Many of us take for granted the fact that cooking is an art. Sure, there are plenty of people who can successfully follow a recipe. However, the chef who created that recipe deserves credit for his/her artistry in the kitchen, if indeed the recipe is a good one. Becoming an artist doesn’t have to be limited to those who paint.
Consider Stephen Collins, he has 4 decades of fame and success in the arts. He is a musician capable of playing bass guitar, a well-known actor, writer, and director. His academic success is equally laudable. And, thankfully, he is one of the few who recognizes the value of supporting various artistic, educational and charitable endeavors. We suspect he’s probably a big fan of food too.
Why is Cooking an Art?
Maybe you are wondering, “Why is cooking an art?” We don’t blame you, since most people don’t consider time in the kitchen an artistic vocation. However, the palette with which a chef paints, requires a good deal of knowledge and craftsmanship. Yes, he/she must use food, spices, sauces, and cooking techniques rather than paints and brushes, but this does not negate the necessary skill level to create a culinary masterpiece. Consider these things before you pass judgment on the culinary arts:
- Oscar Wilde’s Definition: In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde states, “The artist is the creator of beautiful things.” We have to wonder if you have never looked down at a chef’s presentation for you and thought, “This is beautiful.” If not, you have been missing out on one of life’s great joys, a meal to remember. Learn more.
- Artists are Visionaries- A true culinary artist is one who can envision not only the aesthetic presentation of the food being created, but the way it will taste as well. He/she must be able to blend the textures and flavors so skillfully, that the recipient is left satisfied and simultaneously wanting more. Meet some of these
- Artists are Craftsmen- If you have ever had the pleasure of watching a painter, or musician, you know you have been mesmerized by the skills he/she possesses. You are enamored by the way the brush takes a blob of paint and transforms it into something beautiful. You are astonished by the speed and brilliance of one playing the guitar or piano. So it is with a chef’s knife, or even the flipping of the pans. It all takes practice upon more practice and thereby a craftsman is born.
- Artists Take Risks- Culinary artists specifically, are forced to use familiar ingredients in new ways. They are willing to take the risks to blend colors, aromas, textures, and flavors in dishes that appeal to all your senses.
- Culinary Art is Temporal– While literary and musical arts will remain, culinary arts only last as long as the food on the plate. Each time a masterpiece is created in the kitchen it is done with the care of one who wants it to be enjoyed for ages but knows that it will be gone within moments. Thankfully some of the beauty of the culinary artists’ creations can be memorialized in film, but the flavor will only remain in the memory of those who enjoyed the piece.
Do not negate the value of art in life. And, certainly do not underestimate the chef’s skill as an artist. You can read more about culinary artistry here.