MIT: Independent Activities Period: IAP

IAP 2016 Activities by Category - Food and Beverages

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Bread Baking Demystified

Anne McCants, Professor of History

Jan/28 Thu 10:00AM-03:00PM Burton-Connor

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/14
Limited to 10 participants

Come and learn how to make 3 different kinds of bread:

Soda bread
Yeast bread
Sour dough

We’ll talk about different kinds of grains and leavenings, eat lunch, and take home our baked products.

Limit 10 participants

Sponsor(s): History
Contact: Prof. Anne McCants, Burton-Connor, (617) 253-4965, amccants@MIT.EDU

Cocktails 201: Rum, Ron, Rhum

Jared Sadoian '10

Jan/25 Mon 06:00PM-07:00PM 500A Commonwealth Av

Enrollment: Unlimited: Advance sign-up required
Prereq: Participants must be 21 or older by 01/25/16 w/ a valid ID
Fee: $65.00 for supplies

More than nearly any other spirit category, rum has grown explosively over the past decade. Not only does it represent a great value compared to Scotch, Brandy, and American whiskey, Rum also is one of the only spirits that can cater to a wide audience of spirits enthusiasts and cocktail-centric bartenders alike. This seminar will cover the history of rum from its origins in the Caribbean to its spread throughout the world, and include a flight of rums demonstrating the variety of styles and flavors in this fantastically delicious spirit.

This seminar will be led by Jared Sadoian '10, Bar Manager at The Hawthorne and Rob Ficks, Head Bartender at Craigie on Main. The seminars will meet at The Hawthorne, a craft cocktail lounge located inside the Hotel Commonwealth in Boston's Kenmore Square.

Register today! Password "cocktails 201"

Other opportunties:
Cocktails 101: Section C -- from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Mondays, February 1 and 8. $150.00
2/1 Tequila $65
2/8 Vermouth $70
PSW: "cocktails 201"

Sponsor(s): Alumni Association
Contact: Elena Byrne, W98-206C, 617 252-1143, EBYRNE@MIT.EDU

Historical Hooch and Fabulous Food

Dana Hamlin, Nora Murphy, Chris Tanguay

Jan/15 Fri 11:00AM-12:00PM 14N-118

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up

Have you ever wondered…


Bring your appetite for history and join us as we explore these topics (and more!) in the Institute Archives & Special Collections.

Sponsor(s): Libraries
Contact: Dana Hamlin, 14N-118, 617 253-5705,

Hummus 101: Make your own hummus!

George Kirby

Jan/14 Thu 07:00PM-09:00PM W11-MDR

Enrollment: Limited: First come, first served (no advance sign-up)

Workshop participants will learn the secrets of making hummus from George Kirby '79, who is well-known in greater Boston for his delicious homemade dips. This is a hands-on workshop with take-away results. Bonus - Spice it up by preparing an exotic Yemenite hot sauce (Zhug).

Sponsor(s): Hillel
Contact: Ethan Sokol, 631-398-3220, ESOKOL@MIT.EDU

Inflated Appetite

Wen Wang, Postdoctoral Associate, Chemical Engineering, Lining Yao, Research Assistant, MIT Media Lab, Jifei Ou, Research Assistant, MIT Media Lab, Chin-Yi Cheng, MIT Architecture

Jan/05 Tue 01:00PM-05:00PM E15-344
Jan/06 Wed 01:00PM-05:00PM E15-344
Jan/07 Thu 01:00PM-05:00PM E15-344
Jan/08 Fri 01:00PM-05:00PM E15-344
Jan/11 Mon 01:00PM-05:00PM E15-344
Jan/12 Tue 01:00PM-05:00PM E15-344
Jan/13 Wed 01:00PM-05:00PM E15-344
Jan/14 Thu 01:00PM-05:00PM E15-344
Jan/14 Thu 06:00PM-09:00PM kitchen areas, final event

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/01
Limited to 24 participants
Attendance: Participants must attend all sessions
Prereq: Undergrads and grads passionate about design and food

This course teaches the theory, design and fabrication of pneumatic shape-changing interfaces. For hands-on practice, students will design inflatable and edible objects. Two approaches will be used for the design of pneumatic shape-changing food: engineering approach and biological approach.

Engineering approach: Students will be introduced to an electronic pneumatic control toolkit used to create soft transformable objects. We will learn how to work with the toolkit (including an arduino-based programming board, a set of pneumatic circuits, and a series of pneumatic actuators), how to program the board to create interactions and shapes, and how to control the inflation of objects. 

 Biological approach:

Students will learn about the culturing and fermentation process of yeast.  A bio-safety level 1 lab from chemical engineering department will be dedicated for this session. We will emphasize food science and engineering, and apply the knowledge in a hands-on session to control bread growth.

Design workshop:

For the design workshop, the topic is “inflated appetite”.  We will use food material, especially flour, to create inflatable shapes. Students will be encouraged to think about inflatable shapes from different aspects: composite material structure, material anisotropy, elasticity and viscoelasticity, surface tensile strength and elongation, etc. and will develop unique creations drawing on what they've learned. 

