What is Culinology Club Wageningen?
Culinology Club Wageningen is a student-led community of the RCA Europe region located in Wageningen, right next to Wageningen University & Research and the Food Valley.
In the US the organization is well established with many professionals actively involved in the creation of new events and gatherings in which they share new information about the food industry. RCA is also well established in universities in the US with many of them serving as regional hubs with many student members.
Our goal is to do the same for Europe, and see Wageningen as a great place to start due to its great food technology programs but also its positioning in the food valley. This gives us a lot of opportunities for collaboration with companies around the region.
Our main aim is to build a community of students who are passionate about culinology and food as a whole and will seek out opportunities to expand their network and knowledge in the field.
What is the RCA?
Being founded in 1996 by a group of research chefs in order to tackle challenges facing food product development, the research chefs association, RCA in short, has grown to a community with more than 2000 members spanning chefs, food scientists, and other industry professionals leading the innovation in food. Its members are the pioneers of the discipline of Culinology – a blending of the culinary arts and food science.
What is Culinology®?
Culinology is in its simplicity a field focused on the blending of culinary arts and the science of food.
For starters, culinology is a term whose integrity is protected by RCA having registered it as a trademark. Culinology is a young and fast-growing discipline that connects everyone working at the intersection of food science and culinary arts. While culinology strictly speaking focuses on the improvement of product development via the combined knowledge and skills obtained from food science and culinary arts, what is relevant for us as a student society is to learn how the culinary world and the science of food can be linked together, and experience food from a perspective that is unique.
The field of culinology is relevant and necessary in the food industry as it brings together two key aspects required to make product development as successful as possible; one – the scientific understanding necessary to create food items that can be mass produced and sold in stores, and two - the creative, culinary insight needed to make products taste as good as possible and as close to the “from scratch” versions of foods made at home or in a restaurant. This approach brings a new angle towards food research and product development, aiming to improve the taste, quality, and consistency of new food products.
In practice, the essence of culinology is internalized in the role of a research chef, who specializes in making new products for food companies; they combine those creative culinary skills with scientific expertise, to develop or improve recipes. A culinologist will have an excellent grasp of various topics, such as cooking principles and culinary fundamentals, formula and recipe development, food safety, flavour building, and many, many more. The skills and knowledge that are obtained from the study of culinology are relevant for any food scientist though – the more approaches taken to investigate food and cooking the clearer the understanding one gains, regardless of their main focus in the food world.
Max Tsivourakis attends the BSc in Food Technology at Wageningen University & Research. He believes that scientific exploration of food is key in understanding and improving it’s culinary applications. He is a lover of all things food, but has a special interest in Cretan cuisine and olive oil as an ingredient. Max is an active member of the RCA, formerly a part of the Membership Committee, and recently a co-founder of the Culinology Club Wageningen.
Kacper Możdżeń is a BSc Food Technology Student at Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands. He believes that a deeper understanding of food is integral in combating the world's current health and environmental crises. Between his studies, Kacper enjoys learning a wide range of new skills including baking sourdough bread, building electronics, and drumming. Finally, Kacper is co-founder of the Culinology Club Wageningen.