If you fancy taking part in The ‘Hungry’ Games or dare to gulp down some ghost chilli, now’s your chance as the NI Science Festival kicks off again tomorrow (Thursday 18) until Sunday 28 February.
Among the events taking place is ‘Gulp! The Science of Food’ at the Crescent Arts Centre, where award-winning science broadcaster Jonathan McCrea and ‘geek chef’ Ivan Varian will look at the science and culture of how we enjoy food and will also take a glimpse into the future diets of 2050.
A nine-course on-stage banquet will help display how our eyes and nose deceive us and to how our genetics help us to taste. On the menu will be waterbugs, pig brains, 100-year-old eggs, raw lemons, dry Ice cream and ‘Ghost Chili’ flavoured chocolate for dessert – definitely a meal you’ll never forget. The event takes place on Saturday February 28.
Meanwhile, St George’s Market will play host to ‘The Hungry Games’. While Katniss Everdeen will not be in attendance, there will be live cooking demos, hands-on activities, games, quizzes and more, to find how healthy diets can be good for both us and our planet.
NI Science Festival Director Chris McCreery said: “2016 has been designated the Year of Food and we’re playing our part in celebrating gastronomy and the excellence of our great local produce. Our aim is to open up the wonders of science to the widest possible audience and offer festival-goers some real food for thought!”
Other events include ‘The Great Science Bake Off’ in the Dark Horse on Tuesday February 23, which invites keen cooks to bring along a science-themed cake – or simply listen to Triona O’Connell of Dublin City University talk about the science of baking.
‘What They Ate!’ at the School of Geography, Archaeology and Paleoecology at Queen’s University in Belfast, is a family friendly event looking at the diets of the past, encouraging young people to find out which of our ancestors was hunting and gathering wild foods, and who was farming. This event takes place on Saturday February 27.
And in Derry on the same date, ‘The Experimental Kitchen’ in Ebrington Square will open the door to the science of food and teach some neat cooking tricks on the way with the ‘Exploding Custard!’ event. This project will look at experiments with thickening, fixing, gelling and molecular cooking – employing techniques such as air and foam. Experiments on multi-sensory cooking, including sounds of food and other experiments, will show that the appreciation of food is determined by the breadth of information sent to the brain.
Well considering 2016 has been designated as Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink – this definitely brings something new to the table. Enjoy! For further information about the Northern Ireland Science Festival and ticketing log on tohttp://www.nisciencefestival.com, facebook.com/NISCIFEST or @niscifest.