CANCELED DUE TO SEVERE WEATHER: Julia Child and Kitchen Science in Cambridge
The application of science to cooking has become fashionable recently, but it has deep roots in Cambridge. Harold McGee will talk about Ellen Swallow Richards and the rise of home economics, early food chemists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who helped found the Institute of Food Technologists, Julia Child’s rigorous approach to home cooking, old chemist’s kitchen myths he discovered at the Schlesinger Library in the 1970s, and Harvard’s new course in the soft-matter physics of cooking.
Harold McGee writes about the science of food and cooking. He started out studying physics and astronomy at the California Institute of Technology and, then, English literature at Yale University. He wrote the first edition of his award-winning book On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen while living in Somerville in the late 1970s and logged many hours in the Radcliffe Institute's Schlesinger Library. On Food and Cooking has now appeared in two editions and a half-dozen languages and is used as the textbook in the Harvard College course Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft-Matter Science. In 2005, Bon Appétit magazine named McGee food writer of the year, and in 2008, Time magazine included him on its annual list of the world’s most influential people. From 2006 to 2011, he wrote a monthly column, The Curious Cook, for the New York Times.