Harold James McGee (born October 3, 1951) is an American author who writes about the chemistry and history of food science and cooking. He is best known for his seminal book On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen first published in 1984[6] and revised in 2004.[8][9][10][11]

Harold McGee
McGee in 2010
Harold James McGee

(1951-10-03) October 3, 1951 (age 71)[5]
Alma mater
Known forOn Food and Cooking[6][7]
(m. 1979; div. 2004)
Scientific career
ThesisKeats and the Progress of Taste (1978)
Doctoral advisorHarold Bloom[1]

Education Edit

Harold McGee tastes surstromming (Swedish fermented herring) at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery. (2010)

McGee was educated at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), initially to study astronomy,[7][12] but graduating with a B.S. in Literature in 1973. He went on to do a Ph.D. on the romantic poetry of John Keats supervised by Harold Bloom at Yale University, graduating in 1978.[1][11]

Career Edit

Before becoming a food science writer, McGee was a literature and writing instructor at Yale. McGee has also written for Nature,[2][13][14][15][16][17] Health, The New York Times, the World Book Encyclopedia, The Art of Eating, Food & Wine, Fine Cooking, and Physics Today[18] and lectured on kitchen chemistry at cooking schools, universities, The Oxford Symposia on Food and Cookery, the Denver Natural History Museum and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. For a brief time he wrote a regular column for the New York Times, The Curious Cook, which examined, and often debunked, conventional kitchen wisdom.[19][20][21][22][23] His latest book is Nose dive: a field guide to the world's smells (2020).[24]

With Dave Arnold and Nils Norén, McGee teaches a three-day class, The Harold McGee Lecture Series, at The French Culinary Institute in New York City.

Awards and honors Edit

McGee is a visiting scholar at Harvard University.[7] His book On Food and Cooking has won numerous awards and is used widely in food science courses at many universities.

Influences Edit

McGee's scientific approach to cooking has been embraced and popularized by chefs and authors such as David Chang[4] and J. Kenji Lopez-Alt.[25]

Personal life Edit

McGee married his college girlfriend Sharon Rugel Long on July 7, 1979; they divorced in 2004. They had two children, son John (born 1986) and daughter Florence (born 1988).[26]

References Edit

  1. ^ a b McGee, Harold James (1978). Keats and the Progress of Taste (PhD thesis). Yale University. ProQuest 302889235.
  2. ^ a b McGee, Harold (2011). "Food science: With pipette and ladle". Nature. 480 (7378): 452–453. Bibcode:2011Natur.480..452M. doi:10.1038/480452a.
  3. ^ But the Crackling is Superb: An Anthology on Food and Drink by Fellows and Foreign Members of The Royal Society of London ISBN 0-7503-0488-X
  4. ^ a b BBC Radio 4 Food Programme: A Life through Food with Harold McGee, BBC, October 13, 2014
  5. ^ "Harold McGee". CooksInfo. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  6. ^ a b On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen (1984) ISBN 0-684-18132-0
  7. ^ a b c Harold McGee (Food science writer): On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen on YouTube, iBioMagazine
  8. ^ Food Scientist Harold McGee: 'On Food', NPR December 2004
  9. ^ Cooking with IEEE Spectrum: Harold McGee
  10. ^ McGee, Harold J.; Long, Sharon R.; Briggs, Winslow R. (1984). "Why whip egg whites in copper bowls?". Nature. 308 (5960): 667–668. Bibcode:1984Natur.308..667M. doi:10.1038/308667a0. S2CID 4372579.
  11. ^ a b McGee, Harold (2015). "About Harold McGee". Archived from the original on December 28, 2014.
  12. ^ Cressey, Daniel (2009). "Q&A with Harold McGee: The molecular master chef". Nature. 458 (7239): 707. doi:10.1038/458707a. PMID 19360069.
  13. ^ McGee, Harold (2013). "Chemistry: A festive ferment". Nature. 504 (7480): 372–374. Bibcode:2013Natur.504..372M. doi:10.1038/504372a. PMID 24352277.
  14. ^ McGee, Harold (1999). "Taking stock of new flavours". Nature. 400 (6739): 17–18. Bibcode:1999Natur.400...17M. doi:10.1038/21775. PMID 10403241. S2CID 31829606.
  15. ^ McGee, Harold (1998). "In victu veritas". Nature. 392 (6677): 649–650. Bibcode:1998Natur.392..649M. doi:10.1038/33528. PMID 9565025. S2CID 4383793.
  16. ^ McGee, Harold (1987). "Trials of the gluttons for punishment". Nature. 326 (6116): 907–908. Bibcode:1987Natur.326..907M. doi:10.1038/326907a0.
  17. ^ Mcgee, Harold (1990). "Recipe for safer sauces". Nature. 347 (6295): 717. Bibcode:1990Natur.347..717M. doi:10.1038/347717a0. PMID 2234048. S2CID 4348407.
  18. ^ McGee, Harold; McInerney, Jack; Harrus, Alain (1999). "The Virtual Cook: Modeling Heat Transfer in the Kitchen". Physics Today. 52 (11): 30. Bibcode:1999PhT....52k..30M. doi:10.1063/1.882728.
  19. ^ The Curious Cook: More Kitchen Science and Lore (1990) ISBN 0-86547-452-4,
  20. ^ On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen (2004) ISBN 0-684-80001-2
  21. ^ Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes (2010) ISBN 0-340-96320-4, a compendium of practical information on food and cooking.
  22. ^ Modern gastronomy A to Z : a scientific and gastronomic lexicon (2010) ISBN 978-1-4398-1245-7
  23. ^ Harold McGee interview by Máirtín Mac Con Iomaire (Oxford Oral History Project)
  24. ^ Nose dive: a field guide to the world's smells (2020) ISBN 978-1-5942-0395-4
  25. ^ The food lab: better home cooking through science. April 19, 2016.
  26. ^ "A chemist in the kitchen (November 19, 2004)".