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FREEBIE: Harvard “Science Of Cooking” Online Cooking Class

What if you could study the science of cooking with some of the world’s best-known experts, in a Harvard online course? For free! You can, starting October 8th.

One of the largest trends in education are MOOCs, Massive Open Online Courses. The concept is being led by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which founded edX, the not-for-profit online learning enterprise.

Harvard’s popular Science & Cooking course, which brings some of the world’s top chefs into the science classroom, will start on October 8th at edX. “SPU27x: Science and Cooking—From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Physics,” is an online adaptation of an internationally recognized Harvard course that uses “deconstructivist” cooking techniques to illustrate the principles of science and engineering in the classroom.

Top chefs and Harvard researchers explore how everyday cooking and haute cuisine can illuminate basic principles in physics and engineering, and vice versa.


What makes gelatin go from powder to solid? It’s one of the many chemical reactions that will be explained in the course. Here’s the recipe. Photo courtesy Jelly Shot Test Kitchen.


Chef instructors include some of the world’s most acclaimed modern chefs. A sampling:

  • Jose Andres, Chef and Restaurateur, Washington D.C.
  • Ferran Adrià, Chef, Barcelona
  • David Chang, Chef, Momofuku restaurants, Ma Peche and Milk Bar, New York
  • Wylie Dufresne, Chef, WD-50, New York
  • Harold McGee, Author, On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen
  • Nathan Myhrvold, Author, Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking and Modernist Cuisine At Home
  • Enrico Rovira, Chocolatier
  • Bill Yosses, White House Executive Pastry Chef

    The syllabus. Image courtesy Harvard


    The original course grew out of collaboration between faculty at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Alícia Foundation, led by groundbreaking Spanish chef Ferran Adrià. When Adrià gave a public lecture at Harvard SEAS in 2008, his talk drew an audience that spilled beyond the auditorium doors. Encouraged by the crowds, faculty in applied physics developed a four-month undergraduate course that now, in turn, has inspired this offering on edX.

    During each week of the course, Adrià and other top chefs will reveal the secrets of some of their most famous culinary creations—often right in their own restaurants. Alongside this exhibition of cooking mastery, the Harvard instructors will explain the science behind the recipe.

    You can:

  • Watch the weekly lecture at your leisure (everything is archived online)
  • Audit or commit to a certificate (which requires assignments and tests)
  • And do it at this time for NO FEE WHATSOEVER.


    Head to edX.


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    EVENT: Bacon In The City

    Bacon cupcakes, bacon potato chips, bacon melon balls, candied bacon, bacon lattes—these were just some of the treats enjoyed by participants in last year’s iAdventure festival in New York City.

    On Sunday, June 23rd, Bacon Bash II will take place at Bowlmor Times Square. Join the party to sample bacon-inspired libations and treats and bring home some baco-licious souvenirs. Your bacon cravings will be satisfied by Bare Burger, House of ‘Que, Baconery, Bacon Bites and others with bacon preparations from the sweet to the savory!

    Tickets are $35 for 1 draft beer and à la carte food; $45 for 5 Bacon Tastes and 1 draft beer, and $85 for two tickets with 10 Bacon Tastes and 2 draft beers!

    You must be 21+ to attend. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

    Until then, check out our:

  • Favorite Bacon Chocolates
  • BLT Martini Recipe
  • Homemade Bacon Vodka & Bacon Bloody Mary Recipe

    Candied bacon and bacon lattes from Bacon Bash I.



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    EVENT: Coffee Cup Tasters Challenge

    How well do you know your coffee?

    Counter Culture Coffee wants you to get to know it better. You’re invited to take part in The Counter Culture Coffee Cup Tasters Challenge 2013, held on March 15 in:

  • Asheville
  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Durham
  • New York
  • Philadelphia
  • Washington, D.C.
    Events in all regions start at 7 p.m. E.T., 6 p.m. C.T. in Chicago.


    Taste the coffee black to discover the differences. Photo courtesy Derby Pie.


