Cooking is all about execution. Give five people the same recipe and access to the same ingredients and no two dishes will turn exactly the same. It's a fact that we are constantly making small changes and adjustments as we cook, even if we don't realize that we are doing it. The small details are where we express ourselves. Our ability to push the edges are what define the meals we cook. Many of us know that the most flavor is to be found in those few seconds before the garlic burns. How close we are willing to come to that flavor line is up to the individual. Many people will err on the side of caution, going for a lightly toasted or even golden brown color that adds flavor without emphasis. Many will push too far and face the decision of whether or not to throw away the contents of their pan and start over or risk an acrid bitter flavor permeating the dish. But those who can sense the edge and pull the pan just shy of burning are rewarded with deep flavors that can elevate their dish into something truly special. Greatness can be achieved at any level, it's the individual who decides how close to the edge they want to live.
January 8, 2005