Monday, February 9, 2009

Food and Art

This picture was just too good not to share with everyone. The graffiti was done on a wall in Rome by an unknown artist. I couldn't help but think that the artist could have been a chef or cook at some local restaurant; thus bringing up the topic are chef's artists or craftsmen? I've been asked that question a few times in my career and have decided that we are a little bit of both. We definitely work with our hands and manipulate things from raw materials making us craftsmen. On the other hand, we strive to compose dishes that focus on each one of our senses; flavors, sounds, smells, colors, and textures making us artists. How can you be an artist if what you composed was not an original idea? People have been cooking for thousands of years and I'm pretty sure someone thought of your dish before you did. Each dish I like to think is a manipulation of some sort of past experience or concept that we heard about. Depending on the intention, food can be classified as art but for the job classification we are a multitude of things: craftsmen/businessmen/scientists/artists/and psychologists.
Art and food work really well together and it's always fun to see some type of urban influence. You would be amazed at the types of individuals that work in the depths of your local hot spot and how their creativity is sparked. Kitchens have always been a place where the people of society who don't fit in can find a dysfunctional family that works. There is nothing more entertaining than working in a kitchen with some of the most eccentric people and learning their personalities in hazardous confined spaces. Most of them have extremely artistic creative minds which are free to be expressed during an intense rush or a menu tasting. Pushing a pencil for 8 hours a day in a cubicle sounds like horror. I've learned to appreciate the freedom of working in a positive environment each day and leaving each day happy, even after working double digit hours.

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