This, Hervé 1955-

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This, Hervé 1955-

PERSONAL:

Surname is pronounced "teese"; born June 5, 1955, in Suresnes, France; son of Bernard and Claude This; married Pascale Friang, July 9, 1983; children: Wolfgang, Alexandre. Education: École Superieure de Physique/Chimie, Paris, France, engineering degree, 1980; University of Paris VI, Ph.D., 1996; University of Paris XI, habilitation to head researches, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon, 16 rue Claude Bernard, 75005 Paris, France. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Columbia UniversityPress, 61 W. 62nd St., New York, NY 10023.E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Belin Co., Paris, France, editor, 1980-81;Pour la Science, editor, 1980-84, vice editor-in-chief, 1984-97, editor in chief, 1997-2000; Molecular Gastronomy Newsletter, editor-in-chief, 1994; Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Paris, France, physical chemist, 2000—; Fondation "Science & Culture Alimentaire" of the French Academy of Sciences, scientific director, 2006—.

MEMBER:

European Academy of Sciences and Arts,French Academy of Chocolate and Sweet Products, French Chemical Society, French Academy of Cooking, Académie culinaire de France, Confrérie des talmeliers de France, Confrérie Saint Grégoire du taste fromage de la vallée de Munster.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Ordre du Mérite Agricole, chevalier; Ordre des Arts et Lettres, officier; Ordre des Palmes Academiques, chevalier.

WRITINGS:


Les Secrets de la Casserole, Éditions Belin (Paris, France), 1993.

La Casserole des enfants, Éditions Belin (Paris, France), 1997.

Révélations Gastronomiques, Éditions Belin (Paris, France), 1999.

Ateliers experimentaux du gout, Éditions Belin (Paris, France), 2001.

Casserole eprouvette, Éditions Belin (Paris, France), 2002.

Traité élémentaire de cuisine, Éditions Belin (Paris, France), 2002.

La cuisine c'est de l'amour, de l'art, de la technique,Éditions Odile Jacob (Paris, France), 2006.

Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor, translated by M.B. DeBevoise, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

French chemist Hervé This is an expert in the field of food chemistry. He is the originator, with physicist Nicholas Kurti, of the concept of molecular gastronomy, the study of cooking and food preparation as well as the molecular basis of food taste, texture, and substance. In Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor, This explores topics such as the proper temperatures for cooking various dishes, the microorganisms contained within food, proper techniques for heating and cooling food, chemical reactions that occur during cooking, and more. This offers practical advice as well as scientific minutiae, suggesting, for example, that using a syringe to reinject lost juices back into meat will help keep roast beef moist. He confirms that red wine is a better marinade for beef than white wine, and explains the chemical reasons why. He includes techniques for preparing perfect soufflés, and explains diverse subjects such as how to tell when gnocchi is fully cooked and why blowing on hot coffee will cool it down faster than stirring it. For the dedicated cook and food connoisseur, This tackles numerous myths, adages, and bits of accepted kitchen wisdom, with an eye toward supporting the provable and myth busting that which cannot withstand scrutiny.

The author "tries to test as many sayings as possible, and after many lab experiments and a number of failed dinner parties, he has managed to disprove … or improve upon many maxims," commented Émile Boyer King in the Christian Science Monitor. As a result of This's work and his collaborations with chefs in kitchens around the world, unusual but flavorful dishes such as tobacco-flavored ice cream and sardines on sorbet toast have proved successful, and unusual implements such as blowtorches and refractometers are finding utilitarian uses in kitchens. New York Times Book Review contributor Alison McCulloch mused in the New York Times Book Review that Molecular Gastronomy might be considered "a frustrating yet curiously fascinating book filled with food arcana that perhaps only the French can fully appreciate." However, New Scientist reviewer Eleanor Case called the book "a knowledgeable guide to the field."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:


PERIODICALS


Caterer & Hotelkeeper, April 6, 2006, review ofMolecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor, p. 16.

Christian Science Monitor, February 18, 2004, Émile Boyer King, "Food: His Passion, His Science," profile of Hervé This.

New Scientist, February 25, 2006, Eleanor Case, "The Height of Good Taste," review of Molecular Gastronomy, p. 54.

New York Times Book Review, February 5, 2006, Alison McCulloch, review of Molecular Gastronomy,p. 18.

ONLINE


Columbia University Press Web site,http://www.columbia.edu/(July 22, 2006), biography of Hervé This.