There are So, to separate the wheat from the chaff, we ranked the best cooking shows of all time. We hope you like Gordon Ramsay, because that guy's everywhere. That much should come as a surprise to no one. So, too, though, can the unsuspecting down-home chefs that he challenged in this reality show. And while it was occasionally fun to see him struggle to come up with a more New York-influenced recipe for jambalaya, mostly you just wanted to know exactly how the defending cook worked their time-tested magic.
Guy Fieri is probably the first that comes to mind. That's the sound of respect. And spices. The amount of casually tossed-around bleeps in this nightmarish cooking competition could just as easily have been allotted to an entire season of South Park. The entrants in Top Chef Masters are already established professional chefs, which makes this show more of a sandbox for their considerable talents. This cooking competition, judged by our favorite angry Brit along with Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich in its earliest iterations, successfully combined all the variables of a typical cooking show with intense individual analysis Smoke machines.
Two dueling chefs attempting to outdo each other while Alton Brown cries out commentary. FL: It's like what you said about sometimes having a more open or more honest conversation. And also with oneself. I keep thinking I want to learn to meditate, and I get apps and listen to them. But for me, I do decompress by cooking. You need enough focus so that you can't be thinking about everything else that could be bubbling up inside your head. At the same time, you're doing a certain amount of mindless repetition. FL: Let's talk about your recipes and how you write them.
I love reading them. Very often I feel a voice behind them; it feels like the person who wrote them had a good time writing them. You ask us to salt the water exuberantly. You ask us to you give it a little squidge; I don't necessarily know what that means, but I can hear someone saying and I can intuit it. It feels conversational.
I heard you give an interview — I think you were talking about writing your first book — and you said you didn't intend on being a food writer, that you had a career as a serious journalist prior to that, but you were compelled by the linguistic challenge because food belongs to the world of the senses, and writing is abstract. FL: Eleven books into your food writing career, is that still a thing that you think about? NL: That is still a thing that interests me. I have an intense need to describe the act of cooking and how food tastes when you eat it.
That's very much what drives me when I write a recipe; I'm not really interested in writing a formula. It's conversational because I feel it is a conversation. I am talking. It is my voice. Words are an ingredient and I like that. I feel I have two twin aims in a book. One is that it should be an entirely practical manual and the other is it should be a good read. That's what I look for in cookbooks myself.
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FL: Maybe this is far too geeky a question for anyone else to care about but I'm fascinated by it. When you're writing a recipe, are you the kind of writer who goes through many drafts or are you the kind of writer who essentially writes it once and gets it? NL: It really depends recipe to recipe. What I do first is I cook; I just cook.
Nigella Lawson on recipes, writing, and the importance of home cooking
After that I have to turn what I've cooked into a recipe. Sometimes I just can't because I need to go free-form first and then I try to turn it into a recipe. Sometimes it's nearly right, and I keep tweaking it. Every time I cook something I find a way of making it simpler.
Yes We Cook by Julie Schwob
I normally have an instinct about what needs to be changed. But now I'm a bit more persistent. I'm quite a tough editor on myself, and so I always I cut away anything that I don't think is absolutely right. When people write cookbooks there is a tendency, which I don't think is helpful, that if a recipe has worked then you put it in a book. I think it has to be the sort of recipe you have to stop yourself from cooking all the time or something that you cook on repeat.
Otherwise why are you taking up space with it? FL: It's a gift, right? It's essentially a gift of this knowledge, and you want it to be useful. And obviously, one's tastes change a bit and you feel differently now. In that way a recipe will change. A recipe is living; like language is living and food is living.
I think that it's wonderful to celebrate the food of the past, but I think it has its own character and it will change according to the kitchen it's being cooked in and what's available at the time. If I'm traveling I will always bring ingredients back. FL: Speaking of travel, you're traveling right now. Are you dreaming of when you get home and what you will cook? NL: I think I will make the chicken with miso. I always miss a lot of vegetables too. I do miss cooking; I find it odd not cooking for a long time. I also realize how much cooking is about the security of knowing what I'm going to eat or knowing that I am going to eat.
I always slightly worry. I think that I have an atavistic refugee mentality. My family is Jewish which is also why — not to stereotype — food is quite important.
www.cantinesanpancrazio.it/components/kywysike/1068-come-riconoscere-un.php I have to be quite careful at home that I don't build up too much of a pantry. I have an absolute fear of not having something to eat, and when I'm on the road I do fret a bit if I don't know that I'm going to get something to eat at a certain time. I find emotional security in knowing that I'm going to eat, and being in charge of food intake is part of that. When I'm away from home I don't have control.
I'm at everyone's mercy.
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NL: It is. But, it can also be exciting because you are eating new and different things. But I do sort of squirrel things away. Speaking of being in hotels, I would have to somehow bring back something to the room, so that if I wake up hungry in the middle of the night I can eat. I was in Australia travelling for a while and it was wonderful. I love Australian food because I get to eat fish that I didn't even exist.
But, I always think you don't get enough vegetables when you're on the road; it's just a different way of eating.