Culinary Arts

Key Concepts

  • Adaptation
  • Balance
  • Composition
  • Fusion
  • Harmony
  • Nutrition
  • Quality
  • Quantity
  • Sensory Appeal (Appearance, Aroma, Flavor, Texture)
  • Presentation
  • Variety

Key Principles

"Chefs are a lot like hardware hackers. Both geek out, absorbing the specs of (vegetables/technology) for the purpose of creating something that nobody else has: innovative food/new machines." (Marc Powell)


Howard Hardesty at Inacomp Technical Services Group is taking an interesting, metaphorical approach to marketing his company's services at conferences like MACUL. What lessons could educators learn from this?

Leigh Graves-Wolf's Ignite Lansing Presentation on Food Photography
What food photography teaches us about the quest for perfection, quality teaching and learning, educational technology, and experiential learning

Thomson, Peter J. (2012, November 12). Creativity lessons from NOMA restaurant. Peter J. Thomson. Retrieved November 21, 2012, from


CoolMomCreatesBentoStyleLunchesForSon.JPG - Blog post with photos of cartoon characters created out of different foods for a child's school lunch

CreativityWithFood.JPG - Blog with scenes created out of food

Food for Design - Beautiful, intriguing website and blog that address creativity and innovation in food design

GrantAchatz.JPG - Highlights innovations in service-ware from famous restaurants


LunchboxAwesome.jpg - A mommy blogger who posts pictures of the lunches she makes for her child

MichaelRayPhotography.JPG - Portfolio of food photos, tricks for food photographers, and tips for food stylists

PierreGagnaire.JPG - FANTASTIC website of a French chef, all in French, be sure to explore all the links

The Art of Plating: Where Food & Design Meet - Great image of the week collection

24 must-see diagrams that will make eating healthier easier

27 diagrams that make cooking so much easier

27 infographics that teach you how to cook


Relationship between food safety and food sustainability

Innovation with Food

Decoding Ferran Adria (Hosted by Anthony Bourdain) - A 10-minute segment from a 46 minute video clip from the special that aired on the Food Network about the world famous chef from Barcelona whose restaurant is so popular that you have to seek reservations 2 years in advance! (Ferran Adria discusses in Spanish the best times & locations to create in this YouTube video) (Full Food Network special available in English from Amazon.)

Disaster Café - A restaurant in Lloret de mar, Spain that periodically "treats" guests to the experience of simulated earthquakes.

Food Flash Mob 11608 Chocolate Speed Painting with Spoon

Plate up: Architecture of the perfect dish


Speed Painting with Ketchup and French Fries - Uses ketchup and French fries to paint Ronald McDonald & SuperSize Me cover. Interesting implications for creativity, 3D, etc.

The Vegetable Orchestra - First part of the 5:56 video is a little slow, but nicely done. Eventually, they create instruments out of veggies and play them. Very creative. Could be good to combine with the Vegetal Como Eres book that uses vegetable art to explore emotions in Spanish. Students could also describe what is happening frame by frame.

Vik Muniz: Art with wire, thread, sugar, chocolate - TED Talks video with incredibly innovative examples of sophisticated pieces of art created out of wire, thread (esp. compelling), and spaghetti!

WhenTheSousChefIsAnInkjet.JPG - Intriguing article that describes how one chef is taking advantage of emerging technologies to create innovative dining experiences for guests that include edible menus and photos printed with organic ink made of fruit and vegetable juice, as well as future projects that seek to make food levitate, etc.


Foodpairing.png - VERY cool photo chart that uses a chemical perspective on food (foods with similar chemical elements can be paired) to diagram what are essentially the social networks of different foods. Super inspiration for creative food combos - chericem1 chericem1

Food Genome - Interactive, allows you to choose favorite foods and see relevant pairings, create your own food map, diagram recipes, food games, etc. - chericem1 chericem1

FoodStarCharts.JPG - Look at how food properties make them related - chericem1 chericem1

GlycemicIndex.JPG - Information designed for diabetics, but useful to everyone, re: the effects of food choices on blood glucose and insulin levels. Site includes a searchable database of foods (including many commercially packaged and prepared ones) and glycemic indices - chericem1 chericem1

Group Recipes - Look what "random access" through multiple pathways does for culinary arts! Browse visually, by flavor, by place, by menu, by user, by "interesting recipes," by tag cloud, by community, or by TV show

HackingBullipedia.png - Fascinating set of proposals for innovating by combining food and technology (See trailer for the original "Bullipedia"--a spinoff of Ferran Adria's restaurant in Spain named El Bulli here)


BattleOfTheFoodWineCovers.JPG - Blog post that explains how a food magazine uses different covers to target different audiences (dedicated subscribers v. newsstand) and discusses the use of QR codes in the magazine as well

Cooking as a Hidden Art - Blog post in French (scroll down to the red text for an English translation) re: the creative processes involved in cooking




23 Brilliant Life Lessons from Anthony Bourdain


CookThink.png - Shows how web 2.0 thinking used in web design makes sites more useful to users via random access through various conceptual categories (cuisine, ingredient, mood, taste, etc.) Select tags from multiple tabs, results displayed in visual tag cloud.

Epicurious.JPG - Gourmet recipes

- Nicely categorized links

GroupRecipes.JPG - Browse visually, by flavor, by place, by menu, by user, by "interesting recipes," by tag cloud, by community, or by TV show. Great resource for culinary arts students (and foodies everywhere)

Research Projects

FlavourLogo.gif - A peer-reviewed, online, open access journal that publishes "interdisciplinary articles on flavour, its generation and perception, and its influence on behavior and nutrition"

TheKitchenStoriesProject.JPG (See also this article)


Culinary Arts: A Recipe for Success - Key elements include complimentary meals, sensory appeal, etc.

Foodcation.JPG - Blog that addresses all sorts of interesting news and projects related to food science

Frog & Toad - Episode discusses "fear of growing," patience, and focuses on Frog and Toad who bake cookies and have trouble exercising the willpower not to eat them all in one sitting. After various attempts at problem-solving, they feed the cookies to the birds . . . no more cookies, but lots and lots of willpower.

GernotKazersSpicePages.JPG - Database of 117 common spices from around the world, with photos of both the dried and live plants and information on common uses in their native environments

Khymos.JPG - Website devoted to gastronomy with links to food chemistry, history, presentation, and lots of other interesting resources

AnInsidersLookAtFoodPhotography.JPG - Interesting tips re: food photography - wet cotton balls microwaved will give you up to a minute of steam, glycerin gives you shiny food, blowtorch will give you grill marks, glue instead of milk, etc.

MastersOfDesign.JPG - Profiles of several well-known designers from different fields (advertising, architecture, etc.). The line re: predicting appetites and then satisfying them would be particularly useful in PD & instructional design

What is Food Design & What Do Food Designers Do?

Student Examples

Como Hacer Una Salsa-Spanish Project - YouTube - Spanish how-to cooking project w/ commands - ckendall ckendall

Teaching Materials

PhysikUndChemieDesKochens.JPG - Worksheets (PDFs) on food science in German

FondationScienceCultureAlimentaire.jpg - Outline for a class in France that seeks to help students explore the culture and history of France while simultaneously introducing them to concepts in food chemistry

TheScienceOfCooking.gif - Food science site designed for kids with lots of interesting resources such as a world-wide spice map, information on breads from around the world, etc.


Powell, Marc. (2008, March 3). Kitchen hack lab: Food hacking for techies. O'Reilly ETech. Retrieved March 12, 2008, from