The Grand Master Chefs of the world would be mere cooks if not for cooking to please others. What else is there but to cook so others may dine? Even if one cooks for oneself, there is still someone to serve. The surroundings of your cooking accomplishments do not make any difference nor does the fundamental nature of what you are cooking. What really matters is for whom you are cooking.
“Non-cooks think it’s silly to invest two hours work for two minutes enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet.” Julia Child
As cooks we spend much time compiling menus, we write lists of meals, of days, weeks and list the ingredients for each meal. Next, we meticulously compile the shopping lists. Thusly armed, we gather the most splendid components for our perfect menus. We then bring all our supplies home, peacefully stowing them away in cupboards, pantries and refrigeration units and freezers. These supplies are the workings of the cook, the tools of the trade moreover the way to a loved one’s heart.
From these menus come delicious meals. Whether simple and fast in their construction or complicated and time consuming these meals are put together with one thought in mind, the satisfaction of the recipients.
A simple breakfast of oatmeal and toast can be presented in a delicate bone china bowl, served with posh clotted cream, and eaten with a silver spoon; the toast can be decorated with rare fruits and creamy butter. Does the oatmeal taste better eaten from china than it would in some lesser bowl?
This same oatmeal served in a paper bowl with a plastic spoon can be as warm and welcoming on a cold morning as the opulently served porridge. What makes the difference then? Is it made by loving hands?
The hand of a master chef does not wheel a finely tuned whisk than the feral workings of a country wife. No, it is the same; it is just food! The chef chooses the best ingredients for his Crème Brule, as does the homemaker for her Caramel Topped Custard. Each of these professionals then skillfully mixes cream, eggs, sugar, and vanilla into custard and then each one carefully bakes this custard in a pan of water. “It must not break.”
Each one of these cooks sprinkles the sugar atop the finished custards and each fire up the hand held torches to caramelize that sugar. For what end do these tow via for the prize, what is that prize? It is for the one who dines, for the appreciation of the recipient, nothing more.
A tender mound of ground beef seared to perfection and place on a bun may, in the hands of the chef become a casse-crouten, but in the hands of the homemaker, it is a Hamburger. Both are good, both done to perfection, and both done for the recipient.
Therefore, we can assume that food is made to be enjoyed by some kind of recipient. Some class of diner or some loved one will be eating everything the Grand Master Chef creates; in like manner, the gentle hands of a mother, father, or Grandparent can construct the most fantastic meal imaginable, but without someone to eat that meal, it is empty. Why bother cooking if not for someone to eat?
Cooking to please others, it must be done for there is no other reason to cook.