My "Culinary POV"

At the end of my stay in Alsace this past summer, I was presented with a meal which I credit to shaping my culinary point of view: food should welcome not only a meaningful atmosphere but one which encourages the consumer to take part in the artistry of the food presented. In this process, we become not only culinary artists as we use our bread to paint our plates with the accompanying sauces, but researchers, as well, discovering the cultural artifacts in front of us. Indeed, I see food as a valuable resource in better understanding both the individual and the community. This dinner at l'Atelier du Peintre in Colmar is one of several memories which has contributed to my own identity as an avid cook, an inquisitive eater, and a palatable researcher. I further this analogy to also suggest that throughout the progression of each course, a good meal is signified by a clean plate, a clean canvas, i.e., it is in our new creations en route to a new plate and the progression of the overall meal that we should eagerly await the next course and the next experience to study.

Quotations are particularly powerful in that they tend to synthesize a feeling or emotion that is otherwise unexplainable. Oftentimes, they are especially brilliant and complicated because they are grounded in simplicity, and it is in this simplicity that I can grow to become more complete. On this page, I share with you my culinary point of view... in quotations.

1. "Food is our common ground, a universal experience." (James Beard)

2. "No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at [one's] most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers." (Laurie Colwin)

3. "Bacon is every chef's guilty pleasure." (Chef Edward Lee, Top Chef: Texas, Season 9, Episode 8)

4. As heard during an isicathulo (gumboot dance) practice: "Whatever the step, commit to it. I can correct mistakes; I cannot correct anything muddled." (S.B.)

5. “There are many of us who cannot but feel dismal about the future of various cultures. Often it is hard not to agree that we are becoming culinary nitwits, dependent upon fast foods and mass kitchens and megavitamins for our basically rotten nourishment.” (M.F.K. Fisher)

6. "Like most humans, I am hungry...our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it..." (M.F.K. Fisher, The Gastronomical Me)

7. "The gentle art of gastronomy is a friendly one. It hurdles the language barrier, makes friends among civilized people, and warms the heart." (Samuel Chamberlain)