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When you attend a concert (and pay good money for the privilege), you expect the artist to pour his soul into the work. When you want merely to be entertained, you switch on the TV or go to Disneyland. There is a huge difference.

Dining experiences are no different ... not at all. When participating in a proper sort of culinary experience, you are part of an artistic expression that includes the chef, the waiter, the restaurant management, and you. If you "just wanna eat," go to Mickey Dee's, Denny's, or Applebee's. Sure the stuff might "taste good," but that isn't what a bona-fide dining experience is about. True dining experiences are more akin to other forms of significant artistic expression.

We need to make something very clear about this series: This is is NOT a source of recipes!  This is about serious cooking and operating a successful kitchen. The goal is to fire your imagination and passion for the profession. (If you need a recipe for sugar cookies or Boston baked beans, you will find other places on the web are far more in line with what you want. Google them ... and enjoy).

 

Now for a brief word from our sponsors ...


Creative Cooking

I've never pretended to be a chef or culinary artists of sort. I have far too much respect for the knowledge and skills that culinary professionals develop over their lifetime. But I am a dabbler, and not shy about trying some new things, especially where there is opportunity to encourage others to share the excitement of my journeys. So there was this period of time when I took a shot at doing some original creative cooking.

I didn't learn to cook at home. Well, maybe I learned some things by watching my mom, but I didn't really take it seriously until I was nominated the official chef of my college-days apartment. A decade or so later, I won some prizes for my chili (every wannabe chef has to win a chili contest) and a unique "Land Lubber's Bouillabaisse."  The latter was created in the true spirit of creative cooking. I was crazy about this Mediterranean fish stew, but lacked the fresh ingredients, living in the American Midwest of the 1970s.  I found it challenging and very exciting to build my stew from frozen and canned items that were available. I think the mastery of that particular stew was every bit as exciting as my science experiments or getting some U.S. Patents for things I invented in my little private laboratory.

Culinary work in this lifelong learning department is portrayed as an artistic expression.

And if creating new dishes isn't your idea of excitement, you might consider writing about food, compiling recipes, or doing food photography. You might have noticed there seems to be an insatiable market for such things.

For a short time, I went just a bit over the top with my concept of radical self-learning and maintained a weekly creative cooking column in the local metro newspaper. Yes, I got paid for making up stuff and showing readers how they might do the same.

David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015