Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

A chef’s technique

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Jacques Pépin

To be a good chef, you have to be a good technician first. It does take time, and it’s a very thorough and very disciplined part of the learning process to be a good technician. If you happen to have talent, however, then the technique allows the talent to show, it takes it somewhere. If you are not a good technician, even if you are talented you cannot show it off, because you don’t have the knowledge in your fingers to do it…

Does [technique] make you an artist? Not really; you are a good technician. But if you happen to have talent and knowledge of the trade in your hand, then you can take it somewhere. Often, you reject all of the technique…But the fact of rejecting implies that you have acquired technique: otherwise there is nothing to reject. Whether you are a photographer or a surgeon or someone who works with his hands, a cabinetmaker and all that, you have to know your trade inside and out, and control it.

Jacques Pépin, quoted in Wisdom by Andrew Zuckerman

Written by nevalalee

February 6, 2016 at 7:30 am

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