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Recipe Philosophy

 

Culinary influences

 

“The art of cooking is among the most intimate things that we can do for another.”

Charlie Trotter, chef and restaurateur

Growing up, I remember Mom gracefully moving around the kitchen creating mouth-watering dish after dish, simply and effortlessly. She worked all four burners at a time while tending to the roast in the oven and gathering ingredients for the dessert of the day. This multitasking never seemed to daunt her. She even made time to sing songs with me, tell me stories, and play around with Dad who kept bouncing in and out of the kitchen sneaking morsels of food, offering warm kisses and loving hugs for the chef.

During this time, I don’t once remember mom reference a book or a recipe. She added a bit of this and a bit of that, marinated, seared to golden, sautéed, caramelized, perfectly seasoned, and playfully asked us to taste the simmering aromatic sauces.

“Once you have mastered a technique, you barely have to look at a recipe again.”

Julia Child, an American chef, author, and television personality

This was when I first began appreciating the magic behind enjoying the culinary arts: Technique, technique, technique. It’s all in the technique, truly. Learning and habitualizing culinary technique is what ultimately yields a fluency of creating dishes rather than be restricted to following written recipes. So the trick here is to first learn the key techniques, then apply them enough times to develop a fluency and the next thing you know, the chore of cooking transforms into a form of creative palatable expression.

As you can see that my folks were the heaviest culinary influencers for me – followed by my husband. I say this because through them, I recognized food as a sign of celebration of life, love, and all things real, good, and natural. Without this solid foundation, no other chef in the world would have had a building block. Having set that premise, I will say that those chefs who, to the day, act as my muse include August Escoffier, Fernand Point, Paul Bocuse, Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, Charlie Trotter, Julia Child, among several others, and without a doubt my Chefs at Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver – without their technical training, I would not be looking at the culinary arts as I do today.

A long way to go for me to recommend that you look to find your culinary muse…your source of inspiration that will transfer the chore of cooking into a goal to become an explorer of food and the culinary arts.

Carrying on tradition

“Ponder well on this point: the pleasant hours of our life are all connected by a more or less tangible link, with some memory of the table.”
Charles Pierre Monselet, French author

To the day, this is what I look forward to each time I step into my own kitchen. My favorite time of the day, when I come home from work, wash the day off, and prepare to maximize this moment in time with Alex. As we prepare for dinner, we enjoy a cocktail, reconnect with each other, catch up on our day, and explore the dinner possibilities for the evening. I grew up appreciating the time in the kitchen not at all what most imagine but a time when I become one with life, love, while living in the moment. A time in the kitchen is when the work day comes to end and my home life resumes the forefront; when we stop to connect with the here and now and refocus on the real priorities in life.

As I write this, I’m reminded yet again that multitasking is an intuitive and inherited talent, and cooking without recipes a habitualized skill. Thankfully, like Mom, I, too, am blessed with a husband who adores good food, appreciates the culinary arts, exemplifies the essence of joie de vivre, and coincidentally, also possesses the fine art of appreciating the chef during and after the cooking process.

Recipes as blueprints

“Happy and successful cooking doesn’t rely only on know-how; it comes from the heart, makes great demands on the palate and needs enthusiasm and a deep love of food to bring it to life.”
Georges Blanc, French chef and restaurateur, Ma Cuisine des Saisons

With all this said, I find it challenging to consider recipes as a strict form of regimen. This is quite ironic considering that I provide services in culinary ghostwriting and recipe developing which mandates precision. This art of precision is a key factor indeed. This is something I gladly do for my clients. But this blog is for you and me, and all our fellow gourmands, epicures, and food lovers who wish to experience the joys and freedom of expression for food, life, and love.

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.”

Julia Child, an American chef, author, and television personality

So while you’re enjoying the journey through LeGourmandC3, consider these recipes strictly as guidelines. Remember to always rely on your palate’s judgment and trust your taste buds to season any given dish, as desired. Be sure to allow your creativity to come to the forefront, and by all means, do not feel restricted by documented measurements.

How I define a successful dish?

Thank goodness for chefs like Ferran Adrià i Acosta, he and like chefs will keep the culinary industry rockin’ along infusing inspiration to colleagues and customers alike, but based on my experience, if I could define a successful dish?

Whilst keeping in mind the principles of Brillat Savarin’s The Physiology of Taste, would definitely be one made with the most simple of ingredients, using well mastered authentic and classic cooking techniques, in a combination that will spotlight the true characteristics of the star ingredient, without overwhelming the palate. This dish, made perfectly a point, well seasoned, balanced flavor/taste/texture, and done so consistently and reliably, combined with a focused menu maximizing seasonal bounty, is in my opinion, is what’s going to build loyal customers. Mastering the basics, the classics, the truly authentic, then solidifying our culinary voice to add that gentle but memorable twist, while respecting tradition.

The latter, I will forever aspire to.

Bon appètit et bonne vie!