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SUNY Plattsburgh Kitchen Chemistry: Dr. Linda Luck and the Magic Behind Good Food

How mixtures of molecules produce gastronomic delights will be a course of study this spring.  Chemistry Chair Dr. Linda Luck — the Julia Child of that department — will delve into chemistry’s oldest application: cooking. But instead of whipping up an impressive duck l’orange,

Luck will have students look at processes like extraction, denaturation of proteins and phase changes and learn what they have to do with making food taste good.

Excerpting Control over Chemistry to Make Gourmet Meals

Luck, who attended a workshop given by White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses this semester and learned his techniques for forming emulsions, foams and gels, will offer up plenty of demonstrations, showing how cooking experts exert control over chemical reactions to create gourmet meals.

From Sensuous Molecules to Beer Brewing

Just a few of the topics to be covered:

  • Sensuous molecules, taste and flavors: herbs and spices.
  • Advances and innovations in wine chemistry and flavor.
  • The chemistry of cheese, milk and dairy products.
  • The chemistry of beer and brewing.
  • The science of the grill.
  • Colloid chemistry in master chef’s kitchen.
  • Chocolate and coffee.
  • Cooking without heat: ceviche and seafood.
  • Ice Cream, ices and sorbets.
  • Bread, salt and yeast.
  • Hot, hot, hot: chili peppers.
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