knows, combine the nutrition with my cooking skills. This course actually helped me so much refreshing a lot of concepts that to be fair I didn't remember already, but it also gave me a lot more knowledge I've never heard about. I truly recommend this course to anyone who wants to know more about the science that happens every day in our kitchens.
  • Anonymous
    Only three stars despite excellent contents (delivery for a paid option should be better) • The content is extremely interesting (I really found it fascinating) and it is clear that a lot of effort was put in preparing the course. Very good downloadable...
  • Anonymous
    WOW! Never thought that there was so much science involved in gastronomy. This was not an easy course. A background (basis) in chemistry, physics and biology would be helpful. Demonstrations and assignments enhanced the learning experience. Slides were too crowded (too much information. As a rule there are six lines per slide and six words per line). English pronunciation should be improved. This also had an impact on the transcript which at times was incomprehensible. Recommended with the above caveats.
  • 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
    It's was nice experience all together. The lectures well good and well explained. Important topics were given enough time for understanding. I really enjoyed the assignment, which gave a practical knowledge along with actual applications of knowledge & it was fun at the same time. I would suggest to give small pdf of notes at the end of a topic that would help to give review to all major learning at once glance.
  • Anonymous
    The course was interesting, a lot of useful information, which helped to understand how this or that process happens and what to do exactly this way and not otherwise. There were a lot of illustrative examples. And if something wasn't clear in the lecture, with the help of examples everything became clear enough. But it would be desirable to be more extended.

    Many thanks to the lecturers for their work.

  • Anonymous
    This course if very fun and engaging! While the professor is explaining different topics and theories, you can follow along and do little experiments at home. The quality of the video's and the explinations of the professors is outstanding. I also liked the little survey's Leo does with other students. Zoe is an expelent assistent in the later parts of the course as well.
  • Anonymous
    Amazing course. U must try this and learn new things. The teachers taught in just the right way. The assignments were very well instructed. The demonstrations also gave an in depth knowledge to the course. I had amazing experience learning with this course.
  • Anonymous
    It was so enjoyable journey for me to be refreshed of the cooking techniques with the deeper connection to chemistry and the inner workings of protein. Thank you so much for this oppurtunity.
  • Anonymous
    It has a lot of meaningful contents, explained the exact way it should, not superficial also not repetitive. As someone who haven't known the content previously, I could understand very well.
  • Anonymous
    I found this a very enjoyable, fun, and educational class. I've always had a love of food and this was very informative. If you want to know the basics of cooking highly recommend.
  • Anonymous
    the most incredible course of food design science! this is a very great explanation of how understand how and why the develop of taste, sensation and creativity in the gastronomy
  • Profile image for Saee Karmarkar
    Saee Karmarkar
    nice videos. helps understand the concepts in a better way. the experiments made it easy to understand and apply the concepts learnt in the videos,
  • Profile image for Wendy García
    Wendy García
    Very good for understanding how the different components of our food bring us joyful experiences. Also, extremely fun experiments.
  • Anonymous
    love it. the quest for knowledge is never ending a very satisfying, one that i love to take part in with as many people as possible.
  • Anonymous
    It's a very useful and helping course . I learned a lot of new things . It adds to my knowledge and boost my soke skills.
  • Anonymous
    As a culinary professional, I have learned a lot about culinary science. I am so happy about my achievements.

  • Anonymous
    Very good course. Recomended for everyone. The lecture and demonstration are pretty clear and easy to understand.
  • 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.

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