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Origins of "The Minimalist"?

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I love "The Minimalist" column -- I rip it out of the paper and try to cook from it at least once a month. Thanks for some inspiring recipes!

What is the origin of the "Minimalist"? Was the column assigned to you, or was it your own conception? How & when was it decided that a column on "minimalist" cooking was needed, and what does the word "minimalist" mean to you?

Thank you ---

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I was asked to come up with a concept for a column in '94; The Minimalist began in '97. I don't have a firm concept, but I do think that to be 'minimalist' a recipe should meet two of these three requirements

1. it's fast – under an hour, preferably half that

2. it has few ingredients – certainly fewer than ten, more like 5

3. has little technique – just a couple of steps.

2 out of 3 ain't bad, if you think about it.

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