Michael Laiskonis on Inspiration and Process

Michael Laiskonis, pastry chef of Le Bernardin, gives some insight on his working process:

In the world of cooking, there is little that is truly new. Rather, it's the expression of accumulated knowledge; each of us has walked our unique path of experience and education, so I think it's fair to say that some sense of individuality ends up in our food. Ultimately, we're merely adapting what has come before... True, the sparks, the inspiration, they rarely materialize out of thin air. Eating out, reading books, and lurking the blogs are essential activities, but then so is diligent tasting, constant discovery, and these days, for many, a fair amount of scientific research.

He finishes by offering a set of guidelines, what he calls From Conception to Realization, a bulleted list to "articulate, if not my own thought process and philosophy, then at least some sort of method that a budding young chef could embrace." A couple of standouts:

  • Begin with "what will make it familiar?" before addressing "what will make it different?"
  • Consider how well it 'eats', and how to make it delicious.

It's advice that could easily be applied to any creative field. Totally worth a read.

Previously on Eat me daily:
Hervé This, Not Aiming to Dehumanize Food
Alain Allegretti Thinks Molecular Gastronomy Has No Reference Point

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