How many times has any foodie gone to a restaurant and fallen madly in love with a certain dish. Then the dish is recreated at home, to be enjoyed at many a meal or party. Sometimes an extraordinary dish inspires a foodie so much th at he or she then becomes a chef.
This was the topic of yesterday’s article by Francis Lam in yesterday’s New York Times Dining section. Many foodies are so entranced by a certain dish that it fuels the desire not only to be a professional cook but also to open a restaurant. Most of these newly christened chefs are world travelers and have been inspired by the exotic cuisines of Thailand and Mexico. They have the money and the means to open up an eatery that reflects their culinary journeys. It’s also a great way of opening up American palates these foreign dishes.
Do these traditional dishes work in the hands of novice cooks Yes. Most ethnic dishes are better made by those who have no ties to the culture. They’re not influenced or shadowed by family recipes. There’s no “This is how we’ve made it for centuries”. Chefs cook straight from the source which is usually a native cook ironically using his or her own family recipe. When it’s passed to a stranger , the recipe is tweaked and made better by little improvements. These newly minted chefs know what their fellow countrymen like to eat and these recipes are reworked to appeal to American tastes.
A good dish always creates a million fans, It’s rare that it creates a chef. Yet this is what’s happening . Foodie fans don’t become groupies - they become cooks .