Monday, May 19, 2014

What will you find in this blog?

This blog is a work of transmission, designed to be shared freely with all curious and interested readers. Its contents are drawn from a book I originally wrote for my children and my close American family and friends, people who have enjoyed my cuisine over the years and have urged me to bequeath my knowledge.

Still Cooking is quite different from most food blogs, with their collection of recipes. It is first and foremost a memoir where I have tried to communicate my lifelong passion for the creative and meditative cooking process itself. My purpose is to share an account of my own culinary journey to better urge readers to trust themselves, try their own way, develop their own repertoire and, above all, enjoy the process. It offers a comprehensive review of many ingredients and ways to accommodate them, along with numerous comments representative of my own tastes, values and (debatable) wisdom. It is also finite, as a finished book would be.

I have sprinkled the text with a number of light ink/watercolor illustrations as just another way to prod readers to action.

It is in essence a long letter from a loving French grandfather.

How to read it?
However you like, as you would do with any book. Posts are labeled from a to z, following a natural order from opening remarks to last minute comments.
Which kind of cuisine?
Most of the peoples in the world have a defined cooking culture, which they cherish as a significant cultural difference with other peoples and countries. Within each population, each family has its own idiosyncrasies: dishes which regularly re-appear on the table, both comfortingly familiar and always renewed. Still Cooking is about my own body of cooking knowledge. My cuisine largely reflects who I am, starting in France, where I was born and raised, but enriched in many serendipitous ways as I travelled extensively throughout my life and incorporated many of the world’s flavors into my repertoire.

What kind of recipes?
All in all, Still Cooking offers more than 200 time-tested recipes, half of them singing the praises of vegetables. Because we all find pleasure in simple comfort food as well as in complex, enchanting dishes, Still Cooking mixes both registers.

Another aspect is unique: Having cooked for my family and friends for close to 50 years, while maintaining a 60-plus hour work week as a business executive, I have learned to simplify and pare down recipes from common magical practices. I believe this experience and understanding to be very valuable for other busy amateur food lovers. All my recipes allow preparation in a limited time while always aiming for a high level of flavor sophistication. They necessitate a minimal number of tools and utensils.

Still Cooking. A search for meaning
Still Cooking offers a rambling one-sided conversation about food, the profound experience of cooking and, to a certain extent, our place in Nature. It encourages readers to explore their own preferences and potential. My highest hope would be that it serendipitously affects a handful of people perfectly unknown to me, young or less young, and accompanies them on their life journeys, as a personal testimonial of our shared humanity.

Bon App├ętit!