August 30 2012

…and we’re back!

First things first: a BIG welcome to all you new followers and an even bigger thank you to all of you for sticking around while I was away. I promise there will be plenty of new posts here at Bite-Sized Biology!

Here’s something awesome you might have missed these last few months: a series of food science lectures at UCLA. Check out some of the highlights…

The Exploration of Deliciousness
René Rezdepi (noma) and Lars Williams (Nordic Food Lab)

Two daring Nordic chefs question our conception of what is “delicious” or even “edible.” Tasting samples included seaweed ice cream and cricket sauce. Yup… cricket sauce. With fermented barley, no less. And it was GOOD. Learn more about this lecture here and here.

Microbes in My Ramen?
David Chang (Momofuku) and Peter Meehan (Lucky Peach)
David Chang explains how fermentation by microbes creates umami — aka EPIC deliciousness — and shows off a recent food lab invention: pistachio miso paste. Read more about this lecture here and here. (We’ll save Chef Chang’s thoughts on MSG for another day…)

The Science of Sweetness
Sherry Yard (Spago), Jimmy Shaw (Loteria Grill), Bill Yosses (White House)
Jimmy Shaw discusses the role of viscosity in traditional Mexican cuisine while Sherry Yard excitedly proclaims “POOF! There it is!” to explain how butter creates flaky, puffy pastries. Find more here.

Okay but that still doesn’t explain why I’ve been M.I.A. for so long. Well, at the end of July I got married! Planning the wedding took up pretty much all my free time, but it was totally worth it. And omigosh you guys… let me tell you — the food I ate on our honeymoon was absolutely phenomenal! The hubby and I must have gained at least five pounds that week.

First there was a stop at my favorite undergrad haunt, Fentons Creamery. If you’ve seen the movie Up, then this Oakland landmark might look familiar… There was also a quirky dinner at Iron Chef Morimoto’s restuarant in Napa (Calpico in my cocktail? Kimchee with my porkchop? Yes, please!) followed by a spectacular meal at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena. And the highlight of the week? A to-die-for dinner at Berkeley’s own Chez Panisse, complete with a tour of the kitchen. It was definitely an unforgettable week full of equally memorable food!


Biologist by day, culinary enthusiast by night. What better way to combine my interests in science and cooking than to write about them here?

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