jeudi 22 septembre 2022

When histories are wrong, corrections have to be made !

Today, I received questions about the development of molecular and gastronomy... by some who was confusing "molecular and physical gastronomy" (i.e. a scientific activity), and "molecular cooking" (this means "cooking with modern tools imported from the laboratories"). 

And this person asked me if the following sentence was right (as you will see, it was NOT !) : 


 In early 1990, Professor Herve THIS and Professor Nicholas KURT embarked on culinary science research, funded by the European Union (EU) with Chef Ferran Adrià of El Bulli and Chef Heston Blumenthal of The Fat Duck.


My answer, in short, is : THIS IS ENTIRELY WRONG

Indeed, we (Nicholas Kurti and Hervé This) created Molecular and Physical Gastronomy in 1988 (but our research began much before).

We decided to create international workshops together, and the first one occurred in 1992.
Some chefs were invited but not Ferran Adria. Indeed the first chefs to attend these meetings were Raymond Blanc, Jean-Pierre Philippe, Elizabeth Thomas, Shirley Corriher, and some others. 

The chefs, by the way, were invited not because they were scientists, but because we wanted to study real culinary processes. And also because we wanted to modernize culinary techniques with tools from laboratories (physics for Nicholas Kurti, chemistry for me). 

Ferran Adria began using molecular cooking  (look : not molecular gastronomy) only in 1994, and Heston Blumenthal even later.

Then, laster, I invited Heston and Ferran to a European program (Innicon) which was created around me in 2000 (much later, then). And here, the idea was to transfer our scientific results to chefs (Ferran, Heston, but also Emile Jung and Christian Conticini, plus a German chef). There were meetings during which I explained to chefs how to use new hardware. And I had even a student of mine (Rachel Edwards-Stuart)  helping them practically.

If you want more, see :

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