Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How it should be done in the kitchen

Pride is not a negative thing. Conceit and arrogance are. Pride is a product of self confidence, which in itself is something one needs in order to feed a group of people well. Cooking comes from the very depths of your heart and soul and whatever is inside of you is expressed in your food through your posture as you whip the cream, the knife cuts you produce on your vegetables and the temperature of your hands as you knead the dough. Some occupations call for pride as a fundamental block for success and like many other art forms, cooking is one of them.

When you cook, envision the taste and texture of your food. The presentation will come naturally, like the final piece of a puzzle making a picture whole. Approach each step with acceptance and not apprehension. Take pride in what your hands will create and you will never mess up a dish. Maybe it will not come out how you initially expected it to, maybe it will turn out better.

The basics are important and are more or less applicable to everyone, which is why I am insistent on having formal culinary training. However, once you are equipped, do not try to emulate others. Mimicry is the highest form of flattery but the culinary arts is an expression of oneself. Try to make what others make and you are no better than an uninspired cog on an automated assembly line. Instead, work with what you know. Make what you grew up on, what you like. Chances are there are others out there who would like them too. Remember that no matter how hard you try, you can never make everyone happy.

A good service provider aims to make his patrons happy but never at the expense of his own happiness because doing that simply undermines the whole concept of good and proper service. The customer is not always right but neither is are you. Paradoxically, to cook well, you must be proud and yet humble at the same time. Always listen to criticism because it is often based on hard nuggets of truth which you can use to refine your craft.

When you enjoy the cooking process, your guests will enjoy the eating process. If perfection was attainable, then it would not be perfect. But that should not deter you from striving toward it. Be proud, be humble and cook well.

I am back. Let's get this show on the road.

No comments: