Updated: Oct 21, 2020
THE ART OF COOKING
“The kitchen” is an affectionate nickname for the percussion section of the orchestra. Presumably so named due to the multitude of weird and wonderful instruments with which to make the magic happen. When you step into a well-appointed kitchen—surrounded by a different multitude of instruments, with the potential to create culinary magic— you realize that’s a perfect analogy. It also neatly suggests that making food is as much an art form as making music. Different in outcome, of course, but very similar in execution. Some people say if you want to be an artist, then learn how to cook. And that makes immediate sense. After all, cooking requires many of the same disciplined processes that being an artist demands—practice, trial and error, using the right instruments, having plenty of patience, and even more determination. And they both require vision. Whether it’s a pile of chopped vegetables or a pile of musical notes on a page, knowing what to expect and knowing what to aim for are undoubtedly key. To be a good artist or a good cook, you need to know where you want to end up: symphony or pie. If you enjoy cooking, there’s nothing better than thumbing through a favorite recipe book, looking for that untried or challenging dish, searching the grocery stores like a gourmet detective in search of the exact ingredients, then into the kitchen to lay everything out for the evening’s performance. But if you don’t enjoy cooking, the whole process can be filled with a dark foreboding, with a level of difficulty only NASA can explain, plus ever-increasing mysterious combinations of engineering and alchemy that never quite turn out how you imagined. The point is that you had a vision, and the results will be better next time. Whether we’re successful or not, cooking gives us plenty of other things. It gives us time to relax or socialize, listen to music, or just enjoy a bit of downtime. And it also means you probably eat better food, eat more of the things you like, save money, and get to eat it again the next day when it’s always mysteriously better!