An apple pie bake-off with a twist opened the final installment of the UCLA Science & Food lecture series this past Sunday, in which students enrolled in the corresponding undergraduate class vied for the best in final group project. The range of theories, as it turned out, would expand further when Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar and Zoe Nathan of Huckleberry (not to mention, Rustic Canyon, Sweet Rose Creamery, and Milo & Olive) each shared insight into her personal process in baking.
Christine Chiao Judges' panel at Science & Food
Before their lecture, Tosi and Nathan were part of the panel of judges, including Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold and KCRW Good Food host Evan Kleiman, invited to select the winning project amidst a slew of experimental apple pie recipes, varying in focus from texture to taste. The audience participated in the sampling as well, asked to vote in the People's Choice category. Amy Rowat, a biophysicist who co-created the class and the series, chose pie as a platform to look into such scientific principles as the melting points of fat and how solids become liquids. Now in its second run, the series began at UCLA last year, with guest lecturers including Rene Redzepi of Noma and Momofuku's David Chang.More »