Cooking Hackers. The true story of molecular cuisine

Davide Cassi

Physicist and gastronomic scientist
University of Parma

During the last twenty years cooking art has evolved significantly thanks to the contribution of scientific research. Here, we retrace the milestones of this collaboration and look at the most important innovations that have been introduced.

Ref. D.Cassi, Science and cooking: the era of molecular cuisine, EMBO Reports 12(3):191-6 • (2011)


Davide Cassi, (born in 1963, M.S. in Material Science and Technology, Ph. D. in Physics) is Professor of Soft Matter Physics at the University of Parma.
He’s teacher of Scientific Gastronomy at the Academy ALMA in Colorno (directed by Gualtiero Marchesi). He’s been the first President of the Degree Course in Gastronomic Science.
He has created and he directs the Laboratory of Gastronomic Physics at the University of Parma, the only structure of this kind in Italy.

His research concerns the physics of disordered matter and the scientific gastronomy, and he’s the author of more than one hundred scientific papers on several topics of physics. He is the Editor of the Advances in Statistical Mechanics series for World Scientific Publisher.

For twenty years he has applied to gastronomy his studies on the properties of complex systems, and he has worked (and continues to collaborate) with chefs and pastry chefs around the world in creating and testing new recipes. In his laboratory, he creates and experiments new techniques to produce dishes with excellent gastronomic and nutritional quality.

He has participated to several public events and television programs popularizing the scientific gastronomy. In 2002, with the chef Bocchia, he introduced the idea of molecular cuisine, defined in the book “Il gelato estemporaneo ed altre invenzioni gastronomiche”, (Sperling & Kupfer, 2005), the first manual on the subject worldwide (translated in Spanish with the title “La ciencia en los fogones”, Trea, 2005).

For his work he was awarded the International Prize Caterina de'Medici, the Tarlati Prize and the Grand Prix de la Science de l'Alimentation de l'Académie Internationale de la Gastronomie.