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The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

The Science of Gastronomy

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology via Coursera

Overview

This course introduces a number of basic scientific principles underpinning the methodology of cooking, food preparation and the enjoyment of food. All topics covered have a strong basis in biology, chemistry, and physics application. Among others, they include the consumption of cooked food, the physiological and evolutionary implication of the senses, geographic and cultural influences on food, and the rationale behind food preparation. We will also discuss issues such as coupling of senses to improve sense stimulation; altering flavor by chemical means; and modification of the coloration to improve the appearance of dishes. Following the video demonstrations of the scientific principles of cooking, you will learn to recognize the key ingredients and their combinations for preparing good healthy food. At the end of this course, you will be able to:

- appreciate the scientific basis of various recipes;
- develop your own recipes by integrating some of the scientific principles into new dishes;
- recognize the influence of the material world on human perception from the different senses;
- appreciate the art of integrating science into cooking and dining.

Important Note: This course is not designed for people with special dietary needs such as vegetarian, diabetic, and gluten-free diets. If you feel uncomfortable with any part of the assignments or activities of this course, you can substitute some of the ingredients or ask friends and family members to help with the tasting of your assignments. Alternatively, you may skip that specific assignment provided that you have fulfilled all other qualifying requirement to pass the course.

Course Overview video: https://youtu.be/H5vlaR0_X2I

Syllabus

  • Orientation, Module 1 and Module 2
    • This week, we will focus on “Energy Transfer” and “Hunger and Satiety”. Before you start with the content for these modules, please watch the Course Overview, review the Grading Scheme, and read the Important Note on special dietary needs.
  • Module 3 and Module 4
    • This week, we will talk about how flavor and aroma of food affects our perception of taste of food.
  • Module 5 and Module 6
    • This week, we will talk about how color and texture of food affects our perception of taste of food.
  • Module 7 and Module 8
    • This week, we will look at how fruits and vegetables can enhance the quality in cooking and to learn about the properties of meat.
  • Module 8 (continued) and Module 9
    • This week, we will continue our focus on the preparation and cooking of meat and learn about the elements that affect the preparation of sauces.
  • Module 9 (continued) and Module 10
    • This week, we will continue our focus on the preparation of sauces and finish up the course with the last topic on dessert. After completing all the content, it's time to test your understanding on the entire course. Take the final exam and complete the post-course survey. Your valuable feedback will certainly help us improve future iterations of the course.

Taught by

King Chow and Lam Lung Yeung

Reviews

4.3 rating, based on 123 Class Central reviews

4.6 rating at Coursera based on 667 ratings

Start your review of The Science of Gastronomy

  • Anonymous
    This course introduces a number of basic scientific principles underpinning the methodology of cooking, food preparation and the enjoyment of food. All topics covered have a strong basis in biology, chemistry, and physics application. Among others, they include the consumption of cooked food, the physiological and evolutionary implication of the senses, geographic and cultural influences on food, and the rationale behind food preparation. We will also discuss issues such as coupling of senses to improve sense stimulation; altering flavor by chemical means; and modification of the coloration to improve the appearance of dishes.
  • Iolanda Almeida
    Este foi um dos melhores cursos que já participei no Coursera. Recomendo vivamente!
    This was one of the best courses that I´ve enrolled in Coursera. I strongly recommend it.

