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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

4.3 rating, based on 96 reviews

Start your review of The Science of Gastronomy

  • 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

    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

    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.
  • Profile image for ADITYA RAJ
    ADITYA RAJ
    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
    Good learning experience, would suggest to go deeper in topics of food combinations, desserts, aromas, flavours and vegetables. As a vegetarian, I wish there were more aspects to learn instead of perfect steak. Thank you, I am grateful for opportunity this course gave to learn
  • Anonymous
    Excellent Course. The only remark is that a couple of the latest experiments that has to do with the temperature, like the one with the potato starch turned to gelatin was not so convinced as the temperature was not went down significantly.
  • Anonymous
    The Course in general is very useful and beneficial for those who wants to understand in depth the principles of the chemistry and structure of the molecules, atoms and cells and bring their skills to different level.

    I recommend it for sure!
  • Anonymous
    God course but was different to the science of food combinations. Such as combination of various vitamins, macro and micro nutrients food combinations etc. If that could be added it would be wonderful . thanks
  • Anonymous
    Learn a lot on the basic on how our body see, smell, hear, touch, taste food and how cooking works. Very easy to follow even for people like me new to food science.
  • Anonymous
    It's a very good course excellent teaching by the lecturers. And it's examples and practicals are very interesting and I hope I'll do the next or new course again.
  • Anonymous
    It was an interesting course and a lot of concepts were nicely explained. The demonstrations particularly were very good as they helped to understand the topic better.
  • Anonymous
    It was precise, clear and very useful, the contents were very organized, and the explanatios were easy to follow and I really liked the demostrations videos.
  • Anonymous
    Great course to understand the science of gastronomy. I liked very much the experiments and assignments because it helps me to understand the concepts better.
  • Maria Tatiane De Aquino
    Ótimo curso!

    Bem explicado!

    Parabéns aos professores e universidade de ciências e tecnologia de Hong Kong.

    Muito obrigada!
  • 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.
  • 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
    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

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