I have never been a recipe follower. After a year of culinary school, predictably enough, I rely even less on recipes than I did before. I tend to look to recipes for ideas and inspiration. I sometimes work from multiple recipes, blending the methods and techniques. I often just wing it.
But I do think the wisdom of other, better, more experienced cooks is invaluable. Isn’t one of the greatest charms of food that it ties us to those who came before? And those around the globe? And to the next generation? So I don’t cook in a bubble either.
My particular relationship with recipes tends to boil down to PROCESS. I love Michael Ruhlman‘s reduction of recipes to their fundamental ratios. I love Alice Waters‘ focus on enhancing the natural flavour of the best ingredients. Ditto Mark Bittman’s endless variations of simple dishes. If my own recipes on this site tend toward the “generic,” it is not because of laziness. It is because I tend to make one base recipe for whole wheat muffins and flavour it dozens of different way depending on the season, the produce, my pantry and my mood.
I am putting together a list of the lessons, cookbooks and articles that have helped me develop my perspective as a cook and my motivation to encourage others to cook as well. Some of it you have probably seen, but maybe you’ll find something new here too. After all, one of the great charms of cooking is sharing.