The Royal Society of Chemistry has conferred an Honorary Fellowship upon the internationally renowned chef, Heston Blumenthal OBE, for his creative applications of science to cooking
The owner of the celebrated Berkshire restaurant The Fat Duck was at the Society's Burlington House headquarters on Monday 24 July 2006 to receive an Honorary FRSC from the president Dr Simon Campbell.
Dr Campbell said: "The scientific community admires and respects the research that Mr Blumenthal has performed to harness cuisine to science. Through his inquisitive and innovative approach to food he has underlined spectacularly how chemistry permeates all aspects of texture, taste and smell"
"People tend to forget that food and drink are composed of chemicals, as are our bodies, and all the materials that make up our world. However, "chemicals" are frequently projected in derogatory terms in the marketing of foods in the UK, although Mr Blumenthal's ability to integrate chemistry and cooking clearly shows that is not the case"
He added: "The creativeness and élan that Mr Blumenthal has demonstrated in all his work in recent years has done much to further the case that chemistry plays an essential part in bringing pleasure and enjoyment to people as well as contributing vastly towards the health and wealth of the nation. For all of his achievements, the RSC is delighted to honour a great chef."
Heston Blumenthal researches the molecular components of different dishes to enable a greater understanding of the chemistry behind various tastes and flavours. His original and scientific approach to the molecular art of cuisine has teamed him with fellow chefs, scientists and psychologists through the world
Born in London in 1966 he travelled at 16 to France with his family for the first time and became inspired by a visit to one of its oldest restaurant in a Provencal village. Later he spent a decade learning the rudiments of French cuisine and worked in various jobs to fund trips to France. Those attributes of detailed research and diligence have become trademarks of his success and reputation which has now reached around the globe.
Last year, Mr Blumenthal collaborated with the RSC on a book called Kitchen Chemistry, which was sent free to every school in the UK and which is seen as a watershed publication associating science closely with the kitchen.
Dr Simon Campbell with chef Heston BlumenthalPicture: The Royal Society of Chemistry