Dr Rachel Edwards-Stuart
Dr Rachel Edwards-Stuart is a food and flavour scientist. She runs a variety of talks and courses focusing on the Science of Flavour, as well as providing consultancy and brainstorming sessions for some major food and drinks brands, including Grey Goose, Nespresso, Hendrix and Cadburys.
Rachel featured as the on-screen food scientist for the Channel 4 series Food Unwrapped and has been asked to appear on an array of different programming including The Gadget Man and The One Show.
Her talks, seminars and workshops have taken her into the corporate arena, working with many top international companies including JP Morgan, the European Commission in Brussels, The Architects Association, The Science Museum and Morgan Stanley. She has also worked extensively with the food experience creators, Bompas & Parr, to apply food science theory to complex applications, enabling them to create some of their most spectacular food-art creations.
Rachel graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in Biochemistry. Keen to combine her scientific education with her passion for cooking, she spent 10 months studying the science of potato salad under Dr Hervé, the renowned French food chemist. She was fascinated by the concept of using science to train and inspire chefs, and how this could help them to improve and innovate their dishes. As a result she decided to train as a chef herself, in order to understand the training that chefs receive and the challenges they face in a busy kitchen environment.
In 2005, she moved back to the UK to embark on a PhD at the University Nottingham University, which was cosponsored by Heston Blumenthal. For three years, Rachel created innovative flavour and texture experiences for Blumenthal to use in his restaurant, “The Fat Duck”. During the course of her PhD research, Rachel developed a particular interest in the Science behind Flavour Perception, a topic on which she regularly lectures and gives demonstrations on today.
In 2008, in order to expand her knowledge of the food industry, Rachel joined Sainsbury’s and was given the responsibility for Sainsbury’s own-label range of gluten-free, wheat-free and dairy-free foods, where she led the technical development and launch of over a hundred products.
Around this time, in response to the growing level of public interest in where food came from and how it was made, she co-founded the London Gastronomy Seminars, a series of lectures that explain the more technical aspects behind food processing and flavour, from cheddar cheese to chocolate. www.londongastronomyseminars.com
Rachel has been the subject of several articles about her research and her company over the years, including double-page spread in the Guardian. She has written a chapter on “The Sense of Taste” in Blumenthal’s Big Fat Duck Cookbook and has also contributed to many articles in the arenas of food and science.