school, science and food

ucla science and food lecture exploration of deliciousnessRene Redzepi of noma (left) & Lars Williams of Nordic Food Lab (right)

ucla science and food lecture exploration of deliciousnessBlending up some grasshoppers, again, Lars?? Oh no!

molecular tasting kitThe tasting kit: orange pipette of fermented carrot juice (think kombucha), brown pipette of grasshopper juice that tasted like soy sauce, and a container of cucumber dust. Spoon for seaweed ice cream. Not pictured: moldy barley cakes that tasted like nutty tempeh.

With nine days to go until graduation, I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on what it’s been like to be a university student once again. When I picked up my cap and gown this week, bam, it hit me. This is finally/almost over. While I’ve bitched and moaned my way through most of these last three years of grad school (the sleepless nights!), I’m suddenly feeling like I don’t want it to end… Well, I want the tedium of papers, group projects and exams to end, but I don’t want to not be a student anymore. Surely, one continues to learn outside the halls of academia, but it just won’t be the same, if you know what I mean.

A big perk of being a student has been access to amazing events on campus. One in particular that I’ve really enjoyed is the Science and Food lecture series offered by UCLA’s Division of Life Sciences. This year, I’ve had the opportunity to hear Nathan Myhrvold, author of Modernist Cuisine and molecular gastronomist extraordinaire, speak about the science of barbeque, as well as Rene Redzepi and Lars Williams from noma and Nordic Food Lab, respectively, on creativity in cuisine. David Chang of Momofuku came through a couple weeks ago too, giving a lecture on microbes & ramen, but I missed his talk, unfortunately, because I was out of town. This Saturday, I will attend the very last lecture and exhibit in this series on the Science of Sweetness. It should be a good event with guests Bill Yosses, White House Executive Pastry Chef, Jimmy Shaw of Lotería Grill, and Sherry Yard of Spago. Having been a pastry apprentice for the last six months (already??) I’ve cultivated a fondness for all things sweet so this weekend’s event should be interesting. Looking forward to it, and I’m looking forward to June 15, when I get to walk across that stage to receive my diploma. Awwww yeeeeaah!

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