Baker Or Cook, It's Not Really One Or The Other

In the movie "Ratatouille," the deceased Chef Gustave extolls,"anyone can cook!" The bad guy restaurant reviewer, Anton Ego, claims at the end that he misunderstood the late chef -- rather than literally meaning anyone can cook, he believes Gustave meant that a great cook can arise from any one and any where.

People claim to be one type of cook or another -- one who likes to create non-dessert foods, or one who likes to bake. There is a belief that baking requires the precision of a chemist, and the patience of Job. There are further divisions amidst baking: cake, pastry, confectionary, and bread.

I do not have great patience, and thus believed myself to be inadequate at the baking arts. However, my experience over the years has proven me wrong. I seem to produce great pastries, cakes, and breads, and I do so consistently -- even when I am not paying attention to what I'm really doing.

I do have a background in science, and most might claim that the precision required is part of my career training. However, I'm also pretty good at just about every other aspect of cooking, too, including the haphazard, fly by the seat of my pants style of required culinary skills.

So, I conclude that baking is less about the ability to measure, and more about the desire to produce something that others will enjoy. If it's a pain to do and I didn't produce good results and no one would eat it, I wouldn't do it. But I'm wrong about my predilections, it seems.
auroramaru auroramaru
46-50, F
1 Response Dec 14, 2012

jeremfg, molecular cuisine is artifice. i can do it, and i've had it. like any cooking, it can be great, or it can be crappy. it's a new paradigm for chefs, so they can create differently and charge a premium. :)

jeremfg, no thanks ... i would feel crawly.