Open Ended Question

Are food scientists/technologists great cooks/chefs as believed?

1 Like

No but they have a potential :grinning:

It’s like comparing a clerk to a Chartered accountant. It’s similar but different

It’s a misconception that a food scientist and technologist makes greater chefs than empirically trained culinary craftsmen as they approach food processing differently. Although they exercise the same purpose food preparation for different motives and scale .
Chefs had a kitchen as their food Laboratory, while food scientist had their food Laboratory as their kitchen.Food technologist in the other hand uses the food processing plant as their kitchen.
In the advent of molecular gastronomy, where food science is much emphasized in food preparation like the works of Ferran Adria ,Heston Blumenthal etc.Food scientists that are chefs becoming a reality This guy Ferrand Adria became a celebrated chef whose restaurants are getting a Michelin stars which is the rating for excellece culinary work in top level restaurants of the world that chefs (like for example Gordon Ramsay) earned . Meaning he broke barriers in culinary work which before where reserved for cookery legends ( like Paul Bocuse) that worked only in the traditional kitchens and learned their crafts through empirical means .

1 Like

Probably such comparison is not really possible. Culinary science vs food technologist are two different things.
In my experience, i noticed the flavour companies do have their chefs who work hand in hand with the flavour technologist for a better outcome.
The major ingredient companies are also doing the same thing. They have separate departmental chefs who work on sauces, dips, sweets etc and tagged with that ‘specialty food group’ name. These people even have 10-15 years of experience in various hotel industry, followed by food industry, thus able to transfer great skills and innovative cooking approaches using company ingredients as well as those suitable for the customers.

Food scientists and technologist that focus in Food R&D should be humble enough to learn culinary skills so they will have less reliance from the cooks and chefs in developing recipes ,and translating them into technical formulation that are useful in the NPD work and scale up for industrial food processing.
Often it’s not easy to translate the cooks recipes to convert to technical formulation but if a TechnicalFood professional had the solid food science background as well as sufficient cookery skill .he or she is amply prepared for the complex job responsibilities are tasked to do in recipe development, recipe translation and scale up.
It has been my experience and observation that many food science, and food technology graduates find it humiliating to be compared to culinary workers in job performance. or being perceived that upon graduation they will work in the kitchen…
If they just looked at a broader and deeper perspective, they are the same: They deal with foods and relevant issues in production ,but in different levels of scale.The Technical food professionals has multiple work responsibilities ( QC/QA/R&D/production sensoryevaluation etc))and conduct their work in a scientific manner while the culinary specialist are often kitchen skill based using their taste buds as the determinant for quality.
The food science specialist had the food lab as their kitchen ,while the culinary specialist has the kitchen as its food laboratory.
In recent years ,the advent of Culinology (combination of culinary and technology ).new chefs can now enroll and learn Food science and Chemistry as well as other academic subjects related to the food science/technology course.The resulting work responsibilities are broader now covers with what was originally the realm of food science professionals.
Hence the creation of a new job title accreditation:.Research Chef as well as Certified Food Scientist where many are chefs that took food science course as well as earned credits for having workedin the food industry that focus in the science and technology side of cookery.( R& D/NPD, Recipe Development etc)…
Therefore cross training should always be welcomed by any food science professionals as well as the culinary professionals as the ever changing work place environment in the food industry needs it ,and will boost your employment opportunities as well as earn greater respect from your peers and superiors.
Its just a matter of time that the proud food science professional with No skills in culinary aspects (or abhors kitchen work) will be at disadvantage to the Culinologist that already earned the title / accreditation of Certified Food Scientist and had acquired both solid food science education and culinary skills in terms of greater career opportunities for the latter. .