Food Programme

BBC Radio 4

Arts, Food

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Investigating every aspect of the food we eat


A Life through Food: Harold McGee

October 13th, 2014

Episode 476 of 661 episodes

Harold McGee, the man who helped explain the science of the kitchen, tells his food story. His book, published in 1984, On Food and Cooking, has influenced home cooks as well as a new generation of experimental chefs. It's seen as an important book because it made the science of food accessible and understandable to domestic cooks and chefs. It explains what happens to the protein molecules in eggs when they're whisked and what unfolds in the fibres of meat when heated. However, in the programme Harold McGee argues that his book revived kitchen science rather than introduced it. He cites figures including the 18th century Lord Rumford (an early experimenter in slow cooking) and Nicholas Kurti (a Hungarian born Oxford physicist) as the true pioneers of a more scientific approach to cooking. Presenter: Sheila Dillon. Producer: Dan Saladino.

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