30 days before my trip to Chicago I got extremely excited. I had scored a reservation for two at San Pellegrino’s best restaurant in North America (#7 in the world) Alinea. A meal at Alinea is one of the few things that were truly on my bucket list. I had followed just about everything that Chef Grant Achatz had done in the past few years. From his lectures at Harvard to you tube videos to reading his (auto)biography Life on the Line. I was more than excited to experience this ground breaking restaurant for myself.

What do you say about eating at Alinea that hasn’t already been said?

Suffice to say, I had high expectations for the food, service, and experience. In fact, I had concerns that. O matter how good everything was, that it might not live up to the hype I had built up in my own head.

SPOILER: I was blown away.

Videos of Harvard lectures available

Khymos Blog posted a link to a recent series of Harvard lectures about “The Science of Cooking…”

Lectures from some of the greats of modernist cooking:
Lecture 1: Science and Cooking: A Dialogue. Speakers: Harold McGee, Ferran Adria (elBulli), José Andrés (minibar by josé andrés, Jaleo, The Bazaar) with commentary/moderation from Professors David Weitz and Michael Brenner (Harvard).

Lecture 2: Sous-vide Cooking: a State of Matter. Speaker: Joan Roca (El Celler de Can Roca).

Lecture 3: Brain Candy: How Desserts Slow the Passage of Time. Speaker: Bill Yosses (White House Pastry Chef).

Lecture 4: Olive Oil & Viscosity. Speaker: Carles Tejedor (Via Veneto).

Lecture 5: Heat, Temperature, & Chocolate. Speaker: Enric Rovira.

Lecture 6: Reinventing Food Texture & Flavor. Speaker: Grant Achatz (Alinea).

Lecture 7: Emulsions: Concept of Stabilizing Oil &Water. Speaker: Nandu Jubany (Can Jubany).

Lecture 8: Gelation. José Andrés (ThinkFoodGroup, minibar, Jaleo).

Lecture 9: Browning & Oxidations. Carme Ruscalleda (Sant Pau, Sant Pau de Tòquio).

Lecture 10: Meat Glue Mania. Wylie Dufresne (wd~50).

Lecture 11: Cultivating Flavor: A Recipe for the Recipe. Dan Barber (Blue Hill).

Lecture 12: Creative Ceilings: How We Use Errors, Failure and Physical Limitations as Catalysts for Culinary Innovation. David Chang (momofuku).

Free on iTunes!

Check it out!

Videos of Harvard lectures available.