The Science Chef, Second Edition by Joan D'Amico, Karen Drummond

The Science Chef is an exploratory guide to cooking with a scientific twist! It allows children to fully immerse themselves in making practical recipes that directly relate to scientific concepts. These easy‐to‐follow recipes create a natural blend of food and science and will engage young scientists of all ages.

Annamarie Russo, Supervisor of K‐5 STEAM Education

The Science Chef series exemplifies the authors' passion for teaching kids. What a wonderful way to inspire scientific exploration by putting young culinary enthusiasts to work in the kitchen! Now more than ever, these books are important tools for educating kids at school or at home.

Ellen Taylor, Manager, The Farm Cooking School

The Science Chef is not your average cook book. The authors' brilliant concepts combine life and academic skills with delicious recipes. Math, science and culinary arts make cooking a truly interactive and multidisciplinary experience that kids can take from the classroom to their own family kitchens.

Darleen Reveille, RN, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community Health Leader









100+ Fun Food Experiments and Recipes for Kids



Logo: Wiley

To Christi, Alexa, and Kyle. May all your dreams come true.

—Joan D’Amico


For Caitlin.

—Karen Eich Drummond

About This Book

Welcome to the updated second edition of The Science Chef designed to help you learn about science in new and tasty ways. Whenever you cook, you use the science of chemistry to mix and heat ingredients to make something new, like bread from flour, yeast, and water or popcorn from corn kernels and heat. You learn about biology when you investigate fruits, seeds, grains, herbs, spices, and other products from nature that we eat. And you learn the science of nutrition when you think about how the substances in foods you eat affect your body.

The first section, “Discovering Science in the Kitchen,” covers the basics about science, cooking skills and equipment, food safety, and nutrition. Read it carefully before you do any of the experiments or try any of the recipes.

Part I, “Questions, Questions, Questions,” explores answers to science questions such as “Why does popcorn pop?” and “How does bread rise?” Part II, “No More Boxes, Cans, or Jars: Do It Yourself,” invites you to make foods from scratch or grow foods, instead of buying them ready made at the store, using science to explain the steps. For example, you can make your own spaghetti sauce, ice pops, and cookie mix.

Each chapter explores a different science topic by giving you an experiment or activity you can do right in your kitchen, followed by easy‐to‐make recipes that are based on the experiment. Altogether there are over 100 experiments and recipes for you to try. Each experiment and activity include a purpose statement, a list of the materials you will need, the steps to follow, questions for you to answer, and an explanation of what happened.

To answer the questions, first find a notebook with at least 20 pages. Design a notebook cover that says Science Chef Notebook and tape or paste it on the notebook cover. Each time you do an experiment, write down the chapter number and title at the top of a sheet of paper. Then write down the number of the first question along with your answer. Continue to answer all questions—there are usually about three or four questions.

After doing the experiment or activity, you can have some fun making one or more of the recipes. For example, learn what makes popcorn pop, then make some sensational snacks such as Trail Mix Popcorn, or grow some herbs to use in Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce.

Each recipe is rated according to how much cooking experience is required. The easiest recipes are noted as Beginner. Intermediate recipes require some cutting and cooking with heat. Advanced recipes require higher level cooking skills, but only a few recipes are marked as advanced.

Always be sure you have an adult to guide you when the experiment or recipe asks you to use the oven, stove, electrical appliances, or a knife.

All recipes also:

  • list the time you need to make them and the number of servings each recipe makes.
  • use easy‐to‐find ingredients and standard kitchen equipment.
  • are kid‐tested and kid‐approved.
  • emphasize wholesome and plant‐based ingredients.

Each chapter has a video showing how to prepare one of that chapter's recipes. The videos are found at

At the end of the book you'll find a nutrient analysis of each recipe, glossary full of definitions, and index. So get your apron on, roll up your sleeves, wash your hands, and get ready to become a science chef. We hope you have as much fun learning, cooking, and eating as we did writing this book for you!

We would also like to thank our peer reviewers: Michelle Durham, who previously worked as a professor of criminal justice and currently teaches in Fort Lauderdale (Florida), and Laura Thomas, a teacher at Meridian School, an International Baccalaureate World School in Round Rock, Texas.

Joan D'Amico

Wayne, New Jersey

Karen Eich Drummond

Yardley, Pennsylvania