Sponsor(s): MIT-SUTD Collaboration, Chemical Engineering
Contact: Wen Wang, 16-473,

Japanese Tea Ceremony

Kyoko Wada

Jan/24 Sun 02:00PM-03:00PM W20 20Chim (W20-306)

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required

Join us for a Japanese tea ceremony performed by Mrs. Kyoko Wada, who has been studying the Japanese Tea Ceremony for more than 30 years. She will share "the happiness of the tea ceremony" with you and invite you to take this opportunity to leave your worries and problems at the door. Be transported to Japan by the calligraphy, ceramics, flowers, lacquer, and incense. Experience the four elements of the "way of tea:" harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility. Imagine how they can bring harmony into our daily interactions. Take the first step of what can become a lifetime of study and meditation. No limit but advance sign up required (see contact below) Signup by: 23-Jan-2016  Contact: Kyoko Wada,

Sponsor(s): SpousesandPartners@mit
Contact: Kyoko Wada, W20 20Chim (W20-306), (617) 253-1614,

Learning Science through Cooking

Dario Marrocchelli, researcher

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 12/31
Limited to 25 participants
Attendance: Participants must attend all sessions
Prereq: none

Enrollment is closed. Class is at capacity with extensive waitlist.

Cooking is one of the most fascinating (and rewarding!) application of science and engineering. Indeed, few people realize that even the easiest recipe (scrambled eggs) requires a working knowledge of important scientific principles spanning the fields of Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science and many more. The goal of this course is to show this connection between cooking and science.

This course is designed to be a fun, hands-on experience in which students learn basic scientific principles by performing simple experiments with food. The first four lectures will cover ice cream making, chocolate tasting, naked eggs, rock candies and other fun activities. At the end of each lecture, I will provide a connection between the lecture subject and some of the cutting-edge research happening at MIT. A private tour of nearby Taza Chocolate factory will conclude the course.

This course requires absolutely no prior knowledge. The only requisite for this course is a passion for food, cooking and science.

Registration for course will be first-come, first serve. Based on last year experience, this class tends to fill up rapidly. Please register as soon as possible by emailing the instructor.

Sponsor(s): MIT-SUTD Collaboration
Contact: Dario Marrocchelli, (ENROLLMENT IS CLOSED- no more requests please),

Jan/11 Mon 06:00PM-07:30PM W20-308 coffeehouse
Jan/12 Tue 06:00PM-07:30PM W20-308 coffeehouse
Jan/14 Thu 06:00PM-07:00PM Taza Factory, arrive by 5:45PM
Jan/19 Tue 05:30PM-06:30PM W20-308
Jan/20 Wed 06:00PM-07:30PM W20-308

The session on the 14th will be located at the Taza Chooclate factory. Closed toed shoes are required. Jewelry & perfume are not permitted. There is no outside food or drink allowed. Come prepared to try a wide variety of stone ground chocolate!

Location for tour is 561 Windsor St. between Inman Square and Union Square in Somerville. 

Water and Food Security Seminar Series

Chandra Madramootoo, Visiting Scholar, J-WAFS

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Attendance: Participants welcome at individual sessions

This seminar series will address a variety of global challenges around water and food security.  Topics include limitations to water use in some selected large basins, surface water/groundwater interactions, the water-food-energy nexus, an overview of agricultural production systems in two agro-ecologic zones (tropical drylands and the wet humid tropics), and the linkage between food and nutrition security and health.

Presentation and discussion will be centered on technological, institutional, governance, and socio-economic constraints to small-holder productivity; water management challenges in the two agro-ecologic zones, and protection of natural resource systems in degraded agricultural landscapes.  Specific topics will include irrigation and water conservation, drainage and flood control, irrigation value chains, and climate smart agriculture.  The series is led by J-WAFS visiting scholar Chandra Madramootoo, James McGill Professor in the Department of Bioresource Engineering at McGill University.  Prof. Madramootoo was Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at McGill from 2005 to 2015.

This is a four-part series; attendees are welcome at any or all sessions.

Sponsor(s): Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Sec Lab
Contact: Renee Robins, E70-1279, 617 324-6726, RROBINS@MIT.EDU

Global Challenges of Water/Food Security

Jan/11 Mon 10:00AM-11:30AM E51-145

An overview of global food demands and supplies and how water, limits to crop productivity, and other drivers such as food prices, population, and changing demographics and dietary patterns are affecting food supplies.  Led by J-WAFS visiting scholar Chandra Madramootoo, former Dean, School of Ag. and Env. Sciences at McGill Univ.  First of a 4-part series; attendees welcome at any or all sessions.

Chandra Madramootoo - Visiting Scholar, J-WAFS

Agriculture Systems in Tropical Zones

Jan/12 Tue 10:00AM-11:30AM E51-145

Agriculture production systems in two agro-ecologic zones:  This seminar will describe agricultural production systems in the wet humid tropics and the arid/semi-arid tropics, including cropping patterns, nomadic systems, and soil resources.  Led by J-WAFS visiting scholar Chandra Madramootoo, former Dean, School of Ag. and Env. Sciences at McGill Univ.  Second of a 4-part series; attendees welcome at any or all sessions.

Chandra Madramootoo - Visiting Scholar, J-WAFS

Water Management for Food Security

Jan/13 Wed 10:00AM-11:30AM E51-145

How can we better manage water to increase food security?  This seminar will address strategies such as new irrigation and drought protection technologies to boost food production in tropical drylands, and drainage water management systems.  Led by J-WAFS visiting scholar Chandra Madramootoo, former Dean, School of Ag. and Env. Sciences at McGill Univ.  Third of a 4-part series; attendees welcome at any or all sessions.

Chandra Madramootoo - Visiting Scholar, J-WAFS

Water/Food Security for Smallhold Farms

Jan/14 Thu 10:00AM-11:30AM E51-145

This seminar addresses the technological and socio-economic constraints to water and food security for smallholder farmers.  Topics include why smallholder farmers are slow to adopt new crop varieties, agronomic practices, and irrigation. Led by J-WAFS visiting scholar Chandra Madramootoo, former Dean, School of Ag. and Env. Sciences at McGill Univ.  Last of a 4-part series; attendees welcome at any or all sessions.

Chandra Madramootoo - Visiting Scholar, J-WAFS