I sympathize with my brothers and sisters toiling on the line at restaurants too obsessed by "consistency" to tolerate good cooking, but must disagree with them. Both are important. If you emphasize one over the other, you cheat the one not prioritized and thereby cheat the dish.
If you follow a recipe exactly as to amounts and written technique, you ignore the fact that conditions vary and you can never repeat a dish exactly, but must adapt to changing ingredients, etc. Further, tasting is an important technique included in EVERY recipe although seldom written. If you do not taste, you do not know. With the knowledge born of tasting comes some degree of improvisation, even if only to salt and pepper. Further, no dish is perfect and a good cook seeks always to improve.
Finally, following a recipe exactly is not science. Science is mostly a way of thinking, a system for asking ever more refined questions. Don't let the white coats and pocket protectors fool you, a scientist is more than a technician. Moreover, following a recipe exactly is not even good technique because good technique aims for best results. A shellfish can follow a recipe. A baker is more than a bread machine.
All this without reference to writing recipes. That's not all inspiration, you know. There's a significant amount of pure grunt work to converting pinches and "feels like" and "smells like" into a formula that can be followed successfully by someone not familiar with the dish or all of the techniques involved. It's too late to be the first person on earth to try an artichoke, so even "inventing" new dishes is as much a matter of mental deconstruction and reconstruction combined with the scientific method of going from hypothesis to tested theory as "inspiration." Just because I make it look easy... :rolleyes:
The artist must have good technique to create. Van Gogh did not throw paint at the canvas, he knew what he was doing. Picasso could do more with a simple line than any human being who came before or since. The scientist must have imagination to press forward. Newton didn't invent calculus because he lacked for creativity. The speed of light wasn't measured without inspiration.
Are we not men?