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Cooking Better with Science

Art? Science? Magic? Yes. Learn the chemistry of cooking.
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Cooking Better with Science is rated 3.0 out of 5 by 9.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very interesting! The science involved in cooking is complicated, fascinating, and not completely understood. This course was an excellent attempt by two very knowledgeable and well spoken instructors to explain some chosen points. I only wish it could have gone further into this fascinating subject. I recommend it highly.
Date published: 2022-11-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Very disappointed! This course might be alright for someone wanting to earn credits toward a cullinary degree. It is not, however, a course that lay people will enjoy. The techniques that the chef taught were helpful. The science portion was useless to the lay person. We enjoyed the CIA courses by Chef Briwa that taught techniques and with some recipies included. We thought these would be similar. We probably will not purchase any additional courses.
Date published: 2022-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Entertaining Educational! The Great Courses always a great source of context information. I have countless courses of a wide variety of subjects and love the experience I gain with each lecture. The latest, Cooking Better with Science, I find very informative as well as entertaining and plan on putting this new information to use right away. Thanks, Great Courses.
Date published: 2022-11-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Mostly boring The science part is great if you are a food scientist or a biologist. Too much detail and not presented well. I am an engineer and understand a bit about gluten. Cooking demonstration was also boring. How much time do we need to watch the chef stirring the roux? Need to focus on WHEN to stop cooking it. Watched only about half of the course.
Date published: 2022-11-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Science Great | Needs Summary of Implications Many will find this course more scientifically technical than they want. I loved learning the science. However, I was very disappointed that the guidebook. It does nothing to summarize key points for each chapter. Example: the chapter on vegetables goes into great detail about how and why cooking affects vegetables. But it does little to summarize what the key takeaways are for cooking. Each chapter should have 3-8 key takeaways for cooking. Nice to have, too, would be the inclusion of a few of the key figures and charts. A lecture that shares so much detail is useless if it does not provide some tools for reviewing the huge amount of information provides. The links to referenced studies will be useless to 95%+ of viewers.
Date published: 2022-11-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Informative I purchased this course about a month ago. Basically it's a good course. However, the science lectures were overly technical as if I was sitting in a Food Chemistry class. The chef did a great job. I not a chef but cooking is an enjoyable hobby. I purchased numerous cooking courses from their library that were well worth it. For the average person, I wouldn't recomend the course.
Date published: 2022-11-20
Rated 1 out of 5 by from give this one a pass I've bought all the courses on cooking including Food, A Cultural Culinary History, and have been extremely happy with them all. However, this one has little to do about cooking and the science talked about will probably not help anyone with their cooking skills. The teachers do a good job of explaining how and why things work the way they do, but not helpful for actually preparing food. The course includes very few recipees, and the one on pizza is impractical for 99% of home cooks. Who is going to make their own cheese taking days and using renet for just making a pizza, no matter how authentic or good it is. I almost always prepare all my food from scratch including grinding my own combination of grains for baking bread, but this goes too far. The section on pizza alone takes up three whole lessons out of 12 total lessons. The science is so advanced that a lot of it will be beyond the average student unless they have a science background. This course has little to offer the even somewhat advanced home chefs. If you are interested in the science alone, this course will give you a very in-depth view. To be fair, I only made it through the first three lectures. I found them so impractical and boring I couldn't go any farther.
Date published: 2022-11-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing supplemental material I recently purchased this course and have not had the chance to watch it. However, the supplement is a disappointment. I have purchased other cooking courses and the books that came with the course were beautiful and helpful. This course comes with a pamphlet that is tucked into the DVD case. What is disappointing is the recipes are written in metrics. Examples: "10 g sage, 100 mL milk, 16 oz vinegar, 16 oz sugar, 100 g Gruyere Cheese, 45 g of flour. 45 g of butter. " Why did the authors do this?
Date published: 2022-11-19
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Overview

Enter the secret world of great culinarians with two experts, Sean Kahlenberg, Assistant Professor of Culinary Arts at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York, and his close friend and co-teacher, Ted Russin, Acting Dean of the CIA’s School of Culinary Science and Nutrition. In Cooking Better with Science, let their joint expertise initiate and guide you through the world of leveraging science to cook with greater finesse as you tackle simple and adaptable recipes that anyone can master.

About

Sean Kahlenberg

Home cooking is a very unique thing that has gone away a bit. There’s a sort of freedom when you cook for yourself; a certain joy to it.

INSTITUTION

The Culinary Institute of America

Sean Kahlenberg is an Assistant Professor of Culinary Arts at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Hyde Park, New York, where he also earned his AOS in Culinary Arts. Additionally, he is a Certified Hospitality Educator. At the CIA, he teaches classes and oversees the campus’s innovation kitchen, and he is the executive chef of the school’s farm-to-table restaurant, American Bounty.

