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Hervé This (born 1955 in Suresnes) is a French physical chemist who works at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique. His main area of interest is molecular gastronomy, or how our knowledge of chemistry, and science in general, can be used as a tool to enhance culinary experiences, rather than the purely empirical knowledge which more often than not dictates the rules in the kitchen. With the late Nicholas Kurti, he coined the scientific term "Molecular and Physical Gastronomy" in 1988, which he shortened to "Molecular Gastronomy" after Kurti's death in 1998. While it is often stated that he has a Ph.D in Molecular Gastronomy, his degree is in "Physico-chimie des matériaux" (Physical Chemistry of Materials), for which he wrote a thesis entitled "La gastronomie moléculaire et physique". He has written several books on the subject which can be understood even by those who have little or no knowledge of chemistry, but so far only one has been translated into English. He also collaborates with the magazine Pour la Science, the aim of which is to present scienfitic concepts to the general public. He is also a corresponding member of the Académie d'agriculture de France, and, more recently, the scientific director of the foundation "Food Science & Culture", which he created at the French Academy of Science.
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Some of his discoveries include the perfect temperature for cooking an egg (around 65°C, the white coagulates, but not the yolk), and the use of an electrical field to improve the smoking of salmon. He also found that beating an egg white after adding a small amount of cold water considerably increases the amount of foam produced, up to one cubic meter for one egg white (or 35 cubic feet). Every month he adds one new "invention" on the website of the three-star chef Pierre Gagnaire (http://www.pierre-gagnaire.com, go to "Arts et science").
Although his main focus is on physical chemistry, he also attributes great importance to the emotional aspect of cooking, as the title of one of his books shows: Cooking is love, art, technique.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Hervé_This". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|