Archive for the ‘events’ Category

Gastrophysics symposium in Copenhagen

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

On August 27-28 the symposium “The Emerging Science of Gastrophysics” was held at the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters in Copenhagen. The symposium poster said “interdisciplinary”, and with presentations by scientists in fields ranging from physics and chemistry to neuroscience and psychology I think it lived up to its name. In this post I share with you what I found interesting and useful from my own, subjective perspective. I must admit that I didn’t understand everything presented. Perhaps this is even a general challenge for the whole field. It illustrates how difficult it is to do science that is simple enough for chefs to understand yet scientific enough for scientists. César Vega and Ruben Mercadé-Prieto’s study on egg yolks is perhaps one of the best examples of a paper that manages to balance the two. A couple of the presentations were very successful at this, and I think that if we continue to meet at similar symposiums we will see many more papers that manage to catch the attention of chefs and scientists at the same time.

Throughout the symposium (more…)

The Emerging Science of Gastrophysics

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Next week, on August 27-28, an interdisciplinary symposium entitled “The Emerging Science of Gastrophysics” will be held at the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters in Copenhagen. I’m sorry to inform you that participation is by invitation only. However, having been included among the invited speakers, I promise to report back here with my impressions from the symposium. Considering the seminar on molecular gastronomy in 2011, the many Danish authors in the 2010 review on molecular gastronomy, the Nordic Food Lab (and their links to Noma) and now the upcoming symposium on gastrophysics, one can easily argue that Copenhagen is becoming an international hotspot for those interested in “the scientific study of deliciousness”.

From the program: (more…)

The Flemish Primitives 2011 (part 1)

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

The Flemish Primitives aims to bring together chefs and scientists to promote culinary innovation. The last two editions held in Brugge focused on food pairing and new technologies. This year the event had moved to Oostende and the more spacious Kursaal (a good choice!). The event had also been stretched over two days, starting with 10 master classes in five parallel sessions on Sunday followed by a Gala dinner prepared by 13 Belgian chefs. The second day followed the format from previous years. The focus was on a group of Belgian chefs, the so-called Flemish Primitives as well as specially invited guests from abroad including René Redzepi and Michel Bras. All chefs prepared food live on stage. In between the chefs there was also time for two sessions with researchers from KU Leuven and a presentation of Modernist Cuisine by Chris Young. (more…)

Copenhagen MG seminar: Flavor pairing (part 2)

Friday, March 4th, 2011


Wender Bredie presented results from experiments designed to test the flavor pairing hypothesis

A topic that I was particularily excited to hear about at the molecular gastronomy seminar in Copenhagen was flavor pairing. Since Heston Blumenthal presented his white chocolate and caviar combination based on amines in 2002 and Francois Benzi of Firmenich the pork liver-jasmine combination based on indole the idea has been further elaborated by Bernard Lahousse and Lieven De Couvreur who launched the foodpairing website and by me in the TGRWT food blogging event. Despite the interest and fascination it is fair to say the flavor pairing is still controversial – see for instance the discussion with in particular Jorge Ruiz. What is clearly lacking in the field is a more stringent scientific approach (as well as someone with time, interest, a sensory panel and the money to finance the activities…). It was therefore great to hear that sensory science professor Wender Bredie together with PhD student Ditte Hartvig actually set out to test the flavor pairing hypothesis formulated as: if major volatiles are shared between two foods it may very well be that they go well together. To achieve this they used a sensory panel to assess the odor of food pairs mixed and unmixed. Bredie proposed that a hyper addition of odor intensities would perhaps be the holy grail of flavor pairing – that is if the intensity of the mixed odors would be more than the sum of the unmixed intensities. Or even better: if there would be a hyper additive effect on pleasantness(more…)

Molecular gastronomy seminar at the University of Copenhagen (part 1)

Friday, March 4th, 2011


Homepage of the molecular gastronomy project at the University of Copenhagen (sorry – only in Danish as far as I know)

The research project Molecular gastronomy – the scientific study of deliciousness and its physical and chemical basis (Danish homepage) funded by The Danish Research Council was started in 2006. Led by prof. Leif Skibsted people from the Food Chemistry (Jens Risbo, Pia Snitkær Nielsen, Louise Mørch Mortensen) as well as the Sensory Science group (Michael Bom Frøst, Wender Bredie, Per Møller, Line Holler Mielby, Ditte Hartvig) at the Department of Food Science at Copenhagen University have been involved. In addition gastronomic entrepeneur Claus Meyer (noma co-founder) and physics professor Peter Barham (Bristol University) have contributed, as well as the chefs Thorsten Vildgaard (noma/Nordic Food Lab) and Bo Frederiksen (Meyers Madhus). Any of the names sound familiar? They should if you’ve read the recent review published in Chemical Reviews: Molecular Gastronomy: A New Emerging Scientific Discipline where several of the people involved in the project contributed as authors. This landmark paper summarizes and lays out research opportunities in molecular gastronomy, the branch of food science that deals with The art and science of choosing, preparing and eating good food to quote Thorvald Pedersens definition – he is a professor emeritus in chemistry that played an important role helping to establish molecular gastronomy as a research field at the University of Copenhagen.

To mark the end of the project a seminar was organized on March 2nd 2011. The program included the following presentations:
(more…)

The Flemish Primitives 2011

Friday, January 7th, 2011

It’s soon time for the third edition of The Flemish Primitives and registration has now opened. The Flemish Primitives wants to challenge Belgian gastronomy and bring together chefs from all over the world to meet and exchange ideas built on innovation. The top name this year is without doubt the chef René Redzepi of Noma, the world’s best restaurant according to Restaurant magazine, but “the Flemish primitives” will be present (a group of Belgian chefs) as well as guests and scientists. And there are a lot of new things going on as well. (more…)