Our 10th grade Chemistry project was based on the popular TV show, Iron Chef. In this show chefs are given a mystery basket with several random ingredients and are required to use every single one of them in the dish. We started this project by gaining cooking experience. We had activities like the 10 dollar challenge where we had to buy ingredients to create a meal using only ten dollars. Another activity was created dishes inspired by specific countries. All of this helped us improve our cooking skills so we would be ready when it came to exhibition night. Towards the middle/end of the project we switched to "project mode" where we filmed short videos of our dishes being cooking. (This was meant to be exhibited to the judges so they could see the process) We also created Modernist Cuisine posters that included a photo of our final dish along with many different science concepts that were used in our dish. Throughout this project we learned what happens when we cook our food. Concepts such as the Maillard Reaction, chemical and physical changes, heat transfers and many more came up. During exhibition we had a behind the scenes room where we were streaming live footage coming from the main commons where our food was being judged. Each groups also had around 40 samples of their dish and last but not least we had our posters and people walking around informing audience members about the process. My groups mystery basket included, chicken thighs, green onions, green apples, provolone cheese and hash browns. We decided to saute our green apples and green onions together, bread our chicken with hash browns and serve it over a bed of rice.
This is the Modernist Cuisine poster. Each group chose different science concepts that were directly mentioned in their dishes and explained the science behind them.
The video above is our film where we showed the process of cooking our dish.
Reflection: What I really enjoyed most about this project was how aware it made me of my surroundings. Throughout the day I'll find myself asking chemistry related questions and wanting to look more into it. I've learned about many different reactions like I mentioned above and I have also gained a good amount of cooking experience. I am most proud of our poster. At first we had a lot of trouble coming up with a way to stage our final dish but in the end we found a way to make it look nice and I really like the end result. I also focused a lot on the science portion of the poster and it took a lot of research so seeing that finally done was really nice. If I were to do this project again I think I was try to find a more creative approach. We struggled with finding a way to combine the ingredients nicely and I think doing more research on different food combination and cultures would have helped immensely.