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IV Conference on Science and Gastronomy

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The Royal Academy of Gastronomy (RAG), in collaboration with the Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Universities, has held the IV Conference on Science and Gastronomy at Universidad CEU San Pablo, in collaboration with the CEU Institute of Food and Society. The Conference is part of a series of initiatives included in an extraordinary grant awarded by the Ministry to the RAG to promote the close link between science and gastronomy.

Elena Rodriguez, director of the Royal Academy of Gastronomy, along with the director of the CEU Institute of Food and Society, Professor Gregorio Varela Moreiras, emphasised the importance of bringing to the university environment different branches of knowledge, which, together, can generate the scientific principles that support the methodology of cooking, food preparation, and enjoyment of food.

The aim of this Conference was to bring knowledge on gastronomy and nutrition to students as, in the future, they will be responsible for conveying to society the importance of diet for our health, as well as the basic principles of the science and art of cooking, blending together tradition with innovation.

To this end, Marta de Miguel, Scientific Researcher at the Food Sciences Research Institute (CIAL-CSIC), through her presentation 'Science & Gastronomy: Eating Better to Live Better' brought the laboratory to the table, creating an exciting journey for the students. She emphasised "the fundamental importance of sensory aspects and culinary possibilities when designing functional foods and ingredients, and of then transferring them to the consumer." 

Similarly, Ana Mª Montero, Nutrition professor at CEU USP, demystified the so-called "superfoods", using different examples, in her presentation 'Superfoods:  the Pros and Cons. In her intervention, Montero demonstrated that "they do not exist as such when comparing their characteristics and nutritional properties with other equivalents in their food group category, although this does not mean that they cannot be part of our habitual dietary model."

To conclude, chef Javi Estévez, owner of La Tasquería (a 1-Michelin star and 1-Repsol sun restaurant), gave a hands-on lesson on how to cook simply, quickly, healthily, and sustainably, teaching students to appreciate the taste and flavours of food, focusing on the pleasure of eating and enjoying food. He stressed the importance of dedicating adequate time to both the preparation and the eating of food, with the aim of adopting healthier eating practices. He highlighted the importance of having a "good kitchen stock cupboard, which allows you to prepare recipes and menus when needed and at any time.”

This event marks the beginning of a collaboration between CEU USP and RAG for the dissemination of gastronomic culture through a variety of joint initiatives.

Palabras clave Royal Academy of Gastronomy Food Society Conference Javi Estévez