Saturday, November 29, 2008

A cook's manifesto: I'm no chef

Marcella Hazan, who has taught bazillions to make the great eats of Italy in their own kitchen, has an op-ed in the NYT today. She argues that our fascination with food as entertainment and artistry, and with the chefs who create that kind of food, has caused us to devalue the importance of food as family- and community builder, and the people who do the more humble home-cooking. Snip:
I am my family’s cook. It is the food prepared and shared at home that, for more than 50 years, has provided a solid center for our lives. In the context of the values that cement human relations, the clamor of restaurants and the facelessness of takeout are no match for what the well-laid family table has to offer. A restaurant will never strengthen familial bonds.

A while ago, my dad gave me a chef's jacket with my name embroidered on it. I've worn it on occasion while making some fancified food for friends, but after reading Marcella's column, maybe I'll just stick with an old-fashioned apron.

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