Gastronomic Sciences and Alga4Food project present at the 5th International Sea Urchin Festival


Gastronomic Science researchers from the Chemistry Department at FCT NOVA participated in the 5th International Sea Urchin Festival. This international festival, organized by Mafra Town Hall, joined gastronomy to science, and took place from March 29 to April 7, in Ericeira.

Bruno Campos and Bruno Leite, both masters in Gastronomic Sciences from the Chemistry Department at FCT NOVA and currently PhD students in the Food Science Doctoral Program involved in the project Alga4Food, were present at the Showcooking sessions, together with other former students from the Master Degree. “It’s very interesting to participate in these activities as we have the opportunity, as chefs, to see the reaction of the public in real time. As researchers, we also have the opportunity to use the cooking as way to communicate scientific knowledge”, says Bruno Leite, PhD student at LAQV - FCT NOVA, supervised by Paulina Mata and João Noronha, both professors at DQ-FCT NOVA and researchers at LAQV.

Paulina Mata, coordinator of the Gastronomic Sciences Master Degree, was also present at the showcooking. “We believe that is very important to communicate the research work we are developing and also the Gastronomic Sciences Master Degree, a pioneer degree that has aroused wide interest”, refers Paulina Mata.

Bruno Campos, PhD student at LAQV and UCIBIO, supervised by Paulina Mata, João Noronha e Mário Diniz, professor at DQ-FCT NOVA and UCIBIO researcher, has also participated in the debate session dedicated to Food Literacy. In this debate were also present Nuno Diniz, Chef, author and trainer at the Hotel and Tourism School of Lisbon, Olga Cavaleiro, President of the Federação Portuguesa das Confrarias Gastronómicas, Sandra Nobre, Storyteller and founder of the Short Stories project, Maria José Pires, Coordinator of the Master's Degree in Innovation in Culinary Arts from the Hotel and Tourism School of Estoril. Bruno Campos evokes Gary Paul Nabha, an american ecologist and ethnobotanist, “the biodiversity is not only outside - in the rainforests, oceans, swamps- it is also here, in our dishes”. Bruno Campos highlights “so, each dish is more than a simple dish, each dish contemplates the story of what we want to know. For example, a traditional portuguese dish as arroz de lampreia raises questions as: why is it done in a particular way? Each of its 10 elements has a purpose, which can be explained through science, both from the point of view of natural history and from the gastronomy point of view”, says Bruno Campos.

João Paulo Noronha is the principal investigator of the project “ALGA4FOOD - Algae in Gastronomy - Development of innovative conservation and utilization techniques” and explains that “aims to disseminate and value the benefits of the edible macroalgae of the Portuguese coast”. The project team includes also Paulina Mata, Mário Diniz and Leonel Pereira, professor at Science technology Faculty from University of Coimbra.





Official photos oficiais of the 5th International Sea Urchin Festival (Photos by Jorge Simão and José Ventura) and from Gabrielle Muniz