Stefan Gates – BBC’s Gastronaut

Stefan Gates has written and presented 18 extraordinary BBC TV shows about food adventures, covering science, nutrition, maths, bizarre foods, history and society – from Gastronuts and Incredible Edibles for CBBC to Can Eating Insects Save the World for BBC4 and E Numbers: an Edible Adventure and Cooking in the Danger Zone for BBC2

His main work is staging spectacular, high-end multimedia food and science shows ranging from vast stadium-style events at The Big Bang Fair (UK’s biggest science fair), to adult-focussed shows for corporate events, STEM events, major science festivals, and inspirational shows for schools – both primary and secondary. He also runs hands-on workshops. They mix solid education with unforgettable entertainment and use food as a launching platform to make complex chemistry, physics and biology, maths and technology relevant and exciting. Stefan sometimes use food less centrally – as a launchpad to explore quantum mechanics, fluid dynamics and biochemistry, but some shows have food and nutrition firmly at their heart.

Expect to see explosions, vortex cannons, sugar-spinning robots, rockets, live and edible insects, glowing drinks, colour-changing cocktails, plasma made in a microwave, dissection, freezing cheese with fire extinguishers, and supertaster experiments. And a large fart machine. Stefan’s shows are highly interactive, with many demos involving the whole audience, as well as lots of volunteers on stage. He presents shows with a vast amount of energy and enthusiasm, never talks down to children, but does love to torture adults.
Shows include:
  • Gastronaut Live  (a celebration of strange and spectacular food-related science covering a huge spread of STEM subjects)
  • Supertasters  (adventures in sensory perception – lots of biochemistry and )
  • The Quantum Mechanical Chocolate Factory  (chocolate, physics, maths and chemistry)
  • Fartology  (biology, chemistry and digestion, fluid dynamics)
  • BodyGazing  (biology and nutrition, tracking the journey our food makes through our bodies)
  • Science of Sweets  (chemistry, photosynthesis)
  • Incredible Edibles (edible science)
  • Future Food

As well as his TV work, Stefan has written six books (and is writing two more). He has staged multiple sell-out shows at Cheltenham Science Festival for the last six years (and has been Guest Festival Director), Manchester Science Festival, Cambridge Science Festival, Birmingham Science Festival and Otley Science Festival, amongst others. The shows have also been adapted for the BBC at the Commonwealth Games, and other BBC Learning events. Gastronaut Live at the Big Bang Fair plays to audiences of 1,500 but the shows are easily adapted for smaller venues and regional science festivals.

Shows are adapted to available space, and costs depend on scale, location and your requirements. All bookings are handled by Jan Croxson at DML, but Stefan discusses all the detail for shows with you. All shows are rigorously risk-assessed so that audiences can – where appropriate – get involved and taste foods live on stage. He has £5m PLI, DBS certificate, Food Safety certs.

‘His enthusiasm is truly infectious! Explosive, educational entertainment fully engaging the audience and he’s an absolute pleasure to work with.’
Lucinda Spokes, Cambridge Science Festival co-ordinator

‘How do you make food more interesting? Bring on Stefan Gates. With his repertoire of quirky, inventive and humorous demonstrations, Stefan’s performances turn food into theatre. The Pied Piper meets Professor Branestawm.’
Martin Orbach, Abergavenny Food Festival Director 

‘Stefan has been hugely popular at The Cheltenham Science Festival. His show has sold out five years in a row! Full of food, fun, science and brilliance!’
Gina Collins, Cheltenham Science Festival Manager

‘Wonderful. Energetic, engaging and imaginative.’
Jenny Jopson, Wellcome Trust Events Officer

‘Loads of weird and wonderful cooking, fun, science and education! The shows attracted huge crowds and Stefan’s fans were blown away by the chemistry in the food, great stories and quirky edible delights. Stefan was a pleasure to work with too’
Natalie Ireland, Manchester Science Festival Director
 

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