Cooking, Culture and Chemistry – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Cooking, Culture and Chemistry

Join the Abbe Center for Jewish Life for an evening of “Cooking, Culture and Chemistry” with renowned author, food columnist, chef and award-winning cooking instructor Tina Wasserman and Associate Professor of Chemistry Justin Miller on Thursday, Oct. 18. The cooking and food chemistry class will begin at 7 p.m. in the kitchen at HWS Fribolin Farm.

Wasserman and Miller will prepare three dishes that each have a connection to Jewish culture and demonstrate how Jewish culture develops in a relationship with the local cuisine where Jews live. Attendees will make meringues, both traditional meringues and “aquafaba meringues,” a vegan version using the liquid that chickpeas are cooked in, flan, and sabayon. Wasserman will demonstrate the techniques involved in cooking each dish and how it is connected to Jewish cuisine, while Miller will explain about the chemical principles that are demonstrated in each dish – for example, caramelization is part of making flan.

Specializing in contemporary kosher cuisine and trained in nutrition and education, Wasserman holds degrees from Syracuse University and New York University and is a popular food educator in her own cooking school and as a scholar-in-residence in communities across North America. In 1994, Wasserman was elected to Les Dames d’Escoffier, an international culinary society that honors women in the food and beverage industry. She is one of only four Dames in the country honored as an expert in Jewish cooking and culinary history.

Wasserman’s publications include, Entrée to Judaism for Families, and Entrée to Judaism: A Culinary Exploration of the Jewish Diaspora. She has been the food columnist for Reform Judaism magazine since 2003. Her writing has been featured in newspapers and magazines throughout the country, and she has appeared on live radio and television and featured on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

The kosher kitchen in the Abbe Center for Jewish Life is named in honor of Wasserman by her husband, HWS Trustee Dr. Richard L. Wasserman ’70.

Miller joined the Chemistry Department at HWS in 2004 and teaches various levels of organic and food chemistry courses, including the first-year seminar “I Know What You Ate Last Summer,”  “The Curious Cook,” a disciplinary  course co-taught with Professor of Writing and Rhetoric Cheryl Forbes, and “Bonding with Food,” an upper level chemistry course.

Miller is the creator of the Edible Science Fair and co-creator of C“Communicating Chemistry,” a national food chemistry competition. In 2014, his C4 competition was featured in an issue of Chemical & Engineering News, one of the most prominent chemistry trade magazines in the nation. Miller earned his A.B. from Princeton University, Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his postdoctoral from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Space is limited. Please RSVP to Justin Miller at or Julianne Miller at to reserve your spot.