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Hi and thanks very much for participating,

I am currently studying Science with the Open University in the UK, I have been a chef now for 15 years and intend to continue until my old knees give out.

I began to be interested in a more scientific approach when many sous chefs all has the same reply when I was younger "because it just works like that!!", generally folowed with a comment and a sharp clip. I felt my knowledge was getting nowhere. I then heard of a cook who was making ice cream from bacon and eggs, and wodered why and started a liitle research, which dug your name out amongst many others (Herve, Peter Barham). This in turn lead me to feel I needed further scientific education.

Eventually to the question in hand, could you provide a word of advice as to which eventual direction I should take, as the course is modular I do not have to choose the final degree for some time, I have an easier understanding of Quantum physics than chemistry, but feel that a degree in Molecular chemistry would more suit what it is I do every day as a chef.

Any words of advice would be grateful.

Many thanks

Alex Wood

one aldwych


after all these years in a kitchen, I would have thought it would become 'just a job'

but not so, spending my time playing not working


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I would suggest that you do as much biochemistry as you can stand, since our foods are or were living things, and we in turn live on them. It will help not only with understanding cooking, but also will help you sort fact from fancy on nutritional matters, if that’s of interest to you.

That being said, if quantum mechanics feels right, then do that also or instead! The payoff will be less direct, but studying any science naturalizes you in a rigorous way of thinking, and this will make you a better observer and interpreter of the physical-chemical reactions that you harness in the kitchen.

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