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Dr. David Weitz // Public Lecture

Physics of Cooking

About the Lecture

Joined by acclaimed local chef Peter Madden and chocolatier Mitch Siegert, owner of Truman Chocolates.


Do you want to understand how chefs make, and use foams? Do you want to understand how chefs make a drop liquid into a solid that bursts with flavor when you eat it? Did you know that eggs cook best at a temperature much less than the boiling point of water? Modern cuisine is filled with fascinating new dishes and this talk will explore some of the physics behind them. Two local chefs will team with a physics professor to demonstrate some of their favorite cooking techniques and to explain the science that underlies the cooking. The talk is based on a popular course offered at Harvard University that is a collaboration between science professors and chefs.

About David Weitz

David Weitz is a Canadian/American physicist and Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics & Applied Physics and professor of Systems Biology at Harvard University. He is the co-director of the BASF Advanced Research Initiative at Harvard, co-director of the Harvard Kavli Institute for Bionano Science & Technology, and director of the Harvard Materials Research Science & Engineering Center.

Dr. Weitz received his B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Waterloo and his PhD in superconductivity from Harvard. He worked as a research physicist at Exxon Research and Engineering for nearly 18 years. He then became a Professor of Physics at the University of Pennsylvania, before moving to Harvard in 1999. At Harvard Dr. Weitz teaches an extremely popular course “Physics or Cooking” that is collaboration between science professors and chefs.

About Peter Madden

Peter Madden has worked in the restaurant business for over thirty years. Twenty of those years were dedicated to his principle craft as a Chef. After earning college credits at A&M and Blinn, as well as earning valuable experience working in kitchens while in college, Peter attended a culinary apprenticeship program in Dallas. Once complete, Peter embarked on the journey that led to his opening Madden’s casual gourmet in 2004. For the next 12 years Peter perfected his skill, stretched his limits as a chef, and developed a reputation for excellence.

In 2015 Peter opened Mad taco that has become one of the premier taco concepts in BCS. A second location is underway in south College Station and is due to open in the fall of 2017.

About Mitch Siegert

Mitch Siegert graduated from the Culinary Institute of America with two degrees: one in Culinary Arts and another in Baking & Pastry Arts. He has worked for many unique food establishments, including The Food Network and The Ritz Carlton, Naples. He moved back to Bryan/College Station to open Truman Chocolates. The chocolates he produces require a delicate and time-consuming process that take about days to complete. Truman Chocolates has won many awards and been featured in countless articles.


Download the Physics of Cooking poster here

Physics of Cooking Press Release

Physics of Cooking Video Recording

David Weitz

David Weitz, Ph.D.

Peter Madden

Peter Madden

Mitch Siegert

Mitch Siegert

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