“Delicious Chemistry” – How a PhD Student Learned To Use His Chemistry Skills in Cooking Dishes

Tshepo Dipheko

PhD student Tshepo Dipheko from South Africa. Credit: RUDN University

What sets chemistry apart from other natural sciences is the ability to get creative and find amazing solutions to long known problems.

A PhD student Tshepo Dipheko from South Africa, instills love for chemistry into people. He doesn’t show it too much, just unwittingly reminds that chemistry surrounds a person absolutely everywhere — it’s in the body, brain, clothing, food and household items. According to the student, it’s impossible to remain indifferent because “Chemistry is everything. We encounter it when drinking coffee or tea, holding a paper cup in our hands, or setting off fireworks on New Year’s Eve”.

Tshepo fell in love with chemistry at school: he was struck not only by the results of colorful chemical reactions, for example, “Pharaoh’s serpent”, but also by the structure of the periodic table and clear chemical equations. Thanks to chemistry, life was ordered by formulas, elements and reactions.

The passion for order and accurate measurements of powders and liquids has moved smoothly to the kitchen. “I’m not the best cook you’ll meet on your way, but I prepare everything with my heart”, says Tshepo. It seems that the student approaches cooking in the same way as preparing the outcome of a reaction in the laboratory: everything is effective, correctly conducted, and the volumes of substances are precisely verified in a scientific way. But he frankly says that “there is no smell of creativity here”. In cooking, you need to respect the principle of all serious scientists in white coats: mix substances following clear instructions without unnecessary amateur activity.

“South Africa doesn’t have enough specialists in chemistry. — Says Tshepo. — Every year we need more and more people with these skills to develop the country’s chemical industry.”

After graduating, Tshepo is waiting for work in the chemical industry and postdoctoral research that opens up the widest opportunities for future scientific activity.

1 Comment on "“Delicious Chemistry” – How a PhD Student Learned To Use His Chemistry Skills in Cooking Dishes"

  1. Carolyn L Zaremba | June 12, 2021 at 12:14 pm | Reply

    During the pandemic during lockdown I learned to cook for the first time in my 72 years and the one thing I learned is that preparing dishes requires more than just following recipes to the letter. There are all kinds of improvisations and variations to any recipe that one learns with time and experience. Little tweaks here and there can make a sauce more flavorful, for instance. Start with a good recipe and over time you will gain confidence to the point that you can create something new. That is what master chefs have been doing as long as humans have cooked food.

Leave a comment

Email address is optional. If provided, your email will not be published or shared.