Sunday, March 1, 2009

#47 - 01 March 2009 - "Random Thoughts on Food..."

In the year 2009 you can turn on your television and change the channels to find Wine TV, The Food Network, PBS Broadcasting, HGTV, The Travel Channel, Bravo, the morning news stations and specialty Cable Access Stations - these are all places that you can find full-time or part-time cooking classes and lessons, food-science related shows, men-who-eat-everything shows, interesting restaurants and chefs from around the world, food competition shows and chef biographys... Geez, it wasn't like that in 1974...

In 1906, in the forward to his 2nd edition of Le Guide Culinaire, August Escoffier wrote about what he expected from the cooks and staff under his tutelege. He required them to wear ties and jackets in public and to cover their heads with a hat. In the early part of the last century, men dominated the kitchen brigade so he was only gender specific towards one sex. He demanded that his staff deporte themselves professionally in public, as well. That if they were to go out and enjoy themselves about town, they were to demonstrate a level of civility.

Lessons learned... All cooks make mistakes. All cooks have their "off" day. Not all cooks just try to rumble through their day "hoping" that they get it right... Good cooks recognize their mistakes and take the right course of action to rectify them. That may be to ask a question of the chef or sous chef to clarify a bit of expertise on a cooking or science matter. One must have the discipline to ask the question and have the humility to receive the answer. If something isn't right - after you have tested your dish or practiced a course - change it, fix it or modify
it. But, get it right. Your reputation is on the line. Peace.