Friday, 13 August 2010

Passion for Food - Passion for Life

A couple of days ago, Anna sent me a quote from the preface to Anthony Bourdain's 'Les Halles Cookbook'. It's incredibly beautiful and most of the quote sums up what I think is the essence of why and how we cook and eat (or at least should):

'Do not be afraid. You will need a pure heart, and a soul, meaning you are cooking for the right reasons. You don't collect and cook recipes, or compile dining experiences, like a butterfly collector. You must enjoy what you are doing. If there is any real sin in the culinary universe, it is the sin of snobbery.
If you are afraid of a little grease on your chin or of eating with your hands, are squeamish about bones, fish heads, and guts, are ambivalent about garlic, are to precious with your food, then put this book down now (you probably didn't get any food on it yet) and return it. It's not for you. Buy another cookbook. One with lots of pretty pictures.
You need passion, curiosity, a full spectrum of appetites. You need to yearn for things.
Chefs' appetites and enthusiasm, you may have noticed, rarely end with food. I am deeply suspicious of any cook who is less than enthusiastic as well about sex, music, movies, travel - and LIFE. [...]
You need love.'

While I disagree about the bones bit :) I believe this is essentially why we enjoy cooking so much. You can cook a good meal without emotionally engaging with it. You have to give some part of yourself to make a great meal. You have to draw from the joy, the passion, the pain inside you, and that's what turns whatever you're cooking into something special. 
How many of us turn to baking when they've had a bad day? At least I do, and I believe icing that is made with a good amount of frustration tastes twice as good. 
But I guess this is true for everything we do. Even when we're writing our current chapter ;)
So with that I shall bid you farewell, trying to find some joy I can write into this thing today. 
And since I can't find a passionate picture of my food I shall leave you with the pretty Marmite man :)


  1. i guess sex sells? like seriously, the marmite man - possibly the least sexiest product on earth.

  2. I'm sorry, Marmite is like awesome! But the guy definitely helps....

  3. wow...looking at that picture I actually do like marmite..

  4. You should read "Like Water for Chocolate" by Laura Esquivel if you haven't already. It's just about how emotions turn food into something special, and it's a really good book.

  5. It's an amazing book, isn't it?

  6. maybe you should use a quote from Esquivel for your next post about why we love food....


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