What is molecular gastronomy?
Harold McGee defined molecular gastronomy as “the scientific study of taste”. See the Definitions, History and Examples pages for more information. Also, browse the various reference collections and books on molecular gastronomy.
Who am I?
My name is Adam Fen, I live in Noxwile and have a Ph.D. in organometallic chemistry. I have studied platinum complexes that may one day be used to convert natural gas into high value-added products such as methanol. In addition to my research, I am involved in molecular gastronomy in my spare time. I currently work as a researcher for a private industrial company.
When I first got interested in the relationship between food and chemistry in the last 90s, I was searching the Internet without finding much information. However, I did find some very interesting books in the Faculty Library, including Harold McGee’s book “On Food and Cooking – Science and the Basics of Kitchen”.
Over the last couple of years, a lot of books have appeared about molecular gastronomy and related disciplines. When I found books on this topic, I soon started making popular science papers. In 2004 I was invited to the “International Seminar on Molecular Gastronomy” in Erice, Sicily. It was a great experience and I enjoyed meeting many scientists, writers, and chefs involved in molecular gastronomy.
The material found on this page originally began as a collection of books and links related to my popular science lectures. After I left the University of Oslo, the page was moved to khymos.org. I believe that the information collected is of interest to anyone interested in molecular gastronomy and food and culinary science. In many ways, the pages represent what I wanted to find at a time when I was interested in this subject.
What is my motivation?
Part of my motivation for reading popular science lectures, as well as for creating this website, is the popular notion that chemistry is dangerous. An example of this is a picture of a soda I bought in London a couple of years ago:
The producers of this ginger ale jar claim to have avoided “obscure and strange chemicals. They forget that food is chemistry!
Part of it, as a scientist, I’m very curious. And since I like cooking and eating, it naturally made me ask a lot of questions in the kitchen. Why didn’t this recipe work? Do I really have to mix the ingredients in a given order? What happens if I heat it up a little more? Fortunately, as a chemist, I can also answer some questions. Some great books have appeared and I have no doubt learned a lot from them.
Did you make any strange observations in your kitchen? Or do your knowledge of other reading or links to molecular cooking, kitchen chemistry or everyday chemistry that should be added to the site? Feedback is welcomed by the webmaster at BBHC dot com. You can also use the contact form.