Updated: Oct 30, 2019
Welcome to the seventh installment where every Wednesday I explain everything that it takes to be a Chef in my eyes. This series will by no means be exhaustive, but I will certainly do my best. If you're a Chef and want to share your opinion I'd love to hear what you have to say. Aspiring Chefs: if you have questions feel free to reach out. I'm always looking for an excuse to talk about Chef Life.
Ok so far in this series we have covered the importance of Passion as well as a commitment to quality in regards to your effort, a commitment to food quality, Menu planning, Temperature control & The Ability to Pass on Knowledge. Today we will be talking about Building a Recipe.
Building a recipe has many aspects that one must consider. In fact I'm sure I'll be referencing this post several times in the future. Building a recipe takes a great deal of culinary expertise, foresight and creativity.
Obviously the need for Culinary Expertise can't be overstated when it comes to building a recipe. Its what everything is built upon to understand how flavors work together, what flavors are used for what purpose. Previously I discussed the use of culinary reference books in The Definitive List of Cookbooks. Reference books are a great way to gain the knowledge it takes to build your own recipes into a dish that's perfect for you, your guests and your loved ones.
Foresight is imperative because without it you have no direction. There's no way to know what you're doing in advance and that's how you get a train wreck. Imagine a dish is puzzle and you can get pieces from anywhere, but without knowing what picture you want to make you'll never know what pieces you need to have on hand. The greatest use of foresight in my opinion is to be able to know what ingredients are available to you at any given time and being able to draw out your vision on a sheet and make it happen.
Finally creativity. Frankly I think creativity may be one of the least important aspects because of the existence of classics. Personally, there's some things I just don't want people to get creative with, I just want it the way it should be and just be done with it. For instance I don't need creativity with my apple pie, my prime rib or even my scrambled eggs. That being said where creativity comes into play when it comes to recipe building is when its time to start getting it on a plate. Creativity is what brings the artistry to the plate to make it so beautiful. Creativity is what makes your mind find new flavor combinations that weren't previously utilized, what makes you decide that your favorite dish can be plated differently or prepared using a different technique.
Before you go I'm going to ask a favor; I want to hear what you think. If you think I don't know what I'm talking about say so, heck share it with your friends and say "look at this guy calling himself a Chef, he has no idea what he's talking about." If you agree let me know, share it with your friends, you know how we like to see that other Chefs see the world similar to ourselves, get a good laugh out of it.
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