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School of Science Hosts Renowned Speaker on the Intersection of Science and Food – March 20, 2013

The School of Science and the Department of Chemistry at TCNJ are honored to host Dr. Kent Kirshenbaum for our Spring 2013 Colloquium Series, on March 20, 2013, from 3:00-4:30 pm. Dr. Kent Kirshenbaum serves on the faculty in the Department of Chemistry at New York University, and he is co-founder of the Experimental Cuisine Collective, a working group that assembles scholars, scientists, chefs, writers, journalists, performance artists, and food enthusiasts. In a talk entitled “Experiments at the Interface of Chemistry & Cuisine,” Dr. Kirshenbaum will discuss the unique field of molecular gastronomy and the role of the Experimental Cuisine Collective.

Dr. Kirshenbaum’s lecture will be preceded earlier in the day by a special lunch event titled “Compounds & Cuisine: The Science of What You’re Eating.” The Compounds & Cuisine lunch, part of TCNJ’s Week of Science, will feature guest chefs, along-side our campus Executive Chefs, demonstrating techniques in molecular gastronomy like gelification, turning liquids into powder, and making ice cream from liquid nitrogen. The lunch will be held from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm in TCNJ’s Atrium at Eickhoff. For more information about the lunch, please visit the event website.

“Experiments at the Interface of Chemistry and Cuisine”


• Wednesday, March 20, 2013

• 3:00–4:30 pm

– Presentation and Demonstrations

“Meet the Expert” reception

• Education Building, Room 212

Presentation Overview

Everyone eats. This simple fact makes food a relevant topic of scientific inquiry for the entire population. Cooking instruction is gaining popularity as entertainment and as a central focus for improving public health. A study of cooking thus provides a palatable route to foster an appreciation for the scientific method and the chemical composition of matter. The Experimental Cuisine Collective was created at New York University to provide a venue for collaborations between scientists and chefs. The Collective enables dynamic interdisciplinary discussions of the overlapping influences of science and cooking. Scientific topics presented to general audiences include polymer chemistry, fermentation, pH dependence of reaction rates, and molecular neuroscience. Demonstrations are inherently multisensory, and engage students through sight, taste, texture, and aroma. We highlight the chemical investigation of foods such as: stretchy ice cream, mango caviar, liquid smoke, and an unusual combination dessert topping/floor wax. Our objectives are to excite students about chemistry, to formulate new recipes, to encourage cooking skills at every level, to impart knowledge relevant for making dietary choices, and to improve human health.


About Dr. Kent Kirshenbaum

Kent Kirshenbaum was born in San Francisco and was raised amidst fog and hippies. He studied Chemistry at Reed College and then obtained a PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of California, San Francisco. Following post-doctoral studies at Caltech, Kent joined the faculty at New York University, where he is an Associate Professor of Chemistry. His research explores biomimetic chemistry and macromolecular design. His laboratory pursues new antibiotics and cancer therapeutics. Kent co-founded the Experimental Cuisine Collective in 2007 with Professor Amy Bentley (Food Studies) and Chef Will Goldfarb (Pastry). Television appearances include Food Detectives (Food Network) and Sid the Science Kid (PBS).


Meet the Experts Reception

Immediately following the presentation there will in be a “Meet the Experts” reception designed to provide the opportunity to extend the dialogue about science & cuisine specifically, and interdisciplinarity more generally. In addition to our renowned guest speaker, Dr. Kent Kirshenbaum, several other distinguished experts will be available to engage with attendees in informal conversation during the reception. The reception menu will include some special items created by our visiting guest chefs and TCNJ’s own executive chefs.


For More Informationexpirmental Tool

Dr. Kirshenbaum’s website

Experimental Cuisine Collective

Compounds & Cuisine Special Lunch

“Meet the Experts” reception

TCNJ’s Week of Science

Photos Published in The Trenton Times

Kirshenbaum printrez


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The College of New Jersey
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Ewing, NJ 08628