Harold McGee

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Harold McGee
Harold McGee.jpg
Harold McGee at a Washington, D.C., book signing in 2010.
Occupation Author
Nationality  United States
Subject Chemistry of food and cooking
Notable works On Food and Cooking

Harold McGee is an American author who writes about the chemistry, technique and history of food and cooking and has written two books on kitchen science. His first book, On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen was initially published in 1984. A greatly revised second edition was published in 2004. McGee has also written for Nature, Health, The New York Times, the World Book Encyclopedia, The Art of Eating, Food & Wine, Fine Cooking, and Physics Today 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. McGee also consults for restaurants and manufacturers. Currently, he writes a regular column for the New York Times, The Curious Cook, which examines, and often debunks, conventional kitchen wisdom. Along with Dave Arnold and Nils Norén, he also teaches a three-day class at The French Culinary Institute in New York City entitled the Harold McGee Lecture Series.


Before becoming a food science writer McGee was a literature and writing instructor at Yale. He attended the California Institute of Technology graduating with a B.S in Literature (1973), and later went on to receive a Ph.D in English Literature from Yale University.


McGee's science-based approach to cooking has been embraced and popularized by chefs and authors such as Heston Blumenthal, Alton Brown, Shirley Corriher, Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Russ Parsons.

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


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