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The Science of Flavour and Gastronomy with Rachel Edwards-Stuart


Dr Rachel Edwards-Stuart is a food and flavour scientist, specialising in the science of flavour perception, cooking and food and drink pairings. She’s provided consultancy for a range of top food & drinks brands including Grey Goose, Nespresso, Hendrix and Cadburys.

Since graduating from Cambridge University, Rachel has trained as a chef in Paris, gained a PhD sponsored by Heston Blumenthal, lectured around Europe, appeared on TV and in the national press, set up the London Gastronomy Seminars, taught science to chefs, developed over 100 gluten free products, and helped to stabilise a 5 tonne chocolate waterfall.

She’s an authority on food and flavour science and has provided her expertise across a range of broadcast programmes including Food Unwrapped, The One Show and Gadget Man. Rachel offers a range of team development workshops and interactive sessions, focusing on the exploration of food and flavour, encouraging attendees to discover a world within everyday foods that they never knew existed.

A Journey Through Flavour Perception:

The way that we perceive flavour in food is surprisingly complex. This interactive demonstration will explain the science behind the role that each of our five senses play in flavour perception.

You’ll learn the importance of colour in eating and drinking, the role that background music and sound plays in food’s flavour, how your brain can be easily tricked when it comes to food, what exactly is “umami”, and whether or not you’re a supertaster.

Rachel will bring the science to life by giving the guests samples to illustrate the different points, after which, the attendees will have a much better understanding of flavour and flavour perception.

The demonstration does not require specific facilities, so can be carried out in a venue of your choice and is perfect for both bigger and smaller groups.

The Science of Food & Drink Pairings

This session focuses on the scientific concepts behind food and drink pairing, including both wine and cocktails, and will teach you the tools to be able to develop a wide range of food and drink matches yourself.

For the food and wine matching session, rather than dictating specific pairings, Rachel takes a different approach, by explaining the underlying concepts and teaching how to assess wine in terms of its flavour properties and characteristics. By sampling a series of different wines, each matched with foods that either go well or don’t, Rachel will help demystify some of the complexities associated with food and wine matching, equipping attendees with the knowledge and confidence to make their own pairings whilst eating out or at home.

The cocktail and food matching session follows the course of the wine session but with a focus on cocktails. It involves an introduction and exploration of cocktail science, focusing on the various aspects that are important in delivering flavour in cocktails. Rachel will then provide a series of cocktail and food matches, explaining throughout the science behind how and why they pair so well.

The optimal number for these sessions is 10-20 people, but larger numbers can be accommodated.

If you require a longer session, the Journey Through Flavour Perception can be easily combined with a Food and Drink matching Session.

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