By This Expert

Cooking Basics: What Everyone Should Know
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Cooking Better with Science
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Ted Russin

Pizza appears to be very simple. But the reality is, that simple, convenient food is extremely complex. There are many things happening at the same time in a pizza.

INSTITUTION

The Culinary Institute of America

Ted Russin is the Acting Dean of the School of Culinary Science and Nutrition at the CIA. He holds an MS in Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry from McGill University. For the CIA, he teaches courses on topics such as ingredient functionality and culinary research and development. He has also been a research scientist and chemist for companies in the food industry.

By This Expert

Cooking Better with Science
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Cooking Better with Science

Trailer

Making the Perfect Pizza

01: Making the Perfect Pizza

Simple and fresh, this Neapolitan pizza will have your family and friends asking when you are cooking again. Follow expert Chef Sean Kahlenberg, of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York, as he deftly demonstrates the art of pizza Napoletana, constructed of homemade dough, fresh mozzarella, basil, and an unpretentious tomato sauce. Surprisingly easy, you can now enjoy this staple of Italian cuisine at home.

25 min
The Science of Gluten

02: The Science of Gluten

Pizza may seem simple, but the science behind it is remarkably complex. Professor Ted Russin, Acting Dean of the CIA’s School of Culinary Science and Nutrition, explains it, from how proteins react to their environment at the molecular level through to the chewy, crunchy perfection of a well-made dough.

31 min
The Science of Yeast

03: The Science of Yeast

We begin with a return to our pizza dough and a review of gluten and texture analysis. As we learn more about the impact of mix times and refrigeration on texture and flavor, we begin to understand the complex and critical role of anaerobic fermentation in creating delicious pizza.

30 min
Making a Roasted Chicken Dinner

04: Making a Roasted Chicken Dinner

Have you ever wondered why restaurant roasted chicken is so consistently juicy and evenly cooked? Your expert chef shares several tricks of the trade to help you achieve the perfect roasted chicken dinner. From tying, prepping, and serving your bird, to delectable sides and a savory brown roux-based gravy, follow along from our kitchen to yours.

34 min
The Science of Meat

05: The Science of Meat

The proteins in meat are complex and critical to understanding the process of turning a living chicken into a delicious, roasted main course. Back in the lab, explore the relationship between proteins, muscle fiber, enzymes, time, temperature, and meat. Dive in as culinary science and nutrition expert Dean Russin explains the science of meat.

27 min
The Science of Browning

06: The Science of Browning

How do oxygen, nitrogen, gluten, and glucose interact to create your perfectly baked pizza crust or golden-brown chicken dinner? In every way. Examine the complex cascade of reactions that takes butter, flour, time, and heat to create a delectable roux, or the nitrogen compounds and sugars that react in a hot oven to turn chicken skin golden-brown and make pizza crust aromatic and flavorful.

31 min
Making Paella Mixta

07: Making Paella Mixta

Watch as Chef Kahlenberg crafts a traditional Spanish dish, paella mixta. Follow as he creates the base, a sofrito of diced onions and peppers slow cooked in the oven, and then a rice pie filled with chicken, shrimp, chorizo sausage, and vegetables. With meat and vegetables in every extraordinary bite, this dish is soon to be a family favorite.

25 min
The Science of Starch

08: The Science of Starch

One of the most essential molecules in food structure is starch, making rice cookery an ideal venue for exploring this building block of so many foods. Singular in starch density, rice remains diverse in a multitude of other aspects. Discover in our nutrition lab why the same short-grain rice used in paella can also create a creamy risotto when stirred.

27 min
The Science of Vegetables

09: The Science of Vegetables

Carrots are 88% water, and so is whole milk: one crunches and the other pours. Return to the lab with nutritional scientist Dean Russin to consider the unique structure of plant cells, from what allows them to hold so much water in a solid to what happens to those structures when cooked for our paella mixta.

32 min
Making Three Classic Egg Dishes

10: Making Three Classic Egg Dishes

Eggs are among the most versatile and valuable foods in both the home and commercial kitchen—Everyone can make at least one basic egg dish. Hone your skills with an introduction to three more complex egg dishes: tortilla española, cheese soufflé, and salmon benedict with a creamy béarnaise sauce.

31 min
The Science of Eggs: Tortilla Española

11: The Science of Eggs: Tortilla Española

Time is of the essence. Let Dean Russin’s laboratory experiments expand your understanding of the egg. Did you know that the age of an egg affects its pH? Incredibly, see how pH can determine both texture and viscosity and work with potatoes and oil to form the “bravaz eggs” of the traditional tortilla española.

30 min
The Science of Eggs: Béarnaise and Soufflé

12: The Science of Eggs: Béarnaise and Soufflé

Texturally, béarnaise and a soufflé could not be more different. One is a creamy sauce; the other is firm but light, filled with tiny, structured pockets of air that hold it aloft. Incredibly, they are both made of eggs. Learn what they have in common and the principles that govern their creation.

34 min