Science & Cooking

science and cooking sold out


Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Franklin Theater

Renowned scientist Dr. David Weitz and James Beard Award-winning chef Chutatip "Nok" Suntaranon join forces for an exclusive 2024 Franklin Institute Awards event exploring the scientific basis behind culinary creations through a live cooking demo. 

David Weitz, Harvard professor and recipient of the 2024 Franklin Institute Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science, teams up with Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon, the award-winning chef and owner of the much-celebrated Thai restaurant Kalaya in Fishtown. Together, the two will delve into the fusion of science and cooking. With commentary and a bit of friendly banter, Chef Nok will present a cooking demonstration while Dr. Weitz elaborates on how fundamental scientific principles make it possible.  

The event is inspired by Weitz’s wildly popular Harvard University course, which spurred a book and video series where top chefs and Harvard researchers explore how everyday cooking and haute cuisine can illuminate basic chemistry, physics, and engineering principles and have you thinking like a chef and a scientist. 

  • General Admission: $10
  • TFI Members: $5 

Limited seating. Online sales only; no tickets will be available at the door. 

Dr. David Weitz of Harvard University is an accomplished soft matter physicist who studies “squishy” materials like emulsions, gels, and foams—materials that don’t fall into the states of matter we typically think of (solids, liquids, and gases). For some, he is best known for a tastier reason. Dr. Weitz launched a wildly popular course at Harvard that pairs gastronomy to teach principles of physics called “Science & Cooking,” an ingenious way to popularize science for scientists and non-scientists alike. This course has expanded to a book and video series, with Dr. Weitz teaming up with world-renowned chefs such as Jose Andres, Janice Wong, David Chang, and Lidia Bastianich to cook and teach science concepts that touch our everyday lives.

David A. Weitz

Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon's travels as a flight attendant, as well as her international culinary background, exposed her to a world of flavors by the time she opened Kalaya in 2019. Since then, the restaurant named for her mother has thrust Suntaranon into the spotlight and made her a fixture in the culinary scene of her home, Philadelphia, and across the country. The restaurant features recipes that Suntaranon learned growing up from her mother, who would sell curry paste in food markets in her hometown of Trang in South Thailand. After 3.5 years in business, Kalaya closed the doors to its original location to prepare for a newer, significantly larger space in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood, which opened in late November 2022. In 2023, Suntaranon brought home the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic and Kalaya was recognized by The New York Times as one of the 50 places in the United States they are most excited about in their annual “The Restaurant List.” 

Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon

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Presenting Sponsor

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200th Anniversary Sponsors 

Hess Foundation | PNC | UST