All posts by luke

How Chefs Make Their Grilled Cheese by Luke Gass

One aspect of the culinary arts that has always interested me is the complex and/or high-end takes on simple classic dishes.  This article shows how different chefs make their ideal grilled cheese sandwich.


Discussion Question: Do any of these appear particularly interesting to you?  Is there an example of another classic dish you can think of that has been approached in many different ways like this?

Diet of Excess Sugar and Starch Linked to Lung Cancer By Luke Gass

Since sugars and starches have been one of the primary nutrients we have been discussing in class (as well as present in all of the foods we have cooked in our lab) I thought this article would be an appropriate topic for discussion.  Researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston discovered that individuals who consumed foods with high glycemic index were as much as 50 percent more likely to develop lung cancer, which is the number 1 cancer killer in the United States.  To avoid these risks, experts recommend merely sticking to a diet containing foods that help you maintain a healthy body weight, with more vegetables and plant-based foods and less sugary foods and red meat.


Discussion Question: Do you believe any parts of your diet put you at risk?  How so?

Can Going Gluten-Free Help with Other Diseases as Well? By Luke Gass

With our focus on gluten this past week, I figured this would be an appropriate article to share.  Apparently, claims the article, a gluten-free diet can also reduce inflammation in the body.  The author describes how going on this diet helped relieve symptoms of her fibromyalgia.


Discussion Question: Based on reading this article, what other diseases might respond well to a gluten-free diet and for what reason?

Irish Soda Bread Recipe by Luke Gass

This seemed to be an appropriate post considering our most recent experiment in the lab.  However, what distinguishes this recipe from the ingredients used to make bread in the lab is the use of baking soda as an alternative to yeast.  The key difference between using yeast and baking soda in cooking is the former requires more rising “rising time” than the latter.

Discussion Question: Why does baking soda allow the bread to rise faster than yeast or sourdough?  Also, how does using baking soda affect the taste?  Answer both of these by explaining them on the molecular level.  

Berry Tiramisu Recipe by Luke Gass

This article describes how to put a twist on a traditional Italian dessert by replacing the usual ingredients of coffee and cocoa with an assortment of berries.  However, for fans of classic tiramisu, a link to a recipe for that is provided at the bottom of the page.

Discussion Question: What factors (techniques, ingredients, etc.) contribute to the delicate texture of tiramisu?  How do these factors affect the dish on a molecular level?