This blog is an expression of creative passion. I have always been a creative being and in the last few years I have discovered where this creativity gets its greatest expression. As much as I love a good painting (after all, I have an art history degree) you can’t eat a canvas and certainly not a sculpture, imagine trying to take a bite out of a Tony Smith or Frank Stella! I’ve come to realize that while I love to study great art made by others, my personal creativity manifests itself on the plate. Cooking is just as expressive as painting if you allow it to be. My natural tendency is to follow the rules, to read the recipe carefully and stick to exactly what it says, and I did this for years, but now I am beginning to trust my own abilities, to take what I have learned from following recipes and create new things. It has been delightful to discover that often what I created pleases my taste buds and my friends just as much as what my books tell me to prepare. I am not disparaging recipe followers or recipe writers (I count myself as both). Recipes, instructions and rules are very important in cooking. One way I have always tried to explain the paradox of much contemporary and modern art (the “how did they do that” vs. the “my kid could do that” argument) is that you have to master the rulebook before you can throw it out. Cooking, I believe, is the same.
I am by no means a master in the kitchen, but I have taught myself a bit, enough that I feel confident consulting recipes and then putting them aside while I create my own versions and trust my instincts to try new things. Do the same. Look for inspiration, build on what you know, what others have taught you and what you see in the world and on the page. Most of all, have fun! You will have failures as with everything in life. Not every dish will be spectacular and some food will end up in the trash, but you will also stumble upon greatness and beauty. When you find this beauty it will be your own personal creative beauty, from your heart to the plate. I know this sounds lofty, you might think, “how can lunch be beautiful?” but I assure you it can be. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars at a four star restaurant for your food to be beautiful either. The key is to select quality ingredients (preferably local and sustainable), treat them with love, and eat them mindfully. When you do that you will see how eating really can be a beautiful experience. We eat three meals each day of our lives, why not give our bodies, hearts and souls the best we can?
This is The Art of Eating.