Wonderfest presents McGee and Zare in spirited conversation about the joy of a scientific approach to cooking.
As a cookbook, Joy of Cooking has sold over 18 million copies. As a philosophy, it has enriched countless fine meals. Author Harold McGee and chemistry professor Richard Zare contend that science intensifies the joy of cooking. From boiling water to baking a soufflé, scientific insights can inform and enhance most every kitchen experience.
Harold McGee writes about the science of food and cooking. Twenty years after its first publication, the revised On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen was named best food reference of 2004 by the IACP and the James Beard Foundation.
In 2005, Bon Appetit named McGee food writer of the year. In 2008, Time Magazine named him to its annual list of the world's most influential people. McGee has written for many publications, including The World Book Encyclopedia, Nature, Food & Wine, and Fine Cooking and has appeared on public television's "Diary of a Foodie" and on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," "Fresh Air," and "Science Friday." He writes a monthly column, "The Curious Cook," for The New York Times.
Richard N. Zare is the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science at Stanford University. He is a graduate of Harvard University, where he received his B.A. degree in chemistry and physics in 1961 and his Ph.D. in chemical physics in 1964.
In 1965 he became an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but moved to the University of Colorado in 1966, remaining there until 1969 while holding joint appointments in the departments of chemistry, and physics and astrophysics. In 1969 he was appointed to a full professorship in the chemistry department at Columbia University, becoming the Higgins Professor of Natural Science in 1975. In 1977 he moved to Stanford University. He was named Chair of the Department of Chemistry at Stanford University in 2005.
Professor Zare is renowned for his research in the area of laser chemistry, resulting in a greater understanding of chemical reactions at the molecular level. By experimental and theoretical studies he has made seminal contributions to our knowledge of molecular collision processes and contributed very significantly to solving a variety of problems in chemical analysis. His development of laser induced fluorescence as a method for studying reaction dynamics has been widely adopted in other laboratories.