Whilst studying at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, my Parisian chefs wanted us, the students, to truly appreciate the art behind cooking… not only in terms of plating, but in technique as well. Chefs have been preparing food by hand for thousands of years, without the aid of machines or technology. Ergo, hand-whipping egg whites, creams, sauces, crème patisserie, etc. – everything prepared by hand. Everything.
One of my favorite aspects of cooking is watching food transform before your eyes. Not only transform, but impart flavors, textures… cooking in general is a beautiful, gradual creation (hmm… funny how the same can be said of life… even a flower must grow through dirt in order to reach its glorious transformation into beauty and maturity).
When I teach, I enjoy showing my students different techniques… for example – making the dough for pasta by hand, as opposed to throwing it into the food processor. Now, as a time saver – opt for the machine. No doubt. But if you are able to – at least once in your life – make fresh pasta by hand… do it. You will not be disappointed in knowing that you literally put your time, effort and love (although let’s forgo the blood, sweat and tears) into the dish. So much of cooking is reliant upon patience… waiting for the flavors to develop, tasting and making changes appropriate to your palate, seasoning… taking the time to plate and make “art” on a plate.
Whilst culinary school aided me in understanding the basic fundamentals of cooking (believe me, I had never cooked before moving to Paris and attending Le Cordon Bleu) – my absolute love for cooking developed whilst working at the three Michelin-starred restaurants – Hotel de Crillon and Hotel Le Meurice. These establishments opened my eyes to the art of cooking… not only flavors are important – but food presentation as well. What further developed my passion was in teaching… an absolute joy. I am so grateful to teach at Sur La Table, as well as in private homes, FRESH by Brookshire’s, and other establishments.
“L’objet profond de l’artiste est de donner plus qu’il ne possède.” Paul Valéry
Essentially translated into, “the beauty of art is to give more than one has.”
Love y’all! ♥