Students in “GENED1104: Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science” recently displayed their final projects at the annual Science and Cooking Fair at the Harvard Northwest Science Building. The course, which began in 2010, is taught by Pia Sӧrensen, Senior Preceptor in Chemical Engineering and Applied Materials at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and David Weitz, Mallingkrodt Professor of Physics and Applied Physics. Students explored physics and chemistry concepts in the context of cooking, such as the done-ness of steak as an example of elasticity, the thermodynamics of heat transfer in a barbecue, and the crystallization required to make chocolate.
For their final projects, students were tasked with delving into the scientific concepts of a recipe or culinary invention or designing a scientific solution to a culinary problem. Judges for the 76 student projects included chef and restaurant owner Tracy Chang, food science author Harold McGee and culinary researcher Dave Arnold.
The Winner's Circle
Meghan Marangola, A.B. ‘25, and Vimala Alagappan, A.B. ‘25, were awarded the Judge's Prize by Tracy Chang and Harold McGee for their project named Perfect Piping. The duo experimented with frosting and identified which recipe has the most consistent flow rate and smoothness across a variety of temperatures, as measured by a manometer.
The Student's Prize was awarded to Eric Chan, A.B. ‘25, Glen Lu, A.B. ‘25, and Angie Shin, A.B. ‘23, for their work with the tapioca balls referred to as boba.
The Teacher's Prize was awarded to Michelle Lu, A.B. ‘24, (pictured) and her teammates George Cai, A.B. ‘24, and Will Sorenson, A.B. ‘23, for their work with seasoned oils.
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Matt Goisman | firstname.lastname@example.org