The more we cook the more I understand the importance of practice, refinement, reflection and reduction. It is truly amazing to me how often the first idea for a dish is the polar opposite of what the dish becomes. Many of the elements of the initial dish remain, yet the construction and re-arrangement of those parts converts what was at first a failure into a success.
Let us take an example. Roughly two and a half years ago we started this blog. We began taking pictures of our dishes and sharing our ideas with whomever wanted to stop in and see what we were up to. The website, our digital notebook, has cataloged many of our successes and failures over the years. It also acts as a visual time line illustrating how we approach food and the process of stripping down ideas to their bare essentials. Below are two tuna dishes, one from a little over two years ago, one from today. You can see the evolution for yourselves. While both dishes were thoughtfully constructed and delicious, the newer one is definitely a bit sharper and more focused in it's details. Who knows what the future dishes will reveal. This process of evolution is part of the simple joy of cooking.