Someone's In The Kitchen With Moozie

Saturday, July 29, 2006

I'm just here for the food...


It feels so good to just sit down for a little bit!

Let's talk about Alton Brown, the geekiest geek of all food geeks. If you don't adore Alton, what is WRONG with you? Seriously, are you broken?

My favorite thing about Alton is that he doesn't try to make cooking out to be this mysterious art that you have to train for half a zillion year or more to master. He explains the science behind the food in terms everyone can understand, and totally demystifies the act of feeding yourself well.

Sure, the great like Thomas Keller and Charlie Trotter have trained for years, but they wouldn't have started training to begin with if they didn't already feel a deep and visceral connection with food and already have a good understanding of it. You can cook well too, if you just relax and have fun with it.

Alton caused a bit of a kerfuffle a few days ago in some communities, when he appeared in Guideposts magazine. Personally, I thought his article was terrific. It made me happy to see that my food idol was brought up pretty much the way the Monsters are being brought up when it comes to food - keep an open mind and a curious palate, and you'll find some really great things to eat.

The bit that caused the drama also happens to be my favorite part of the article:

I told you this has also been a spiritual journey for me. I’m always talking about the physics of cooking, but I’m also into the metaphysics of it. A good meal should offer both physical and spiritual nourishment. That’s why I believe the Last Supper is at the heart of Christianity, perhaps its central moment. When Christ broke bread with his disciples and reminded them to do it in remembrance of him, he was showing them the way to both earthly and heavenly sustenance. The simplest moment can be the most profound. Christ unites with his disciples through food that is both sacred and real.

In the end, all journeys are spiritual. So go off the main road. Be givers of hospitality and gracious takers of it too. Accept the serendipitous moments of life because, when all is said and done, you may find out that they were not serendipitous at all. And know that faith is as real as bread broken among friends. What you believe will take you far on your journey. If you search carefully, you will find good food all along the way.


I'm not Christian, but I can still totally get down with the idea of food being a spiritual experience - not in that pretentious, snotty, "foodier than thou" way that so many people have become so fond of lately, but in that deeply satisfying, "It's making people happy" way.

It's why I happily cook for my family and friends. It's why I'm busting out the kitchen-fu and sharing recipes and blithering about food and Alton and cooking in general.

Food can do more than soothe your guests' hunger. Lovingly prepared and cheerfully served, good food can make your guests feel warm and welcome. You can feed their souls without feeding them religion - all you have to do is prepare your meals with love, care and a happy heart.

There isn't much more that's as satisfying to me than watching my friends melt into food induced bliss. Cooking has many rewards...but that's the one I love the most.

5 Comments:

  • Food as spiritual experience? Who could say otherwise? A good plate of brie and fruit, or spicy hot wings, or whatever is your favorite food, and you can sit back feeling pleased to be a part of the universe and happy to be alive.
    Totally spiritual.

    -Claudia

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:58 PM  

  • And there's a Good Eats marathon today, if you have time between all this cooking.

    By Blogger Kate, at 5:24 PM  

  • Lord Almighty! I feel my temperature arisin'...(don't mind me, just an Elvis outburst there.)
    On topic: I agree with every single thing about this entry. Then times a thousand. I hate the Food Network but lerve Alton because of how he explains the science of food. And for years I've used that phrase: 'the physics of cooking' and ppl thought I was being pretentious. Well ploo on them.

    Historical word has it that The Last Supper was actually a Passover Seder. That ought to get the Bible Beater's panties in a twist, eh?

    By Anonymous Raging Lunatic, at 6:06 PM  

  • So, I read that article, and now I have to go set the Tivo for that Feasting on Asphalt show.

    I adore Alton, btw. How could I not? A geek that cooks? Perfection.

    Amy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:31 PM  

  • Aww man, I missed a Good Eats marathon? I heart Alton.

    I forget what his new show is called...

    By Anonymous Christina, at 10:28 PM  

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