The 2012 second annual Bay Area Science Festival includes numerous events exploring the neurobiology of nibbling, the physiology of feasting, and other intersections between science and food.
At San Francisco’s Castro Theatre on Saturday night, October 27, superstar Food Network chef Alton Brown headlines “Ten Things About Food I Feel Pretty Sure About,” an interactive presentation detailing the kitchen as laboratory, and the science of American food as Brown knows it, from home kitchen experiments to nutritional milestones.
That same night at Stanford University, Harold McGee (author of On Food & Cooking: The Science & Lore of the Kitchen) shares the stage with Stanford chemistry professor Richard Zare (Stanford University, Department of Chemistry). Their starting point is that classic cookbook, The Joy of Cooking and their discussion is titled “Does a Scientific Approach to Cooking Kill the Joy?” (Their answer is: No.)
On Tuesday October 30 at the 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco, distillers and mixologists offer “The Science of Distilling.” Tickets include tastings from local outfits including St. George Spirits, Anchor Distilling, Charbay Winery and Distillery, 1512 Spirits, Distillery 209, and more.
“Hands-On Science at the Farmers’ Market” features UC Berkeley scientists performing hands-on investigations at various farmers’ markets in Berkeley, Albany and Oakland between October 27 and November 3.
The rest of the science festival, while less delicious, includes Orinid Meteor Shower parties at Foothill College, CSU East Bay and over a dozen other venues; a Science Free-for-All at Oakland’s Chabot Space & Science Center, and a free, family-friendly grand finale at AT&T Park featuring a 25-foot replica of a human cell.
— Anneli Rufus