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What inspires you?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
In my search for my own muse I have come up empty handed. What inspires YOU in the kitchen?
post #2 of 16
I think inspiration either has to evolve of its own accord, or else you have to decide (on whatever basis) on a project. With any luck, developing and completing a complex project will lead to others, and in time you'll find what drives you. If you can't think of any projects, anything you'd like to do in your particular field, inspiration isn't what's missing.
post #3 of 16
Great ingredients.
post #4 of 16
For my family, it's all about increasing awareness of our options, especially replacing quantity with quality.
post #5 of 16
1.The endless possibilities I see when given the raw ingredients/materials to work with.
2.The thought of trying to make something that I have wanted to attempt and tackling it full speed ahead
3. The pure pleasure and joy I get when I can make somebody smile with something that I have created.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
post #6 of 16
Learning to cook better, surprising Linda, the praise (so sue me), and the smile Chef How mentioned.

BDL
post #7 of 16
Eating good food.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #8 of 16
My daughter.
Introducing her to new things.
Watching her eyes roll back and the contented sigh as she first bites into what I prepare.
For 13+ she is adventurous, has been since about 7 or so.
She loves polenta, and prefers it grilled rather than soft, goes crazy for gnocchi, adds fresh cracked pepper if she feels the dish calls for it.
She just discovered she loves carnitas.
The other night she picked out her own NY strip at the store, because it "just looked good".
She is so different from her mother, who is resistant to new things because they "look funny".
Not to say my daughter doesn't still have her chicken nugget days, but she is usually up for new things.

Yeah, proud papa.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #9 of 16
1) taking a theme, like what's currently running in the catering forum...."silver mine cocktail party" and running with it.

2) what's at the market, now it's white asparagus, green asparagus, spinach, lettuces, rhubarb and the beginning of strawberries....last play on ingredients was morel arancine, home run.....just rifting on a client's Italian food based reception and taking a seasonal ing and making a new dish with it.

3) turning someone on....sharing food finds, right now it's a 4 leaf balsamic that is like a very fine wine.

4) comparison tastings.....side by side of heirloom pork, or tomatoes or vinegars or breads or cheeses......

5) visiting restaurants, seeing what they are doing

6) cheftalk....

7) reading old cookbooks or booklets.....

8) sometimes watching a cooking show or videos, Made in Spain with Jose Andres was inspirational....great series, it's on HULU if anyone wants to check it out.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #10 of 16
What great answers! Every single one of them I found myself shaking my head, saying yep...sure thing...I agree. Even if I don't cook as much in the future I will forever see food (and ingredients) as a possibility to be...


Flavor. I love the flavors of food! I love experiencing it for myself. I love sharing it with my wife, family and friends. I love to see food through my children's eyes when they taste something new, or old. I love it when my six year old tells me that my dish is just a tad overcooked. Oh, it's OK though dad :lol:. She's usually right!

I remember back in the audio forums someone would occasionally ask the question, if you could retain either your sight or your hearing which would you keep. This question got me thinking along those same lines. If I should lose my ability to taste, would I still enjoy cooking so much? Yes. If I'm confident of the food I don't need to sit down to eat in order to get enjoyment out of the meal. But what I need to be confident about is the flavor(s).

As much as I enjoy cooking, would I enjoy it if there was no flavor for anybody? Nope! What would be the point? Now...about the vegetables found in stores today>>>



dan
post #11 of 16
I like to eat :lol: and I prefer food that tastes great so I very rarely use anything that is packaged. Cooking for one is a challenge too!
post #12 of 16
Some good responses. I tend to think of cooking as a creative art, but it is difficult to be creative and artful each and every meal, day after day after day. So favorite old standbys come into play fairly often.

Over the last quarter of a century or so I've subscribed to magazines like Bon Appetit or Food and Wine for a year, or six months or some period of time, never really felt it neccessary to keep a permanent subscription. I've saved most, if not all of the issues and keep them fairly handy. I always enjoy browsing through random old issues to get new ideas, refresh old concepts or to just slobber over pictures of great dishes. Those magazines help to keep the culinary spirit alive.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #13 of 16
check out late 1970-1980's Bon Appetit.....exceptional info.....
one of my most exciting finds was a series of cooking magazines called "The Pleasure of Cooking" developed for Cuisinart, the line up of chefs/recipes is the who's who of food. I randomly pulled vol. IV no.6 it has:
7 chili recipes with variations
an Irish chef's duck recipe with detailed photos of duck breakdown
Strawberry Shortcake...sponge, shortcake, rich pastry versions
Florence Lin's baked and steamed chinese buns.....loads of fillings, photos of how to work the dough
mussels from brussels...8 verisions
ginger...ginger ice cream, cookies, timbales, chicken, chutney, chrysanthemum soup

Then the back two pages with readers shared recipes of strawberry pie/short crust, roast chicken with prunes.

LOVE the detailed/how to pix....short of having a hands on cooking class, these are da' bombe.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #14 of 16
Recipe books - New ones are fabulous. I picked one up in america last month called small batch preserving. You can just used the wee bits u have lying around. I love it

A fridge full of things that need using up

Eating out ( my chefs ego sometimes kicks in and i know i can adapt and perfect what i just ate)

The weather :- Its so unpredictable here. When its cold and wet i'm inspired to make new soups and puddings and sweeties. in the warmer weather im experimenting with salads, cold buffet ideas and developing new desserts and drinks. The weather really does effect the way i feel about my work.

My vegie garden coming to life. I'm already looking for ideas for spinach and radishes
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #15 of 16
For me it's the challenge... the challenge to create something that is great to the palette when all I had was a few minor elements to work with.

I know when I've scored when my wife cleans the plate and asks if there's more or when guests come and they ask "do you eat like this every night?" and my wife proudly says "Yes!"

A friend of mine in Milan has a phrase called "scovazzume" (pronounced sko-vat-sue-me)which is Milanese slang for "the sweepings of the floor". There's been many times when my wife asks "what's for dinner?" and in looking over the fridge, I respond "Scovazzume!!" She knows I'm up for the challenge and something unique is coming!!
post #16 of 16
My earliest issues are from 83, maybe 84, can't remember. I wish I had some from the 70s. Those earlier magazines are quite different than the ones from the last few years. You knew what was content and what was advertising. And the content was good.

These days the magazines, like so many other aspects of our lives, seem to be all about style over substance. Bright colors and flashy graphics to capture the eye, sort of a Fisher-Price, Playskool approach to culinary journalism. So it goes.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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