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Kitchen Chemistry

Ted Lister, Heston Blumenthal

16 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0854043896 / ISBN 13: 9780854043897
Published by Royal Society of Chemistry, 2005
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Kitchen Chemistry

Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:New

Edition: 1.

About this title


The chemistry of food and cooking is just one example of the many roles chemistry plays in our everyday lives. This topic provides an exciting context for some familiar chemistry and a way to engage students with the subject. Kitchen Chemistry contains a wide variety of activities, from class practicals and demonstrations to reading comprehension and paper-based exercises. Each activity deals with an aspect of the chemistry of food and/or cooking. The material is suitable for a wide range of ages, from primary to post-16, and helps reinforce the idea that everything is made of chemicals and that there is no difference between 'man-made' and 'natural' chemicals.


From the Introduction by Heston Blumenthal, Chef and proprietor of The Fat Duck ...

"One of the most exciting things that has happened at my restaurant, The Fat Duck, recently is the Royal Society of Chemistry producing this resource for schools - Kitchen chemistry. It is based on taking a scientific approach to cooking - an activity that has traditionally been regarded as an art, rather than a science. Topics range from the simple (what is the role of salt in cooking vegetables?) to the complex (separating volatile flavour components in foods by gas chromatography mass spectrometry), to the 'just for fun' (breaking the world record for ice cream making by using liquid nitrogen as a coolant). What the RSC has done is to provide flexible material that teachers can 'dip into' that relates the chemistry that goes on in the home or restaurant kitchen to that which students learn about in the school curriculum.

Kitchen chemistry makes chemistry more accessible because it brings together scientific theory and everyday practicality. After all, we all know something about cooking even though we may not do it very often, and children are no different. When I left school I had no scientific background whatsoever. I have taught myself slowly and with much difficulty, so this new initiative is music to my ears. I just wish it had happened a few years earlier."

Heston Blumenthal, Chef and proprietor of The Fat Duck, from the introduction to Kitchen Chemistry

From the reviews ...

"Snail porridge and bacon and egg ice cream might not sound like the makings of a normal chemistry class, but the creator of such dishes, Heston Blumenthal, is planning to use his unique brand of molecular gastronomy to get children interested in chemistry.

Mr Blumenthal, whose Fat Duck restaurant in Bray, Berkshire, was named the best in the world last week, has put together a series of lesson plans and resources for teachers who want to add some spice to their chemistry lessons.

The lessons look at how you find common chemistry experiments, of levels suitable for seven to 18-year-olds, in the kitchen.

The experiments including examining the difference between between taste and smell, between sweet and sour flavours and how the cooking processes affect the molecules in food.

Website containing video clips of Mr Blumenthal cooking, talking about how he came up with the idea of molecular gastronomy and chatting to scientists about whether salt in boiling water changes the cooking process of vegetables.

Ted Lister, who wrote the materials on behalf of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), which produced the materials, said: "The key is familiar chemistry in a non-laboratory context.

"In one session he cooks chocolat coulant - which translates to running chocolate, a dessert. It's a pudding with a chocolate and cream cheese filling. You'd think they don't go together, but his knack is to find unlikely things that do go together like garlic and coffee. Underlying this is the theory or molecular gastronomy - examining flavour on a molecular level.

"Heston looks at the flavour component of a number of foods. If they have a significant number of molecules in common, they work better together. This is where he gets his odd combinations together. He doesn't work on a try it and see basis, it's molecular theory."

Polly Curtis, The Guardian, UK, April 2005


From the reviews ... Heston Blumenthal's restaurant, The Fat Duck, was named best retaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine:

"For years Britain has been cast as the poor relation when it comes to food, but last night Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant the Fat Duck, in Bray, Berkshire was crowned the best in the world.

A panel of 600 international chefs and critics voted for the man whose dishes sound like a mistake — smoked bacon and egg ice cream or green tea and lime mousse dipped in liquid nitrogen."

The Times, UK, April 2005

"There is no doubt Heston Blumenthal is the most original and remarkable chef this country has ever produced. The Fat Duck, the pioneering British restaurant that introduced the world to delicacies such as sardine on toast sorbet and bacon and egg ice cream, has been declared the world’s best place to eat.

Chef Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant in the Berkshire village of Bray topped a list of the world’s 50 best restaurants which was unveiled in London last night."

The Guardian, UK, April 2005

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