Friday, April 14, 2017

FOLLOW YOUR DREAM

Sometimes people ask me if I watch any of the Chef shows.
"No, I cant stand them. But I watch Jacques Pepin."
Coming in May, a PBS American Masters on the great chef, and this, from a lovely interview with him.
"If you’ve never cooked and you start learning about it, you start feeling good about yourself. And suddenly cooking is not such an incredible job to do. You say, “Fine, I’ll pick up a couple of things.” I did a short piece for WNET about pears. The idea is that paradox: that when I do a recipe, I have a great freedom. But when I type the recipe and give it to someone, it’s totally strict and organized. It’s exactly the opposite of the freedom I had when I started the recipe.
When people do one of my recipes, you should always follow it exactly the first time you do it, and if it comes out good and you like it, you can do it again. The second time, maybe you take a fast look. The third time you don’t look at it. By the fourth time, you can probably improve the recipe—you think, “I’m going to put more tomato, and less of that.” And a year later, you don’t even know where it comes from—it has become your recipe. You massage it enough so that it fits your sense of aesthetic. If someone does that with my recipe, that is fine. They’ve taken it, they’ve done something. So that’s good."

As he teaches you a recipe, there is often a recurring line as he shows you how to do something, or how much of this or that to throw in the pot, or what a substitute might be.
"You don't have to worry too much" Chef Pepin says.
And in the article he talks about "massaging" a recipe, and making it your own.
Occasionally I'll teach someone a recipe.
I translate this idea of not worrying, and massaging recipes to "Follow Your Dream"
Can we add more garlic, more apples, or leave out the onion?
"Certainement! Just follow your dream!"

2 comments:

David Kanigan said...

He's amazing...thanks Steve.

Bulletholes said...

He is just a joy to watch. Keeps it simple too.