December 3, 2020
Hello everyone, I am Sam Tharpe SFC Chairman for the 2019-2020 term. One of the opportunities as chairman I have had is to identify a candidate to receive the Society of Flavor Chemists prestigious Golden Blotter award. This award is presented by the Board of Directors in recognition of an individual’s great activity in our society and influence they have had on many people’s career in the flavor industry.
Today it is my honor and privilege to be presenting this award to Dolf DeRovira. As a means of introduction, we have created a short video. In this video, I present to you Dolf DeRovira in his own words. (A link to this video can be found on the SFC website.)
Dolf, your accomplishments are many. If you do a Google search for Dolf DeRovira, there are not three lines but at least three pages that appear on the search engine. The people you have influenced in this industry with your mentoring, counsel, knowledge, kindness, friendship, and energy and passion for the flavor industry is immeasurable. Seeing your list of accomplishments, we ask, “how does he do it all?”
Preparing for this presentation has given us the opportunity to get to know you even better. You have a great sense of humor and a distinctive chuckle, you also have been restaurant owner, a passion for cooking, and you are an accomplished photographer painter and musician. Truly you give us both sides of your brain!
As an artist projecting on canvas we see your passion, energy, and creativity, through color and shape. Your choice of color and shapes unlike creating a flavor with all its complexity and nuances.
As photographer the moments you capture we see your reflective, tranquil, meditative side, framing the color and shapes of nature.
Here we will pause for prepared words of honor from others. Ken Kraut, sends his sincere regrets he couldn’t join us today but he asked me to share these prepared reflections with you and all of us celebrating with you today.
Musings on the Tribute to Dolf DeRovira By Dennis Kujawski
I have known Dolf for over 46 years. We met and trained together at Polak’s Fruital Works, which was becoming PFW-Hercules, in Middletown NY. Dolf, an energetic, enthusiastic person had the firm goal of becoming the best flavorist he could be. He always had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and the application of ideas. His creativity was apparent early in his career. Learning the odors and of our raw materials using blotters became a game and his everyday life became linked to flavor. I remember once going trout fishing together. The stream wandered through a cow pasture… as we got out of the car he took a deep breath of that unique environmental aroma and declared “para cresyl acetate!”
Dolf enjoys photography and back in the day, a few of us would assign ourselves a theme. We would then meet and critique our photographic results.
In the earlier years there was a paucity of published materials specific to flavors and flavor creation. Perhaps that influenced his decision in later years to write the Dictionary of Flavors – now in its 3rd edition.
After 4 years Dolf had the confidence to accept a job at Biddle Sawyer to set up a flavor lab. He subsequently became General Manager of Scientific Flavors, a subsidiary of National Starch and Chemicals, and then became a part owner of Flavor Innovations. He founded Flavor Dynamics, established an industry niche and developed it to the successful company it is today.
Dolf always enjoyed teaching as a way of sharing his knowledge and taught the gospel of flavors to many of his customers and aspiring young flavorists. He taught at Rutgers and The Center for Professional Advancement, gave seminars at NAFFS and is a past president of the SFC and The Chemical Sources Association. He was Chairman of FEMA’s Education and Training Committee. He has been a board member and treasurer of the Research Chefs Association and presented many seminars at The Culinary Institute of America.
Over the years, his love of photography and painting grew and today he is also a principal of Northern Lights Studio.
It has been many years since Dolf and I first met as budding flavorists. The industry has changed, the world has changed, we have changed. Dolf’s passion, creativity and energy continued to grow and evolve.
The Golden Blotter award is a well deserved tribute.
Join our network of members devoted to the advancement of the field of flavor technology and related sciences.