Thought Of The Day

There is an inherent contradiction between a cookbook, which is a collection of documents, and a chef, who is an evolving soul not easily transcribed in recipe form.  A recipe has no soulYou, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe….I can tell you…how to make a custard…But you won’t have a perfect one if you merely follow my instructions.  If you don’t feel it, it’s not a perfect custard, no matter how well you’ve executed the mechanics…if it’s not literally a perfect custard, but you have maintained a great feeling for it, then you have created a recipe perfectly because there was that passion behind what you did…These recipes then,…,are only guidelines…You may create something that in composition resembles what I made, but more important – and this is my greatest hope – you’re going to create something that you have deep respect and feelings and passions for. And you know what?  It’s going to be more satisfyng than anything I could ever make for you.                                                                               -Thomas Keller, The French Laundry Cookbook (pgs 2,3)

Food is imbued with the feelings and personality of the cook.  Even if you were to follow my instructions faithfully, using precise amounts of identical ingredients, I am quite sure you would never be able to perfectly recreate the same flavors and textures that I make. For I always put something special in my food – my heart, or kokoro as we say in Japanese – and you, of course, must put your heart into your own cooking…If this book inspires you to try out some of the recipes and gain insights into your own way of cooking, I will be more than happy.  Because that too would be another way of communicating my kokoro through cooking.                                                                                                     -Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, Nobu: The Cookbook (p. 10)


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