Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking died Wednesday, March 14, at the age of 76, and the trailblazing scientist was mourned around the world. His work influenced countless people in disparate fields from science to television, and chef José Andrés called him the catalyst for “culinary physics.”
“Dear Stephen Hawking: As I’m looking at the stars in the direction of a black hole, I know you are flying out there happy to find God and the reasons of our existence. Chefs @FerranAdria and I, we teach culinary physics because of you,” Andrés wrote on Twitter. “And please send us a message when you get there.”
Hawking was widely considered to be the world’s greatest living scientist, and Andrés was a great admirer of his work. In addition to crediting the physicist as the inspiration for the science-based cooking practiced by himself and chefs like Ferran Adria, Grant Achatz, and Wylie Dufresne, Andrés also named Stephen Hawking first when asked in 2016 which three people he would most like to have dinner with. Hawking was also the only living person on Andrés’ list; the other two were author John Steinbeck and viking king Ragnar Lodbrok.
Andrés, who recently said that he “can’t wait” to be replaced by a robot, is not the only major food figure to be inspired by Hawking’s legacy. Modernist Cuisine, one of the most successful and influential cookbooks of the twenty-first century, was written by Hawking’s former student Nathan Myhrvold.
"We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today," Hawking's children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim, said in a statement. "He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humor inspired people across the world."