Recipes – The GPS in Cooking

by · March 31, 2009

Last week I traveled to California on a business trip. For the first time, I rented a car with GPS. I have to say, it was really an amazing feature to use. You simply plugged in your destination and the car told you, “in zero point two miles, turn right…now turn left”. There was even a screen with a map. I made it effortlessly to every destination, having never traveled to the city I was visiting.

As I’m always thinking about Rouxbe, it made me think that this is what recipes do, “mix this, sear this, julienne that and poach this. A recipe provides you with step-by-step directions to a desired end result. The major difference with these two paths though, is that drivers are trained and use skills and techniques (braking, changing gears, turning, shoulder checking, merging, being aware of sights and sounds, etc). Plus, they are constantly practicing until driving becomes a breeze. Because I possessed the skills needed to drive, I made it to every destination, without any mishaps. Imagine though someone with absolutely no driving skills. Would the GPS have worked? Would they have made it to their destination? The odds are, there would have been a few fender benders along the way.

Cooking is not very different. Even with the very best text recipe in the world, if you don’t have the necessary skills and understanding to execute the “method”, you might not get to the final destination.

Food for thought.

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