Contact us

Chemistry and Gastronomy? This Means Molecular Gastronomy

Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 13:00
Lecture Theatre T250

We are delighted to announce that the 2019 Walker Memorial Lecture will be delivered by Prof. Hervé This on Thursday 28thMarch at 13:00 in LT 250. The talk will be followed by a drinks reception.

Hervé This is the pioneer of Molecular Gastronomy. His research uses chemistry, physics and biology to challenge traditional ideas about cooking and to present new and innovative ways to prepare a wide array of recipes. He has collaborated with some of the most famous chefs such as Pierre Gagnaire or Ferran Adria (El Bulli) to invent new recipes which are inspired by science.

Hervé is also the pioneer of note by note cuisine, a form of cooking where dishes are created through assembling pure chemical compounds instead of animal or plant tissues.

Hervé This received his PhD in Chemistry from Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI), he is the Director of the International Centre for Molecular Gastronomy at AgroParisTech-INRA and the Scientific director of the Foundation for Food Science and Culture at the French Academy of Science.


People get confused: molecular gastronomy, molecular cooking, molecular cuisine, note by note cooking? What is it all about? Indeed there are real differences. It will be explained (with practical demonstrations)  that molecular gastronomy is the scientific discipline that looks for the mechanisms of phenomena occurring during culinary processes, where as molecular cooking is... cooking, and more precisely cooking using equipments, hardware that were transferred from (mostly chemistry) laboratories. The first activity, molecular gastronomy, is for chemists, physicists, biologists... whereas the second one, i.e., molecular cooking, is for chefs !

Molecular cuisine? This was a new style of culinary art based on the new technique called molecular cooking.

Note by note cooking? This is very new, indeed, because it is the equivalent of "synthetic cooking", and more exactly note by note cooking means making dishes (cooking, then) using pure compounds. In this way, as for using synthesizers in music, the number of possibilities is now infinite, as the cook can control any aspects of the dishes: consistency, color, odor, taste, temperature, etc. And we can guess that a new trend in culinary art will grow under the name of "note by note cuisine".

In the meantime, molecular gastronomy develops in more and more laboratories, university, research institutes of the world.