The Mind of a chef
What makes chefs do what they do . Does the dish define them or vice versa .What does my money actually buy ? Is it enough to purchase your favourite,must have meal.
The sheer pressure to perform at that level ,day in day out is one remarkable feat.I want to breakdown the mind of the modern chef from inception of a dish to the final execution of the same.
There is also a part that is played post execution, to the shared experience of the end user,the intended person through whom evolves a new personification of that creation.
The palate of a chef
It begin with the foundation of the creator .Chefs are very reserved about their past . What they did , where they Horne their skills . Who they worked under and what was it like working under someone else .
Here is the most crucial peg on which most chefs hang their futures and rely on every ounce of experience from the past and pick the right pixel of memory and draw on it .Creative genius chefs use their past like mini slides broken down into great ,ok and mediocre.
When a new dish is created in their mind ,there is a base note or an undergirding on which this new creation takes form .This could mean something as simple as pork trotters used to make red wine Jus or using anchovies in a soffritto .This is critical in the long lasting taste of a meal .Long after that dish was consumed ,it is a powerful snap shot embedded in the neo cortex region of your brain . A chef also creates his or her own snap shot of a coded taste on the palate and also the brain . Overtime a chef becomes the master and designer of several taste profiles using the art of eye appeal ,smell and mouthfeel .This is alchemy in its most beautiful form .
That is why master chefs can create the most sophisticated meals with new ingredients at superhuman speed and precision.The chefs palate is crucial in the mind of a chef and the role it plays in the formation of a dish . This is a glorious thought for the consumer ,they get to taste not just a dish but live through the discovery of a beautiful mind , the mind of a chef .
Good Produce “Le Fond”
Every chef that cooks a fine masterpiece relies on the ingredients,the right variation of crop,The seasonality and the story behind that special ingredient.This gives the chef a kind of zen,respect and responsibility to treat what nature gives with undivided attention and application.
Chef Dan Barber grew on his Dad’s farm and took cooking to a level of grace and poise reflecting what best nature has to offer. That is what makes chefs the future pallbearers of artisan produce,paddocks and micro climate powered food .
If a chef is defined by the belief that It’s the quality of the meal that defines his or her craft ,then it’s the produce that reflects a chefs heart .For example ,a tomato is a fruit used to represent taste ,colour and texture .A chef cooks with it and if consistent,that tomato will be best represented on a plate that day .But what if that tomato grows in a specially laid soil,sun kissed and sweetened due to the region it originates from .The smell , moisture content and flavour inspires the chef to showcase what this remarkable tomato can do.Every produce comes with a story .Its the chef that is handed the key to narrate it with a beautiful foreword and a conclusion.
There is no full stop in cooking
Who are as chefs? , what do they believe in , what do they love ?
The feeling of being in continuum .Being in a kitchen to design food of timeless elegance becomes the process of developing and improving.Bringing more warmth to a dish,more lightness ,better presented ..This is were their is no stop sign .Food never stops evolving because our lives never stop changing .challenge the status quo , question the questioner and become incubators for innovation and help advance the craft to the future .
Look at the portable sous vide ,the hand held smoker ..These are products of chefs that thought about the tomorrow.A global shift is inevitable.An audience looking to food like contemporary art ,the fruits of the current chefs will come to bear as we forge into the 21st century.Great chefs believe that you must keep pushing , challenge the original to make way for the new recipe .Bold,sassy and sumptuous.
The culinary landscape is in a great place .Just watch a few episodes of chef’s table and you will find your answer.Thanks to these chefs who believe in the “moving forward” void of the full stop sign .
The mind of a chef, simply magical simply childlike, full of wonder and creative spirit
I believe that food tantalises even the most uninspired mind, like a rubber band it stretches ones imagination to whimsical theatrics or mouth watering conduits
— Chef Sebastian Simon