Scientists who were avid cooks?

Stephen Tashi
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Were any famous scientists of the past (say 1800's or earlier) also avid cooks?

I'm curious about this because there have long been cookbooks and the descriptions in cookbooks are concise and step-by-step. But a cookbook is associated with tasks that a Natural Philosopher might regard as less sophisticated than the study of nature. (Even today, a "cookbook approach" has some negative connotations.) However, a scientist who was also a cook might embrace the cookbook style of describing things. Are there any examples?
 

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fresh_42
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No.

At the time, scientists were male, cooks were female. Also people didn't cook for themselves, except the poor, in which case they usually hadn't the chance to become a scientist.
 
mjc123
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Demands the old joke: What's the difference between chemistry and cookery?

In chemistry, it's not a good idea to lick the spoon.
 
Stephen Tashi
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Louis Pasteur had a lot to do with food and drink, but I haven't found anything he wrote about the study of nature in general.
 
fresh_42
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Louis Pasteur had a lot to do with food and drink, but I haven't found anything he wrote about the study of nature in general.
Pasteur, 1822 -1895

The more we go back in history, the more we end up at times when people were happy if there was something to eat at all. The art of cooking is a rather modern culture. There are some old French books with recipes, however, not related to scientists.
 
StatGuy2000
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No.

At the time, scientists were male, cooks were female. Also people didn't cook for themselves, except the poor, in which case they usually hadn't the chance to become a scientist.
If you think all of the great chefs that ever existed, the overwhelming majority of them were in fact male. And in certain cultures (Italians, Chinese, etc.) it was quite common for men to be involved in cooking/preparing meals.
 
StatGuy2000
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Pasteur, 1822 -1895

The more we go back in history, the more we end up at times when people were happy if there was something to eat at all. The art of cooking is a rather modern culture. There are some old French books with recipes, however, not related to scientists.
First of all, the more you go back in history, the more you end up at times when the majority of the population were farmers, peasants, or serfs who were not permitted or didn't have the resources to be educated. Or you came from nomadic hunter/gatherer or herder societies, and these societies generally speaking did not engage in the scientific enterprise for obvious reasons.
 
collinsmark
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If you think all of the great chefs that ever existed, the overwhelming majority of them were in fact male.
I would substitute "great" with "famous."
<Unrelated comment veering into politics removed by mentor.>
 
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kith
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If we relax both the famous and the past part, we get Nathan Myhrvold with bon mots like "The three most useful machines are the water bath for cooking sous vide, the centrifuge and the homogenizer."
 
WWGD
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I would substitute "great" with "famous."
<Response to deleted content removed by mentor.>
Edit: There seems to be a sort of converse trend of chefs trying to make their cooking chemistry- based using molecular structure to produce customized flavors. I remember a US-based Spain-born chef, one who set up gastro pubs but I cant remember his name; will look it up.
 
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mjc123
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Edit: There seems to be a sort of converse trend of chefs trying to make their cooking chemistry- based using molecular structure to produce customized flavors. I remember a US-based Spain-born chef, one who set up gastro pubs but I cant remember his name; will look it up.
The famous one in the UK is Heston Blumenthal; I think he coined the phrase "molecular gastronomy". He is famous (or notorious) for things like bacon-and-egg flavoured ice cream.
 
Klystron
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I have heard/read several anecdotes and memoirs that during the Manhattan Project personnel including many 'STEM' professions isolated at Los Alamos NM and other remote locations, became adept at entertaining each other including the relatively new concept in North America of outdoor barbeques (BBQ). Rumor has it that Robert Oppenheimer and Edward Teller played a mean piano while several colleagues shared culinary skills.

Cooking, like gardening and painting, requires a willingness to get your hands (and clothing) soiled. :cool:
 
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