Skip to Content

Harold McGee

« Back to Glossary Index

– Early Life:
– Born on October 3, 1951, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
– Raised in Elmhurst, Illinois.
– Graduated from the California Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Literature in 1973.
– Earned a Ph.D. from Yale University in 1978, focusing on the romantic poetry of John Keats.
– Co-teaches a class at the French Culinary Institute in New York City.

– Awards and Honors:
– Visiting scholar at Harvard University.
– Book “On Food and Cooking” has won multiple awards.
– Widely used in food science courses at universities.

– Influences:
– Scientific approach to cooking embraced by chefs like David Chang.
– Popularized by authors such as J. Kenji Lopez-Alt.

– Personal Life:
– Married Sharon Rugel Long in 1979; divorced in 2004.
– Has two children: John (born 1986) and Florence (born 1988).

– References:
– Published thesis “Keats and the Progress of Taste” in 1978.
– Notable works include “On Food and Cooking” and “The Curious Cook.”
– Various articles and interviews in publications like Nature and Physics Today.
– Authored books like “Keys to Good Cooking” and “Modern Gastronomy A to Z.”
– Latest book “Nose Dive: A Field Guide to the World’s Smells” released in 2020.

Harold McGee (Wikipedia)

Harold James McGee (born October 3, 1951) is an American author who writes about the chemistry and history of food science and cooking. He is best known for his seminal book On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, first published in 1984 and revised in 2004.

Harold McGee
McGee in 2010
Harold James McGee

(1951-10-03) October 3, 1951 (age 72)
Alma mater
Known forOn Food and Cooking
(m. 1979; div. 2004)
Scientific career
ThesisKeats and the Progress of Taste (1978)
Doctoral advisorHarold Bloom
Harold McGee tastes surstromming (Swedish fermented herring) at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery (2010).
« Back to Glossary Index