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Old 04-29-2011, 09:48 AM   #1
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What makes an excellent cook?

I have completed a search on the 'Discuss Cooking' forum and made an effort to find the answer to this question, but to no avail. Can someone inform me if excellent cooking is an innate talent or is excellent cooking a skill that is perfected through continual practice?

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Old 04-29-2011, 09:53 AM   #2
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What do you think?
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:05 AM   #3
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Why can't it be both?
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:48 AM   #4
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I think an excellent cook is one who does their cooking with LOVE....One has to really love what they're doing.
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:35 PM   #5
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The ability to think outside the box
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Old 04-29-2011, 01:23 PM   #6
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Some people may start out with some innate abilities. Some people may never rise above mediocre. But cooking is definitely something can be learned because my cooking skills have improved hugely since when I first started. I also see it as something that one never masters completely, there's always something new to learn or try.
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Old 04-29-2011, 01:25 PM   #7
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Not only cooking skills, you've also got to have a friendly persona as well.
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Old 04-29-2011, 01:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
Not only cooking skills, you've also got to have a friendly persona as well.
Why? I know some pretty sour cooks!

And haven't you watched any of those restaurant "fix-it" shows? They feature some pretty sad (bad attitude) cooks!
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:03 PM   #9
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Are you talking about technical excellence, or that ephemeral "something" you can't quite put your finger on?

Technical excellence can absolutely be learned. The other is innate. Some folks call it "love." I think that has something to do with it, but not everything.

My mom came from a family of four sisters. They grew up on a farm, and all of them were technically excellent cooks. However only my mom and Aunt Eleanor consistently prepared food that we were all excited to eat. And they ALWAYS served that kind of food. My Aunt Elsie loved to cook and bake, and her food was always edible, but never WONderful.

So I'd say there is something that can't be taught.
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Selkie View Post
Why? I know some pretty sour cooks!

And haven't you watched any of those restaurant "fix-it" shows? They feature some pretty sad (bad attitude) cooks!
Because if I were ever in a position of owning a restaurant and hiring kitchen staff their personalities would be my major hiring criteria. They may be in the kitchen all day never having to deal with the public but I don't like dealing with sour people in general. So, therefore, in my book they would not be good cooks no matter what their technical skills.
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