I was particularly intrigued by the idea of multiples in the piece on Nathan Myhrvold, written by Malcolm Gladwell. The idea that several individuals could come up with the same idea almost simultaneously is remarkable. I was also interested in facts behind the difference between a genius and a smart innovator. Theoretically the distinction is the quantity of ideas produced and executed. The genius shares breakthrough ideas with many individuals. What this means is the genius mind may come up with thirty or more brilliant breakthroughs while thirty innovators will each come up with one great idea each.
Being either a genius or an innovative thinker is a remarkable achievement.
The article continued on to detail the concept that artistic genius does not occur in multiples. What does this mean? It may actually solve the answer between what is an art and what is a craft, particularly in the field of food. While I believe an aesthetic, even an artistic approach to food is essential, the fact remains that the science behind the ingredients, their interactions, and the new cooking techniques that are appearing in kitchens all across the globe almost simultaneously point to the fact that food is more scientific than we thought. We are not writing concertos nor painting or sculpting original pieces. We are working with food, an organic substance that behaves in accordance to scientific principles. That means the combination and development of dishes is not the completely original forum we like to think it is. Yet, the individual arrangement and presentation of these ideas may be where the true creative process lies. In fact, based on these insights it is the balance of flavors and the presentation of food that may distinguish a chef craftsmen from a chef artist. Now that is interesting.