Sous Vide 101: Ferran Adria Goes to Harvard

March 24 2010 - 2:01 PM


In other news in the world of molecular gastronomy, Ferran Adria's closing of El Bulli in 2012 sent waves of panic throughout foodie hearts worldwide, but the greater mystery was what he intended to do with his time off. Now, we have a partial answer: Adria plans to teach at Harvard. Quoth the WaPo:

In 2014, El Bulli will become a foundation, giving culinary scholarships to chefs with avant-garde leanings. And this fall, Adrià will join Washington chef-restaurateur José Andrés to help teach a first-of-its-kind course in culinary physics at Harvard University.

Over 13 weeks, Andrés and Adrià will teach multiple times, while such renowned chefs as Blue Hill's Dan Barber and another Michelin-starred chef from Spain, Joan Roca, will appear once. Students will attend chef demonstrations, physics lectures and labs that explain the structure and characteristics of a classic emulsion (a liquid dispersed into another liquid) and more recent inventions such as Adrià's famous foams (air bubbles surrounded by thin sheets of fluid).

With a greater understanding of the physical parameters of food, students will learn how to manipulate them. Ditto for the chefs. Much of the culinary invention in recent decades has been a result of trial and error rather than scientific research. Adrià is reported to have invented the foam after a friend gave him a canister of nitrous oxide with which to experiment. Andrés developed a hot and cold foie gras soup at Minibar not because he knew that liquids at different temperatures have different densities (he learned that later) but because he had seen the technique used in Irish coffee.

Wonder if they'll accept audit students?