    Obrigada pela oportunidade. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

    Tudo de bom! All the best, Iolanda Almeida.
  • Manishi Raturi
    The science of gastronomy is a very helpful and interesting course for all people interested in food sciences and other related subjects. It helps to clear perspectives about food products and the science and logic behind the basic cuisines we daily consume.
  • Anonymous
    The course provided various aspects about food science like the principles of different cooking methods, how the body to scene the food thought different mechanisms.
    Also, it taught how to choose appropriate food and arrange ingredient to cook the delicious food.
  • Anonymous
    Only three stars despite excellent contents (delivery for a paid option should be better) • The content is extremely interesting (I really found it fascinating) and it is clear that a lot of effort was put in preparing the course. Very good downloadable...
  • Anonymous
    WOW! Never thought that there was so much science involved in gastronomy. This was not an easy course. A background (basis) in chemistry, physics and biology would be helpful. Demonstrations and assignments enhanced the learning experience. Slides were too crowded (too much information. As a rule there are six lines per slide and six words per line). English pronunciation should be improved. This also had an impact on the transcript which at times was incomprehensible. Recommended with the above caveats.
  • Anonymous
    This course covered a lot more that what I was expecting when I first enrolled in. Its so detailed and science based. I'm a nutritionist, and I'm currently at a cuisine school to eventually become a chef and who knows, combine the nutrition with my cooking skills. This course actually helped me so much refreshing a lot of concepts that to be fair I didn't remember already, but it also gave me a lot more knowledge I've never heard about. I truly recommend this course to anyone who wants to know more about the science that happens every day in our kitchens.
  • Anonymous
    A lot of non-useful details. The language was also not good. Sometimes I didn't understand the lecturer. The assignments were OK in the beginning but later it started getting worse and worse
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I went through all the 6 weeks (didn't pay for it so I just could take a look into the assignments). I felt disapointed since the beginning but it became worse from module 8 to the end. I will point out couple of reasons: - Too much time spent in repeating...
  • Anonymous
    The course is good, and worth of your time.
    You will sure learn a lot of useful knowledge and practical skills as well.
    There are some drawbacks, like the camera work and too much time is wasted in showing us people tasting foods which adds nothing to an online course.
    The theoretical teaching, however, is invaluable.
  • Anonymous
    Great course to better understand and have a grasp in the science of food and beverage. Good tutors, clear videos and easy to understand user-friendly notes. Beneficial for beginners and intermediate food students. Cooking part in videos can be improved.
  • Anonymous
    It´s one of the most interesting courses I have ever had. It was so clear and easy to understand. Thank you for this opportunity. Best Regards,
    Iolanda N. das M. Almeida
  • Paula Adeline Pereira
    este curso me ajudou muito a conhecer cada detalhe sobre alimentos e preparação, com toda certeza me ajudara a dar ainda mais qualidade para meus pratos e novas criaçoes
  • Anonymous
    The Class is cool! I like that! You like FOOD SCIENCE in class.

    Like Science shows and teaching, you know how to do tricks for cooking and rooting on chemicals.
  • Anonymous
    There are some good information to learn.. definitely I recommend this course who wants to learn some tricks
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This course introduces a number of basic scientific principles underpinning the methodology of cooking, food preparation and the enjoyment of food. All topics covered have a strong basis in biology, chemistry, and physics application. Among others, they include the consumption of cooked food, the physiological and evolutionary implication of the senses, geographic and cultural influences on food, and the rationale behind food preparation. We will also discuss issues such as coupling of senses to improve sense stimulation; altering flavor by chemical means; and modification of the coloration to improve the appearance of dishes.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Very well designed and delivered a course. The instructors really did well in delivering the course. The content was just right and I have learned a lot. If possible a certificate of participation could be made available for those who cannot pay for the official certificate.
  • Anonymous
    It's was nice experience all together. The lectures well good and well explained. Important topics were given enough time for understanding. I really enjoyed the assignment, which gave a practical knowledge along with actual applications of knowledge & it was fun at the same time. I would suggest to give small pdf of notes at the end of a topic that would help to give review to all major learning at once glance.
  • Anonymous
    The course was interesting, a lot of useful information, which helped to understand how this or that process happens and what to do exactly this way and not otherwise. There were a lot of illustrative examples. And if something wasn't clear in the lecture, with the help of examples everything became clear enough. But it would be desirable to be more extended.

    Many thanks to the lecturers for their work.

  • Anonymous
    This course if very fun and engaging! While the professor is explaining different topics and theories, you can follow along and do little experiments at home. The quality of the video's and the explinations of the professors is outstanding. I also liked the little survey's Leo does with other students. Zoe is an expelent assistent in the later parts of the course as well.

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