    Known in the industry as “coffee cupping,” this is the process professionals use to assess different coffees—for example, to decide if and how to improve the roast or blend, or which beans should be served/sold by the establishment.

    The Counter Culture event, though, is a consumer contest for a regional title win. The overall winner gets a chance to go to the Specialty Coffee Association of America conference in Boston this April, to compete in the U.S. Cup Tasters Championship.

    For a $5.00 entry fee, participants get to taste delicious coffees: multiple sets (flights) of three cups each. To win, you’ve got to correctly identify which cup is different from the other two in each set.

    Ready to put your palate to the test? Registration information is at


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    EVENT: Umbria Month In NYC

    Distinctive red wines made from the
    Sagrantino grape are unique to Umbria.
    Photo courtesy


    Needing a quick trip to Italy, we headed to Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street in New York City, home of Eataly, a high-end Italian food market/mall. The first store opened in Turin, Italy, in 2007; the New York branch opened to much fanfare in August 2011.

    It’s Umbria Month in New York City, proclaimed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and celebrated at wine stores, restaurants, Italian food markets and Eataly, which is a combination of all three.

    There are restaurant menus with Umbria’s signature fare, cooking classes led by Eataly’s chefs and tastings of Umbrian foods and wines at shops including Di Palo’s Fine Foods and Enoteca (wine store) in Little Italy.

    Can you pick out Umbria on a map? The region of Umbria is in central Italy, less than two hours from Rome and Florence. The capital is Perugia.

    Neighboring Tuscany gets much of the food and wine coverage in America, but the region of Umbria, east of Tuscany, is equally deserving of your attention.


    And there’s much atmosphere as you eat and drink. Known as “il cuor verde d’Italia”, the green heart of Italy, Umbria home to stupendous mountains, valleys and medieval villages and of course.

    We sampled some of the local specialties at Eataly—fine wines, black truffles, olive oil and a perfect porchetta, roast pig with the crispest skin we’ve ever had. Good news: It’s available every Thursday in the Rosticceria, one of the 12 eating areas at Eataly.

    Along with the full-bodied, spicy Sagrantino-based red wines (the grape is unique to Umbria), it was a delicious lunch. Fully refreshed, we left “Umbria” and returned to the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

    See all the Umbria Month In NYC activities at


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    EVENT: Kids Food Festival: November 3rd & 4th

    Kids will discover that healthful foods are exciting. Image courtesy Kids Food Festival.


    It’s tough to get kids to establish healthful eating habits. Aside from all the media messages, there’s peer pressure and the ubiquity of not-good-for-you food and beverage choices.

    But what if good eating could be presented as a fun activity? That’s what Cricket Azima, kids food expert and founder of The Creative Kitchen, thought when she designed the Kids Food Festival.

    Now in its second year, in partnership with Cooking Light, the festival is a weekend full of flavorful fun held in Manhattan’s Bryant Park (42nd Street and Avenue Of The Americas) on November 3rd and 4th, 2012.


    The Kids Food Festival is a celebration to educate families about making balanced food choices. This helps to create wholesome lifelong eating habits for both kids and parents.


    The mission is to combat childhood obesity by engaging families in fun food activities, tastings and exciting family-friendly programming.

    The weekend-long event offers a host of family-friendly activities including cooking classes, food demonstrations, live entertainment, the Balanced Plate Scavenger Hunt for kids, food sampling, giveaways and more. General admission to the event is free and open to the public.

    Cooking Classes For Kids

    Some of New York’s top chefs will provide hands-on cooking classes for kids at The James Beard Foundation Future Foodies Pavilion, including Ellie Krieger, Jehangir Mehta, Sam Talbot, Patricio Sandoval and Katie Workman. Classes are $25 per child with a portion of the proceeds benefiting FoodCorps, a nationwide team of leaders who connect kids to real food and help them grow up healthy. Tickets can be purchased here.


    If you’re not in the New York Area, the Kids Food Festival can come to you. Contact @CricketAzima on Twitter or use the Contact Us form on the Festival website for information.

    You can follow the festival on Twitter @KidsFoodFestNYC and on Facebook and the Festival’s website.


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