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Chef Heidi

Chef Heidi    |    Weddings

Tempering Change

There is a down side to maintaining Facebook and Twitter.  Because I also blog I feel as though the mini thoughts I send out daily zap me of the interest and urge to create a written piece for my blog.  I love my blog so I will be putting a greater effort into maintaining it even if it translates into fewer Tweets. 

Recently, I suffered through the removal of Gourmet Magazine from existence.  I’ve been a lifelong fan.  My subscription has resulted in masses of Gourmet Magazines stuffed on every bookshelf, counter and storage box.  I simply loved the magazine.  I was thrilled with the most recent editor in chief, Ruth Reichl.  And when I received a note in November informing me that my subscription would be automatically transferred to Bon Appétit, another Conde Nast publication, I was less than thrilled.  I had passed this magazine in grocery stores hundreds of times over the decades only being enticed to buy one every few years.  So when I received my first issue I flipped through it as if I had a copy of the National Enquirer. 

Today I received my third issue.  When I opened the March 2010 issue I decided to give the booklet my full attention.  I read each page and every written word and I had a strange awakening.  I did find myself being pulled into some of the writer’s articles and I did examine the recipes with the sharp eye of a critical chef.  But it was page 32 that made me smile. 

The Restaurant Editor, Andrew Knowlton, is Bon Appitit’s “Foodist” and answers questions sent in by foodies.  I loved the answer to one question and I think it’s the best answer on the topic I’ve come across………….. 

Question:  “I often hear chefs on cooking shows and reality shows talking about a person’s palate.  “So-and-so has an exquisite palate,” they say.  What exactly does that mean, and can I train my own palate?”  -K.B.    

Andrew writes:  “When it comes to professional chefs.  I think a “great palate” is the ability to create or refine dishes simply by instinct.  I’ve seen some of the world’s most talented chefs, having tasted a flawed or incomplete dish, suggest improvements in a flash-adding a pinch of salt here or a squeeze of lemon there- with amazing success.  For professional eaters -and folks who simply love food- the term means something slightly different:  It’s the ability to identify flavors, ingredients, and even techniques in a particular dish. 

But what really defines a great palate, I think, is taste memory.  It has as much to do with your head as with your tongue.   …a well-developed taste memory comes with experience and the willingness to try new flavors.  ….” 

I think I might have a new foodie magazine.


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