GQ: What have ratio and chemistry got to do with cooking?

Expedition lead: M Said
Curriculum: STEAM
Phase/Year group: Secondary, Year 10
Delivery date: September 2016

Chefistry is a Year 7 expedition, run between January and February.

The learning targets were :

  • I can calculate nutritional values for different recipes
  • I can apply ratios and proportions to cooking and scaling recipes
  • I can identify a range of mixtures found in cooking
  • I can explain observable phenomena using the particle model
  • I can cook a healthy savoury meal

Students began the learning expedition with an immersion using the science labs for the first time, they learned about changes of state of matter and the heating curve of ice. Students also had a cooking experience to see the magic behind cooking and found out how to hold an afternoon tea professionally.

In the past, students have looked at a range of recipes from serving a boiled egg with soldiers to making tomato pasta, bread and homemade lemonade. This time the menu was ambitiously set to serve our guests with a Cream Tea. The menu used artisan methods to make a delicious selection of baguettes bites, fruit scones and cupcakes served with tea. Students studied the ratios involved, types of mixture such as solutions, colloids and suspensions, the periodic table, heat transfer and convection currents and the physical and chemical changes at play as students cook. The expert was local chef, Michael Price who helped to guide the students throughout the expedition.

Students have created animations which show what is happening at the particle level when they cook, and also animations which help to explain the practical uses of ratio and proportion in cooking.

Students all presented their learning to parents and visitors by hosting a cream tea for them, showcasing their animation which gave an insight into what was happening behind the scenes whilst they waited for students to prepare and serve their beautiful dishes.