Cambridge, the base for Next Wave in Europe and the UK, recently held its first-ever Food and Drink Festival. Maybe it's no surprise that was organised by the local branch of the Alliance Française. But, as my French conversation teacher pointed out, in France they would never call such an event anything so vulgar. The French take these things seriously: Festival of the Pleasures of the Table would have been a far more appropriate moniker.

And so, at this festive time of year, when, traditionally, many of us spend far more time than is good for us in front of groaning boards, Next Wave is pleased to bring you a pageant of gastronomic delights. If the pleasures of the table are your thing, but you've never given much thought to the science, and scientific careers, behind them, this is your chance to find out about a heavenly host of training and research opportunities.

Cheers!


Eat ...


There's nothing like the conviviality of shared food and drink to cement a working relationship, and that's as true in science as it is in other walks of life. Next Wave's US staff asked some scientists to share their favourite sharing recipes.


A chef in the lab and a scientist in the kitchen, Raphaël Haumont explains how molecular gastronomy allows him to marry his passion for materials science, with his love for food and cooking. Lisez cet article en français.


If you're a chocoholic then you're sure to envy Peter Edmondson, who is earning his Engineering Doctorate at Cadbury's, improving chocolate manufacturing.


Creating a home for future gastronomes is the ambitious dream of the Slow Food movement. It has recently founded the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy to offer an international and interdisciplinary programme of study and research into food, agriculture and eating.


Drink ...


After all this good cheer, we may need a little help getting back on our feet. Next Wave's Jim Austin explains the science behind handling a hangover.


Not only is German wine shaking off its "Liebfraumlich" image, but a lot of research is going on behind the scenes. Next Wave checks out the one and only place in the German speaking world where you can do a degree in viticulture and oenology.


Since the bottling of their first Pinot Noir in 1997, Mac and Lil McDonald of Windsor, California have become an inspiration for people of colour interested in winemaking.


In exile from his native Cognac region of France, Hubert German-Robin is now making brandy that many think even better than the French kind -- in California.


It's a curious fact that while part of the charm of wine is that we expect each vintage to be different, we also expect that a bottle of our favourite beer will taste the same every time. Which is why there's an awful lot of science behind each one. Barry van Bergen explains?


Virginia Marks hadn't given wine much thought until landing a summer job as a guide at a local winery. Now it's her passion, and she's getting her PhD looking at the yeast that makes each vintage special.

Be Merry ...


Caltech Professor of Chemistry Harry Gray is an inspiring character. So much so that he, and his research, have inspired the creation of a cocktail!


Next Wave UK's regular columnist Kat Arney takes a tongue in cheek look at the importance of the tea break for the scientific endeavour.


Greedy for More ...?


Check out the gastronomic careers resources gathered by Next Wave's global team.


And take a peek at last December's Completely Different feature for the stories of a postdoc-turned-winemaker, a Ben and Jerry's ice cream flavour developer, and an immunologist-turned-coffee roaster.