This is the blog of Michael Laiskonis, the pastry chef at Le Bernardin, a nice little fish joint on 51st St. in Manhattan. Aside from it being a very interesting blog, it is a wonderful example of what separates me and, probably most of you, from professional cooking. Laiskonis’s perspective is radically different. He approaches food from directions I can’t even fathom.
I was reminded of this gulf yesterday when I had a pleasant chat with a friend who was a successful, professional chef. He mentioned that he used to experiment with pairing red wine with seafood, and that it was a difficult feat. It occurred to me that he looked at food from a perspective not unlike that of a scientist.
But that isn’t entirely accurate, because he also finds great joy in the art of cooking, not to mention the significant pleasures of eating and drinking. Perhaps one of the requirements for success in this difficult, sometimes cutthroat field is the ability to see it from both a dispassionate, technical perspective and from the other side of the plate and glass. That sounds trite and simplistic, but try it the next time you have a problem with a dish you are cooking and you will find that it is easier said than done.