We look at life from an interesting angle. Once professional chefs now we are culinary consultants, cookbook writers and primarily home cooks. It's almost impossible to think of yourself as a chef once you've left the kitchen for any period of time. Even though you can walk into a kitchen and pick up where you left off, it still feels slightly strange, like a favorite pair of jeans that no longer fits exactly the way they used to. You still love them but they're not the first pair you reach for anymore. People often ask us if we miss the restaurant business and the answer is always a resounding yes...and no. There are things we miss and things we don't and though we periodically toy with the idea of returning it would only be on our terms in a very specific type of situation. For now we are quite pleased with the niche we have carved out of the world, no longer professional chefs, yet not exactly home cooks either, and still in the kitchen more often than not. As long as we're cooking in some form we're still doing what we are passionate about and that's a good place to be.
One of the things we've realized is that for professional cooks technique is what matters. They can read a recipe, pick out the technique and extrapolate it into whatever they want it to be. For home cooks the recipe matters more. It has to be something that appeals to them, that they would want to cook and eat. That's the big difference between the home cook and the professional, at the end of the day the home cook is going to sit down with everyone else and enjoy their meal. This makes recipe appeal much more important. Most home cooks are not afraid to make changes and substitutions but they see a recipe first and any substitutions come to mind later. The professional sees a recipe title and immediately knows exactly how they would cook it or change it, usually before they even get to the ingredient list.
Our middle ground is figuring how and why to make changes to ingredients and techniques and then explaining it to everyone else. You may instinctively know why you are tapping your cake pans on the counter or starting your bacon in a cold oven but if you can't explain how it works, it makes it hard to build upon your knowledge. Our job is connecting the dots so that you can see the whole picture and use it to your advantage. We like to tinker in the kitchen and we operate under the belief that most everybody else does too. Cooking at its best is an act of nourishment, skill and creative expression. We're all about giving our readers the skill to do it to the best of their abilities.
January 6, 2005