The Good Cook – some thoughts


One of my favourite books is Elizabeth David’s A Book of Mediterranean Food, first published in 1950. This is a wonderful extract…. enjoy!

“All culinary tasks should be performed with reverential love, don’t you think so? To say that a cook must possess the requisite outfit of culinary skill and temperament – that is hardly more than saying that a soldier must appear in uniform. You can have a bad soldier in uniform. The true cook must have not only those externals, but a large does of general worldly experience. He is the perfect blend , the only perfect blend, of artist and philosopher. He knows his worth: he holds in his palm the happiness of mankind, the welfare of generations yet unborn…If he drinks a little, why, it is all to the good. It shows that he is fully equipped on the other side of his dual nature. It proves that he possesses the prime requisite of the artist; sensitiveness and a capacity for enthusiasm. Indeed, I often wonder whether you will ever derive well-flavoured victuals from the atelier of an individual who despises or fears – it is the same thing – the choicest gift of God.” – South Wind by Norman Douglas

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