Uncompromising science chops with the ability to entertain and excite."

Ray Daniels Founder and Director, Cicerone Certification Program

Speaking Topics

A unique presentation of foodie science for any audience. This engaging talk explores taste with unique yet approachable style—from the first bite to what you love and why. Guests will learn about the human taste bud, the neuroscience of taste and the science behind how your brain perceives flavor.

An interactive presentation for people in the food and beverage industry. The seemingly endless options of craft and artisan foods and beverages have inspired increasingly discerning consumers. Never has there been a better time to pay attention to flavor than now. Join us for this interactive presentation as we cover the science of flavor perception from the how consumer preferences derives from survival instincts to the nuances of how each of our senses contributes to what our brain calls flavor.

You weren’t born loving your morning cup of joe or the baddest IPA. Evolution tells us to stay far away from bitter taste. It’s in our DNA, this ability to avoid poisons and toxins, many of which... you guessed it, are bitter. So how can we explain our current obsession with pushing the limits of contentious taste? Join sensory scientist Dr. Nicole Garneau for a hands-on guided taste exploration of how taste works, why contention leads to market opportunity, a discussion of why we are each unique in what we bring to the table, and how these differences make for success in any culinary (or entrepreneurial) space!

From terroir-driven vintages to hand-crafted ales and small batch distilled spirits, there has never been a better time to learn about taste and how it influences the beverages you choose to drink and enjoy. Join us for this interactive beer, wine, or spirit tasting to take your understanding of flavor to a new level. You’ll discover the true science behind what you perceive, how that impacts what you enjoy, and walk away empowered to drink and savor like a pro.

Miracle Fruit, a plant indigenous to West Africa, is the natural way to make sour things taste sweet. Otherwise known as flavor tripping! Join us for this delightful taste experiment where we will learn about the science of sweet and sour, why miracle fruit works, and how this miraculous molecule is being used in modern day nutrition. This is a session you don't want to miss!

A great talk for bringing science to the pairing table, and a perfect evening for team building! This guided pairing will start with an introduction to the science of taste and flavor, and will continue with hand-selected pairings of delicious courses and creative wines, beers or spirits. Dr. Garneau will work closely with the chef or catering company of your choice to ensure an evening your guests won’t soon forget.

Happiness feels elusive to many people and it is notoriously hard to define. I asked of family, friends and even strangers I met on the street what they meant by being happy, or wanting their kids to be happy. They struggled to answer, just as scientists, psychologists and spiritual leaders have struggled for centuries. In the Book of Joy, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu argue that happiness is due to external reward, while joy is internal and lasting. It’s true that what brings someone temporary external happiness may vary. But what allows us to obtain long lasting inner happiness (joy in being alive) comes down to one thing, being at peace enough with ourselves to love and be loved: human connection. Join us for this humor-filled talk as Dr. Garneau shares her confessions of depression and happiness.

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The best way to introduce Nicole Garneau is by reference to well-known science educators “Bill Nye the Science Guy” and Neil deGrasse Tyson in whose footsteps I see her following. She combines uncompromising science chops with the ability to entertain and excite as she speaks. Then she fronts it all with an infectious smile, an engaging personality, and an approachable demeanor. It has been my pleasure and honor to work and present with her as we study the dynamics of flavor as they relate to beer and food.

Ray Daniels

Dr. Garneau gave the keynote address at MSU Denver’s first ever Women in STEM Conference. I invited her to speak about overcoming failure because she is both a polished STEM professional and a very open, approachable woman. However, her talk completely shattered my expectations. Our survey respondents called it “inspirational” and many listed it as the highlight of the conference. Thank you, Dr. Garneau, for teaching us the formula for success!

Dr. April hill

It is with great enthusiasm that I recommend Dr. Nicole Garneau as a speaker for your next event. Dr. Garneau brings to her engagements a high-level of expertise that is backed by scientific research and neatly packaged and presented with a certain elegance that leaves audiences of any background fascinated and eager to know more. I frequently reference what I’ve learned from Dr. Garneau over the years in my own presentations, and I am certainly anticipating the many more contributions that she will make to our understanding of taste science hereafter. Furthermore, Dr. Garneau deserves a ton of recognition for the work she is doing via the citizen science program at DMNS to inspire and change the game for young females looking to explore their interest in scientific fields.”

Melissa Antone
Sensory Scientist and Consultant
Beer & Wine

I really enjoy working with Nicole. We have done several events with Nicole, and her depth of knowledge coupled with her ability to boil the most technical information down to novice level results in an educational and entertaining experience. Nicole employs interactive techniques to help attendees easily understand concepts of flavor, taste and sensory experience. Nicole teaches flavor science in the style of Neil de Grasse Tyson, with an openness and humor that is infectious.

Jeff Mendel