Berkeley Lab

Live Science Presentation: Microscopic Chefs – March 5, 2021

Live Science:

The Live Science Series is hosted by the K-12 STEM Education and Outreach team at Berkeley Lab. Each episode in the series highlights research at the lab in a fun and simple way for the public to learn more about exciting STEM research. The Live Science series has explored topics including 3D design, atmospheric science, particle detection, and more!

Make sure to download the worksheet beforehand for an overview of the session and to follow along in easy at-home activities. Register with your preferred email to receive the webinar link.

Microscopic Chefs:

This week, join chefs and their microscopic assistants in the kitchen! These scientists and chefs will talk about the science behind fermentation as well as share the fermented culinary inventions of past, present, and future.


Sara Harmon is the Communications and Outreach Manager at the Joint BioEnergy Institute at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. As a science communicator and educator, Sara is committed to improving the experience and outcomes for learners of all ages, background, and abilities.

Dr. Vayu Maini Rekdal is a scientist, chef, and educator and currently a Miller Fellow at UC Berkeley. Vayu first moved to the US to work in restaurants, but the flavors, textures, and sensations of the kitchen eventually led him to scientific research. His journey in both cooking and science has brought him to restaurants and laboratories around the world.

Chef Bill Yosses has held the prestigious title of the White House Executive Pastry Chef from 2007 to 2014. Bill was closely involved with Mrs. Obama’s Let’s Move initiative with the goal of reducing childhood health problems related to diet, conducting tours of the White House vegetable garden for school groups and sharing expertise on science and cooking with students.

Chef Courtney Burns is an accomplished chef, writer, and restaurant owner. She earned national acclaim for innovative dishes at Bar Tartine, and her cookbook won a James Beard Foundation Award. She now works with Blue Hill at Stone Barns on their preservation program.