WORLD FEDERATION OF SCIENTISTS
ETTORE MAJORANA FOUNDATION AND CENTRE FOR SCIENTIFIC CULTURE
GALILEO GALILEI CELEBRATIONS
Four Centuries Since the Birth of MODERN SCIENCE
INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON MOLECULAR AND PHYSICAL GASTRONOMY «N. KURTI»
4th Meeting: Food Flavours
ERICE-SICILY: 6 - 10 MAY 1999
Sponsored by the:
PROGRAMME AND LECTURERS
Introductory lectures: Nicholas Kurti (1908-1998)
Supramolecular chemistry : the flavour of molecules
What the chef de cuisine mean by taste
What the scientists mean by flavour
Flavours : how to get them
Extraction methods (physical and chemical).
Production of flavours through cooking
Key flavours in the kitchen ; their availability in the flavour
Microbiological production of flavours.
Distribution of flavours in dishes
Solubility problems, dispersion, texture/flavour relationship.
Flavours : how to keep them
Stability of flavour,
How to keep the flavour of a dish.
PURPOSE OF THE WORKSHOP
The object of this workshop will be to bring together a group of reputable chefs de cuisine and scientists to collectively discuss the science behind the practices carried out in the kitchen. Previous workshops have been held on the role of emulsions and the effects of cooking methods on food quality. The 4th IWMPG «N.Kurti» will discuss food flavour, its importance to food and the creation of taste in the kitchen.
According to legend, Erice, son of Venus and Neptune, founded a small town on top of a mountain (750 metres above sea level) more than three thousand years ago. The founder of modern history &emdash; i.e. the recording of events in a methodic and chronological sequence as they really happened without reference to mythical causes &emdash; the great Thucydides (~500 B.C.), writing about events connected with the conquest of Troy (1183 B.C.), says: «After the fall of Troy some Trojans on their escape from the Achaei arrived in Sicily on boats and as they settled near the border with the Sicanians all together they were named Elymi: their towns were Segesta and Erice.» This inspired Virgil to describe the arrival of the Trojan royal family in Erice and the burial of Anchise, by his son Enea, on the coast below Erice. Homer (~1000 B.C.), Theocritus (~300 B.C.), Polybius (~200 B.C.), Virgil (~50 B.C.), Horace (~20 B.C.), and others have celebrated this magnificent spot in Sicily in their poems. During seven centuries (XIII-XIX) the town of Erice was under the leadership of a local oligarchy, whose wisdom assured a long period of cultural development and economic prosperity which in turn gave rise to the many churches, monasteries and private palaces which you see today.
In Erice you can admire the Castle of Venus, the Cyclopean Walls (~800 B.C.) and the Gothic Cathedral (~1300 A.D.). Erice is at present a mixture of ancient and medieval architecture. Other masterpieces of ancient civilization are to be found in the neighbourhood: at Motya (Phoenician), Segesta (Elymian), and Selinunte (Greek). On the Aegadian Islands &emdash; theatre of the decisive naval battle of the first Punic War (264-241 B.C.) &emdash; suggestive neolithic and paleolithic vestiges are still visible: the grottoes of Favignana, the carvings and murals of Levanzo.
Splendid beaches are to be found at San Vito
Lo Capo, Scopello, and Cornino, and a wild and rocky coast around
Monte Cofano: all at less than one hour's drive from
The INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON MOLECULAR AND SCIENTIFIC GASTRONOMY has for its mottoes the following quotations from two of the founders of scientific gastronomy:
Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford (1753-1814)
Writing about the application of chemistry to the art of cookery:
«In what art or science could improvements be made that would more powerfully contribute to increase the comforts and enjoyments of mankind».
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1775-1826)
«La découverte d'un mets nouveau fait plus pour le bonheur du genre humain que la découverte d'une étoile».
(The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star).
Nicholas Kurti (1908-1998)
«It is a sad reflection that we know better the temperature inside the stars than inside a soufflé».
The total number attending the Workshop (participants and accompanying persons) is restricted to 65. Please apply by April 20, to:
Please indicate to which of the above listed topics you expect to contribute,the nature of your contribution and whether you will be accompanied.
The total fee, $400 US, which is the same for participants and accompanying persons, covers accommodation and all meals from lunch-time Thursday, May 6, until lunch time Monday, May 10, as well as transport between Palermo Airport and Erice, on the official days of arrival and departure (May 6 and May 10, 1999). Erice is on the Western coast of Sicily approximately 100 km from the Palermo Airport. Participants will be conveyed by car or minibus to Erice.
Participants should arrive in Erice no later than 5 pm on Thursday May 6. The Workshop will start on Friday morning May 7, there will be a conference dinner on Sunday May 9, and a short closing session on Monday, May 10, ending at 11.30 am
May we also point out that, as IWMPG «N. Kurti» name indicates, this is a workshop and that participants are encouraged to make use of the kitchen (near the lecture room) which is reasonnably well provided with both culinary and scientific equipments.
H. THIS-BENCKHARD A. ZICHICHI
DIRECTOR OF THE WORKSHOP
DIRECTOR OF THE CENTRE