Food Science for the student-cook

Discussion in 'Open Forum With Harold McGee' started by jim berman, Dec 10, 2005.

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  1. jim berman

    jim berman

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    Mr. McGee, Thank you for participating here! Your willingness to answer our questions is most appreciated.
    My question is this: What would you find to be a good 'jumping-off' point to get students interested in the scientific aspect of food preparation? There obviously is so much more to cooking than following recipes and taking in FoodTV, so how do you awaken that interest in young cooks? I try to push my students towards higher learning (analysis, synthesis, etc) to imbed a passion for learning more. I think they are more likely to find their own learning is more valuable when they start asking "why." However, they can be satisfied, on ocassion, with taking a particular aspect of cooking at face value.
    Again, many thanks for your insight.
     
  2. harold mcgee

    harold mcgee

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    It's my pleasure, Jim--thanks for inviting me.

    I would suggest giving your students some ‘face value’ cooking rule and having them test it—for example, proving that searing meat doesn’t seal in juices, or one egg yolk can emulsify gallons of oil into mayonnaise. Then they see how knowledge can give them an edge over cooks who just follow received wisdom without questioning it—and also how much fun it can be to discover for themselves what’s really going on.

    Harold
     
  3. jim berman

    jim berman

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    Thank you. I will work on getting more of the scientific perspective incorporated. As you said, questioning rather than accepting.
     
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