By Serge Kreutz
I am not the world’s best cook. If anything, I am the world’s best eater.
But I know what it would take to be the world’s best cook. I have, indeed, a clear map of the only path that could make somebody the world’s best cook.
It’s not talent. It’s also not art. Not really. It’s science. Because you can learn it. Systematically.
Cooking to become the world’s best cook doesn’t depend on intuition. It depends on knowledge and learning.
Full meals, single dishes, the preparation of any food item, all of this is a matter of knowledge.
Nobody, even recognized good cooks, can improvise the preparation of food.
Because unless you tasted and tested certain ways of preparing dishes, and unless you compared one way of doing it with another, you cannot determine what is the best combination of ingredients.
You may see a world-class cook going along without looking up recipes. He or she may just check what is available for the preparation of a meal. But it only looks as if he or she is improvising. In reality, it’s drawing on memorized knowledge.
Nobody can be a good cook without recipes. If you want to be a good cook, you can either learn recipes, or see them in writing while trying your cooking effort.
Recipes are absolutely essential. Therefore, for any success in the future, you have to start with collecting your own database of recipes.
And you have to cook each and every recipe yourself. Because with recipes, it’s just like with anything else. 90 percent is shit.
The Serge Kreutz eating technique is crucial if you want to become even just a decent cook.
Kreutzing food means: enjoy the taste of a food, or just test it’s flavor, then discard not into your esophagus but into a plastic bag.
Why? Because in order to test recipes, you will have to put the results of your efforts into your mouth. Many efforts, loads of food.
If you swallow all of that, you are not on track to become a good cook. Not only will you end up terribly overweight. But having your stomach loaded with food will also dampen the taste sensations of your mouth, and you will very quickly lose your ability to make proper judgments.
Sometimes, it is just a fine line between a world-class composition and an effort gone wrong. This is especially the case with many spices.
Take cinnamon, for example. You can add a trace in a very limited number of dishes, and you have a mystical note in their flavors. But you can also very quickly ruin a dish by adding any, or just a little too much. For this, I would classify cinnamon as a “dangerous” spice. Unlike pepper, for example. You can’t go wrong easily with pepper. But pepper will also never be magic.
To stay with the cinnamon example, you have to know which recipe can take it. The recipe may come from a published collection, or you may have created it yourself.
But for sure, in a recipe, all ingredients are quantified. It’s never improvising. Because 99.99 percent of all possible combinations just don’t taste right.