I love to cook. I am certainly not a fine chef. More like an enthusiastic cook. I love to create delicious meals inspired by color and scent. My dearest friends are gracious enough to compliment my efforts. Then they request the recipe, which is always quite the challenge. I don’t measure. I don’t register time or temperature. I often forget to make note of critical ingredients.
Here’s how it goes:
I enjoy the research. Trying things and remembering things that piqued my palette. I’m known to ask what is included in a dish. I like to think about flavors mixed and mingled together to create something new or mimic something that made me swoon. When shopping, I visualize the colors I want to include and make selections accordingly.
But I really don’t like following rules—unless I’ve made them for myself, acquired through previous efforts (read: mistakes) or from those cooks in my life I hold in high regard, notably family and friends. So, no recipe books for me. (Obviously this is why I don’t bake.) I don’t revel in cooking shows, although any time spent with Stanley Tucci is time well spent.
What I do like is following my intuition, reconciling the elements and my experience to bring it all to the table. Simple and pure ingredients in unfussy combinations. Flavor must reign. Speed is preferred. And I know order of priority and process is critical to delivering every dish, right on time.
In the end, the composition of a delicious meal or an engaging space is a design practice. With consideration for assembling all the perfect elements to achieve your vision and delight those who will enjoy it.
“If I weren’t involved with food, I’d be working in architecture. Design is that critical to me.”– Alice Waters, famous for creating the farm-to-table movement