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Thank you for joining us. Your books are a never-ending source of both enlightenment and chuckles.

As in so much of human activity, cooks may do the right thing for the wrong reason. For instance, as you demonstrate so convincingly, “sealing in” the meat juices with high heat does no such thing, but it does create a very tasty carbonised outer layer. This has been done for centuries. Cookery has always been the most pragmatic of technologies; if a technique doesn’t work you know it almost immediately.

Is it arguable that the new scientific approach has not so much changed the way that cooks work as accellerated the rate of change? Like the rest of our lives, our cooking methods seem to have undergone a sort of time-lapse photography. New techniques are declared obsolete almost as soon as they are invented, so that an exciting new cuisine is traded in for the next model as quickly as our automobiles.

Do you ever wish that those chefs who are at the cutting edge of inventiveness would take the time to refine their techniques and allow us to absorb them before discarding them in favor of the next novelty?

Edited by John Whiting (log)

John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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I’m glad you found the chuckles too!

It’s true that cooking is changing faster than ever, but that’s also due to the shrinking of the globe and the general shortening of the attention span. The scientific, or maybe a better word is “experimental,” approach to cooking, makes it easier to innovate, but the drive for novelty is coming from somewhere else.

I think that the role of inventive chefs is to invent, not necessarily to follow through. It’s up to the rest of the profession to explore the potential of those inventions to be refined and made into something more than the oddball but trendy dish of the week.

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