Monday, 9 July 2012

Almost all the top chefs and cooks are men!

Almost all the top chefs and cooks are men!

Oh, I just love throwing out those sweeping statements!! There may be some people that might disagree with that statement, which is, of course, your right, but I suspect that most of them will be women. They would also be wrong. You see, when a man creates food, it is usually with a passion bordering on obsession, but when a woman cooks, it is usually because it is expected of her to provide yet another meal and it becomes more of a task to be completed, rather than embraced and enjoyed. You can see my lack of political correctness showing itself here I hope, that's all good then. If it is not evident to you yet, read on dear reader, read on.

You might glean from the above that I like cooking. You would again, be wrong. I absolutely love to cook, (the creative part of my character showing itself once more). However, I will say that becoming adept at cooking, like art, is not an instantaneous ability, it takes a lot of trial and error, but the thing that makes us men stand out from the crowd is the constant search for new ideas, never giving up because a dish fails when cooked for the first time and above all, being innovative. Whoever it was that first thought of adding a small piece of plain chocolate to chilli has my undying admiration, (it was a Mexican chap I think).

Now, I remember when I tried to make shortcrust pastry for the first few times. It was quite simply, dreadful. Did I give up? No way matey. So, when I made it for I think, the fifth time, it was absolutely fantastic. The secret, is in the "feeling" of the mix, the love that you put into blending the butter (please never use margarine) with the sifted (essential, to let as much air into the mix as possible) flour and just the right amount of cold water to make it all combine. So then, the sifted flour and pieces of butter are caressed, blending together, until they resemble fine breadcrumbs. The perfectly judged amount of water is added and all is brought together into a beautiful, light pastry. You just know when it is absolutely right, simply through the feel and texture of the mixture.

I didn't just want to be able to make good pastry though. Oh no, I wanted to make pastry that melted in your mouth, stimulated the taste buds almost beyond endurance and made you giddy with delight. Obsessive passion, as I mentioned before. It would seem I have succeeded in my task, judging by the unbridled praise of those privileged individuals that have tasted my quiches. Some of them are only now recovering from the ecstasy of that first bite. A bit over the top you might say. No, not a bit of it, just creative passion dear reader, just creative passion.

As a concession to those of you that might disagree with the title of this blog, I will say that Mary Berry and Delia Smith's cookbooks have been a great inspiration to me personally. However, the number of recipe books written by men that have inspired me are almost beyond count! Please feel free to comment, just click on the link below and keep them coming!

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