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Is the art of cooking dying? - Page 2

post #31 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim View Post

I had the very good fortune to talk with Jacques Pepin a few years' ago. We got on the topic of home cooking and he said, as I'll never forget, "The cooking shows are more popular than ever! Yet, nobody cooks!"  I think there is no arguing convenience is merely part of our every day lives. It is what we have created, good, bad or otherwise.


I continue to think that some serious food historian will one day investigate closely the reception of Pepin and Child. It seems to me, largely anecdotally, that Julia Child got received as precisely what she did not want to be: a purveyor of great recipes that work great even if you don't know anything. She wanted to teach people to cook French; she became, much against her will, the first of the crowd of "TV cooks" who produced recipes for scratch-cooking that you could do without knowing anything. Pepin, by contrast, has always insisted on technique, and this makes his recipes a little trickier. You can do what he does, of course, and he's a terrific teacher, but there's always this nagging voice saying "learn what I'm doing, not every step but the concepts, and then you can just do this yourself without looking." And it seems to me that Americans do not want to hear this. They didn't want to hear this from Child, and could avoid it; they didn't and don't want to hear it from Pepin, and it's made him never quite as successful as he might have been. I sometimes wonder whether if Pepin had gone on TV in France, in the 70s, he might not have been a superstar: they really do (or did) want to know how, and not everyone actually knows how, and here's this fabulous chef who's a master of classic technique and a terrific teacher.

 

Is cooking dying? Probably not, but it's certainly having to fight.

post #32 of 51

So ChrisLehrer, which Chef’s camp do you belong to?

 

Julia’s, just do it

Or

Jacques, technique

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post #33 of 51

I think quite the opposite.  Although Fast food and convenience cooking has taken over our nation over the years, I think more recently there has been an increased WANT to cook.  I know lots of people who watch the food network and travel channel and have gotten inspired by the likes of Rachel Ray (yea I know...) and Anthony Bourdain.  I know more people on Pintrest looking up cupcake recipes than I do who play World of Warcraft.  I know more people constantly experimenting with dishes and cooking on their own time, all ages too! It may not be the masses yet, but it sure has grown.

 

To me, cooking is on the rise - not necessarily scratch cooking, but cooking non the less. 

post #34 of 51

Okay, so can we get people to go from WANT to cook to really doing it? 

They’ve watched, absorbed, dreamed, drooled; now they need to get into the kitchen and try it. 

Even my “I can’t boil water” husband has been watching these TV programs (he likes Anthony Bourdain, go figure) with me and now is finally interested in just walking into the kitchen.

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post #35 of 51

Guys like Bourdain make cooking cool.  He points out how much of a bad ass you can feel like after a long dinner service.  It's good for the ego, and I think a lot of people are diving in!  A lot of people enroll in culinary school with ZERO experience too.  That's a good sign, even if they're clueless...

post #36 of 51

Never was an art. Cooking is a skilled craft. And no, it's not dying. It is as is always was-done very well by some, done badly by some others, not done at all by others who can afford to have it done for them, and done fairly adequately by those who choose to engage in it mindfully.

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post #37 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodnfoto View Post

Never was an art. Cooking is a skilled craft. And no, it's not dying. It is as is always was-done very well by some, done badly by some others, not done at all by others who can afford to have it done for them, and done fairly adequately by those who choose to engage in it mindfully.



I like that, it says it all 

 

 

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post #38 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohegirlinaz View Post

I've been thinking about this topic recently and I was wondering

how many of the professional chefs out there are/have taught

their families/children to cook?



I come back to this thought over and over in my mind

as professionals, how many of you ensure that the art of cooking carries on?

 

 

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post #39 of 51

At my age ,I try and impart all I have learned to the younger fellows that I work with. I even give the ones I really think are good my old cookbooks. Most of them are receptive and really want to learn, a few are not and I see iit right away. I can tell after a week who will last and who will not.Most time I hit it right on. I was very fortunate when I was younger working with all the European Pros. I learned a lot of things you will never see in books, like how and what to look for when buying meat and how to cut it. Throughout my life all I derived from these chefs has proven invaluable. I only hope I can do the same for this generation. To answer the question No cooking is not dying, it is however changing and keeping up with the technological age.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #40 of 51

Chefed, you are truly a treasure

I think that this world is a much better place with you in it

Had I chosen a different path in life, I would like to think

that you would have mentored me 

Thank you for your contributions

I’m sure that some kid,

somewhere, at some time,

prepared a meal for me and they had you on their mind

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post #41 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohegirlinaz View Post

So ChrisLehrer, which Chef’s camp do you belong to?

 

Julia’s, just do it

Or

Jacques, technique


I think Julia was in Jacques's camp, as am I. But her recipes were so extraordinarily well-tested and -written that she got turned into Ms. Recipe. In the end, it all comes down to technique: can you pick up ingredients, know your way around what is at least usually done with them, and go ahead and execute without constantly looking at some book or other? Cookbooks are wonderful, but if you're bound to them they become traps. Cookbooks are most useful when you're free of them, and then they provide all kinds of inspiration, ideas, and notions, as well as suggestions for raising the level of something you're working with. But you can't use a cookbook that way without technique.

 

I don't mean that you have to be a Pepin-style master of technique to do anything. I mean, can you cut up a chicken, prep a pile of vegetables and stuff you've got around, and make a decent saute or fricassee without constantly looking things up?

 

Everyone who can really cook has some techniques she or he knows cold. You don't look them up, you know them in your bones. And when faced with something in the kitchen, you just apply those techniques and it all works out fine. Once you have a few multipurpose techniques, you start expanding your repertoire depending on what you do a lot.

