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      I have no idea what Escoffier studied. And the science of chemistry/food chemistry wasn't quite as developed in his time as it is now.

 As cooking is chemistry, it always helps to learn more about it if it interests you to do so. You don't have to learn any of it if you just want to make dinner but it certainly helps to understand why certain things happen the way they do.  But knowing the chemistry alone is no substitute for experience. 

 Part of the experience you gain as a professional is continuous interaction with food and the opportunity to experience it in many forms and through many processes. So you learn, if nothing else, by observation and experience that certain things happen under certain conditions and other things won't happen under certain conditions. Studying chemistry may get you there quicker and allow to you know exactly why those things do or don't happen but I think it takes both theory and practice to really deepen a grasp on good cooking. 

     Years ago I took a road trip to Cornell, to see about studying food chemistry. While there I met a woman whose job was to teach the chemistry students how to put their chemistry education to use in  a practical way. She said they may know the chemical composition of a carrot but they don't have the slightest idea what to do with it. The next day's lesson was to be German chocolate cake. 

I always thought she had the greatest job, the opportunity to both cook and study the chemistry behind it while teaching others. Her office was filled floor to ceiling with books on both topics.  
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