Let's talk for a moment about ideas. There are two camps of readers of this site, those who think we're crazy to give away all of these recipes, techniques and ideas for free and those who think we don't give them enough information to do every little thing that we "show and tell" here. Our basic premise is that ideas are free. Hence a website called Ideas in Food where we freely share what we do in our kitchen. We do explain recipes and techniques for most of what you read about/see pictured here. I must admit that it can be frustrating when people continuously ask how to do something when we've clearly posted the technique here on the site but we also understand that the nature of the blog is that things can be hard to find. Yes, eventually we plan to finish the several cookbooks that we have drafted in our files and publish them. We hope at that time our readers will willingly shell out the money to pay for actual books. But this site is our digital notebooks and we are learning along with you as we experiment with new things in the kitchen. Our dialouge with readers has been a valuable learning tool which has helped us develop many of the ideas pictured on these pages.
The interesting thing about recipes and techniques is that even with clear guidelines, two people will inevitably produce different results. That's one of the reasons why we don't mind sharing. Every Chef/cook will add their own twist to a recipe, they can't help themselves. It's like a fingerprint of sorts and their interpretation may be as good as or better than ours, but it will never be exactly the same. So we don't worry about people copying or stealing ideas because we know that inevitably what they produce will be different from what we come up with.
Another reason why we are happy to share is that other people have been very generous with us. Chefs fall into two camps, those who share and those who don't. I'll never forget the day I asked a Chef I was working for how to make a dish that wasn't from my station only to be told "you don't need to know that". It was a startling moment. Why didn't I need to know that? Wasn't I there to learn? Didn't I have the right to know how to make things in this kitchen where I was working extremely long days for very little money? On the other hand, in more recent times there have been Chefs, like Wylie, Shola , and Sean, who have been unstintingly generous with ideas, ingredients and information. It's people like that who remind us how important it is to share. As young cooks it could be very difficult to find the information that we were searching for. The advent of the Internet has been a boon for those who thirst for knowledge, but still, someone has to put the information out there for the next generation of cooks to get their hands on.
Truthfully, we don't put every single recipe and technique on here. We tell you how to make most of what we cook. Frankly the reasons why certain techniques get left off are usually quite simple. Either we aren't completely happy with the way something came out and the technique is a work in progress or we (usually me) didn't write down what went into a particular recipe. I just can't seem to get into the habit of weighing, measuring and recording. Alex has become quite disciplined about the process of recording recipes and techniques but I cannot say the same for myself. I'm getting better but sometimes by the time I go to write something down I've forgotten what went into it. He does his best to remind (nag) me to write things down but when things get busy I revert to my old habits. Unfortunately in those instances, none of us actually end up with the recipes in question. So, if you've asked us to post information and it hasn't appeared one of those explanations usually applies.