 

For example, I can't bake a cookie, brownie, pastry, or anything without looking stuff up. I just never do it, so I don't know how. I always have to look up the proportions for pate a choux, too, because I don't do it often enough to internalize it. But if you hand me a chicken, I can do all kinds of cool things with it, rapidly and cleanly, that make some friends of mine think I'm a culinary god. But some of them can bake cookies and cupcakes and stuff from scratch, no looking, and it all looks like so much mystery to me. I can break most fish from whole to skinless fillets (or whatever is desired) accurately enough to impress the heck out of some people. Why? I did it a lot in Japan, and I tried to learn it. And since my kids adore certain kinds of elementary, classic fish preparations -- meuniere, for instance -- I haven't looked at a recipe for that kind of thing in a looooong time. Why should I? And I can do a great sabayon-based sauce, or a rich brown pan sauce (with or without reductions), and so I use these as bases to play games with new sauces appropriate to what I'm doing right now. I'm no genius, but if you cook a lot, you really ought to learn some basics so you don't stay married to a book. Lately, my big thing is certain oddities in knife technique, but the principle remains.

 

Sorry. Rant off!

post #42 of 51

:chuckle:

No, chris, no rant, just every eloquently put and so true.

Even as a Home Expert, something's I do not need a book to execute

and then there others that I just have to look at my receipt  

and you're right, it's a matter of repetition  

 

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A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

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post #43 of 51

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaneohegirlinaz View Post

:chuckle:

No, chris, no rant, just every eloquently put and so true.

Even as a Home Expert, something's I do not need a book to execute

and then there others that I just have to look at my receipt  

and you're right, it's a matter of repetition  


Well, there's repetition and there's repetition. I've made enough pate a choux to know how to do it, but I always forget because I know where the recipes are. God knows I've made enough matzo balls to know, but again, I forget. Somehow numbers and quantities elude me in these things. But then there are things that you just kind of look at and know.

 

You know?

post #44 of 51

Peppin, Franey. Bartenbach, Soltner, Meir, La Cren were all the Chefs of their generation. (60s )

It was Julia however that added humor and personality. They were all great and aquainted people via TV to what food was and took the mystique out of cooking.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #45 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisLehrer View Post

Quote:


But then there are things that you just kind of look at and know.

 

You know?


 

YUP !  Sure do …


 

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post #46 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

...all the Chefs of their generation. (60s )

...to what food was and took the mystique out of cooking.



 

...Chefed, I think you’d make a great TV teacher of food …

 

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post #47 of 51

Thank you but no thank you. I would wrather cook and experiment on my own then have a script pushed down my throat. I taught cooking in NYC school system for years and really enjoyed it. Then it all changed when the city or government in its wisdom figured  that if these kids are bad in an academic school, teach them cooking, auto mechanics, printing etc.

      Well they found out this did not work either They graduated cooks? that could not cook, auto mechanics that could not change a windshield wiper blade, and printers who could not even read or much less write, because to justify figures we had to move them forward It was a total fiasco. I exited fast and went into private school systems  to teach.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #48 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

Thank you but no thank you. I would wrather cook and experiment on my own then have a script pushed down my throat. I taught cooking in NYC school system for years and really enjoyed it. Then it all changed when the city or government in its wisdom figured  that if these kids are bad in an academic school, teach them cooking, auto mechanics, printing etc.

      Well they found out this did not work either They graduated cooks? that could not cook, auto mechanics that could not change a windshield wiper blade, and printers who could not even read or much less write, because to justify figures we had to move them forward It was a total fiasco. I exited fast and went into private school systems  to teach.



 

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #49 of 51

 

Hailing from 2 European parents, we were taught to cook home made from scratch and we all knew the old Italian Adage: at the table, one is always happy and the way to a loved one´s heart, is through their stomach ... well, I have 2 brothers who cook from scratch and do it truly well too. I rarely open a can, except I do have a penchant for tuna in olive oil. However, that is a laboral weekday lunch and would never serve that to the Vet.

 

My grandmom on the paternal side owned a Trattoria and I had worked for her while in highschool and university -- so having a love of Italian cuisines, I learnt from her all I could and had inherited her recipes which I renovated and translated from Italian into English. During the laboral week, I do tend to have professional lunches out however, we enjoy our weekend home made from scracth meals ... and we each have our specialties. My job takes me to many kitchens and thus, I am always around food in one way or another. I have learnt something everyday from the chefs I have met and the trips I have taken. I enjoy a home made meal, however, not daily due to the time factor involved. I like the slow cooking movement ... relaxed and time to shop for the raw materials, another part of the scratch cooking process... retail therapy in a true sense ... I enjoy hunting for the products and seeing what each of the central markets have, each supermkt has, each deli, etcetra.

 

Both my daughters have their specialties as well and have learnt alot from their great grandmom and grandmom and myself as well as taking culinary courses as I have. Each one was a true wonderful experience. One of my nephews is a Chef, and one of my grandsons, likes to bake cookies !

 

Margcata.  

post #50 of 51
Ishbel wrote "We (perhaps, luckily) don't have Walmart here."

yes true enough but you do have something very special that all good scratch cooks need.
Treacle and Lyles Golden Syrup smile.gif
...All anyone ever does is complain....stop griping and start being thankful...be grateful...be appreciative...
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...All anyone ever does is complain....stop griping and start being thankful...be grateful...be appreciative...
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post #51 of 51

Yes, you're right, LuvPie - and for which I give thanks on a weekly basis!

 

Couldn't make treacle tart without Golden Syrup (it actually doesn't contain treacle!) - and treacle adds great richness to things like sticky toffee pudding (invented in England in the Lake District, but I'll allow that to slide...)

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