… I learned from “Top Chef.”
Have you noticed that every time a chef on “Top Chef” brags on themselves they come in on the bottom? Every time they say I’ve made this a million times in my restaurant, I’ve got the win in the bag, something disastrous happens? And these guys are amazingly brazen braggarts. Have they never watched the show and seen what hubris leads to? I wonder if the show eggs them on.
But maybe the producers don’t have to give them a nudge in that direction. While I’m not in the habit of bragging out loud about my kitchen prowess — quite the contrary — I do have a tendency to get overconfident.
I’ll have a great success with a recipe when I prepare it just for my husband and I and then I’ll plan to make it for company or a cooking demo or a photo shoot and … oh Lord!…disaster. The only time I’ve ever candied the caramel for my mango upside down cake was during the cooking demo at last year’s Mangoes at the Moana event. I’ve made that cake 2 dozen times!
Bottom line: NEVER assume you’ve mastered a recipe. Read it over carefully. Take a calming breath. Keep focused as you work. Assume nothing.
And never, never let the Fates hear you bragging (even internally), because that’s when your food processor will break down or you’ll realize you forgot the tool you need or you’ll confuse the salt with the sugar.
The best cooks I know are quiet about it. They really HAVE mastered the recipe but that comes after a long time of cooking. And these “Top Chef” kids? They’re not there yet.