Sunday, March 15, 2009

Chemists and Food


Chairman Bill asks: "My partner is a biochemist and maintains that if you're a half decent chemist, then you understand food and should be a natural cook (she is the best cook I've ever come across)." and "If chemistry was a compulsory subject at school, would people be more likely to tackle cooking?"

Well, my interests include chemistry and art. I take the view that cooking is where the two overlap. To my mind, art is the more important of the two - everything hinges on presentation.

To that end I only use white plates.


  1. Would you care to comment on The Fat Duck interpretation of quantum chemistry.

  2. Lee - just to illuminate; The Fat Duck is a 3 star Michelin restaurant in the UK run by Heston Blumenthal, who is renowned for using the principles of chemistry in his menu design.

    Unfortunately he had to close down for a couple of weeks due to an outbreak of vomiting and diarrhoea, although the health inspectors gave his place the all clear.

    He's very famous for his weird menus.

  3. Ah! Like El Bulli in Spain. Gotcha.

  4. Exactly! I'm surprised his fame has not spread to the antipodes. He has a Wiki page, and TV programmes, etc.

    Egg & bacon ice cream is one of his things.

  5. Sounds like the British cuisine has actually degraded from the old Monty Python "Spam,spam, spam and spam" days.

  6. I don't agree with the white plates, but art has room for us all!

    Years ago I taught cooking for a couple of years, and my focus was entirely on the chemistry, not the recipes. If someone understands the chemistry, the art/recipe is free to follow.

  7. Uncle Hugh has this thing for white plates too. I like Heston, he is one of my heroes. He cooks weird stuff. Dogs like weird, and vomit!


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