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Heston blumenthal is better known for wowing London's rich and idle with his nitro-frozen egg and bacon ice cream and snail porridge. But is the chef slowly morphing into the darling of the education world too?

Yes, if you believe Sir Mike Tomlinson head honcho of the Government's 14-19 committee, who has been telling teachers the Harry Hill lookalike has what it takes to revitalise science education.

In Search of Perfection, in which the chef (below) seeks the perfect fish and chips, is one of "the best science texts" according to Sir Mike.

"I think what he does is really marvellous," he told The TES. "It's a really interesting way of getting young people interested in chemistry and other sciences."

Heston Blumenthal is no stranger to the classroom, having penned Kitchen Chemistry, a science textbook designed to teach test tube-shy teenagers about the joys of chemistry via "molecular gastronomy" (that's cooking).

"My chemistry experience at school was not stimulating," the Michelin-starred chef has complained. "Potassium permanganate and Bunsen burners. That was about it. It never excited me. It was so unrelated to everyday life."

Sadly, Sir Mike isn't as au fait with gourmet cooking as Heston is with the finer points of double science. Has he sampled the chef's cuisine at his restaurant, The Fat Duck at Bray, Berkshire? "I've not been there, but I'd like to." Clearly expenses at the education department aren't what they used to be.

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