A recent study tried to explain the divide in Eastern and Western culinary philosophy though some nifty data crunching. Researchers from the Indian Institute for Technology in Jodhpur looked up the ingredient lists for more than 2,000 Indian recipes. They then analyzed the chemical components of these ingredients, looking at the compounds that, when combined, give foods their taste.

They concluded that what makes Indian cuisine so exquisite is its tendency to bring together lots of different ingredients with flavor molecules that don’t overlap.

That’s quite different from how Western cuisine works — previous research has shown that it relies on pairing ingredients that, at the molecular level, share lots of similar flavor compounds.

Why the difference? The answer, it turns out, has just as much to do with economics, politics and religion as it does taste.

How Snobbery Helped Take The Spice Out Of European Cooking

Photo Credit: Sara Marlowe/Flickr

Please fire me. As the cook in a small restaurant, I take dietary requirements very seriously. So when people ring in and book I ask them on the phone to disclose any allergies/intolerances. Despite doing so, I still manage to get individuals (such as the following one) who show up and demand I cook them something suited to their requirements, even though when they tell me over the phone they had none. This is especially difficult when their said requirements are hard to cook for when i have no appropriate ingredients on hand.
On Saturday a lady who is part of a big group shows up, and literally squeezes her overlarge self INTO my kitchen (???) and tells me she is Coeliac, Lactose free, and has an allergy to garlic and onions, and demands I cook her a meal “just as good as everyone elses.” So I tell her not to eat any of the Share platters I put out for everyone else, and I will make her a suitable meal of her own. 30 minutes later, I personally take this meal out to this woman, to find her eating a SHARE PLATE of zucchini fritters which contain Gluten, Lactose, Garlic and Onions.

please fire me: a poem.

no, you are not an animal because you don’t know what the charcuterie plate even is.

no, you are not a monster when you order five courses, but can’t finish a single one.

and no, you are especially not a savage when you order our best steak extra well done, or even when you cover it with ketchup.

what makes you despicable is that you leave no tip because you felt you spent too much already.  THAT is what makes you inhuman.


Avocado Mandala, 2016
Pencil and Pen on bristol board, color in Photoshop

For a long time I couldn’t bring myself to eat Avocado. It is an acquired taste. And I don’t mean that in a “it’s really gross, but you get used to it” kind of way. It took a while to pinpoint what it is about avocados that gave me pause. And the key was, it is an entirely different flavor. I can’t think of anything it tastes like besides itself. Onion and garlic are flavor siblings, and citrus fruits are similar, but there was nothing in my mental catalog that I could full up. Well, thankfully, I acquired a taste for avocado, and now I can’t get enough. For this piece, I had a hard time deciding between avocado toast and guacamole, and decided on guac because it seems a little more universally enjoyed.

Buy it on Society6


@marijncoertjens Hopes for Sweet Success at World Chocolate Masters

For more photos of Marijn’s chocolates, follow @marijncoertjens on Instagram.

World Chocolate Masters, currently underway in Paris, is the Olympics of chocolate competitions, and chef Marijn Coertjens (@marijncoertjens) intends to earn the equivalent of the gold medal. “I have competed in a lot of competitions, and this world championship will be my last,” he says. “So I have to win.” Born in Belgium, Marijn studied baking and pastry in school, and planned on working in a regular bakery shop in his hometown. But one day he came across a magazine that featured chocolate show pieces, and he immediately changed his course. “I wanted to be a part of the elite chefs of chocolate. And then I wanted to do competitions,” he says.

Check, check. Marijn is now master chocolatier for The Peninsula, a hotel in Hong Kong, and is among the finalists this week competing for the title “world chocolate master.” “Of course being the best in the world is great. If you’re best in the world in chocolate, you’re probably the best in the universe, because you can’t find chocolate on any other planet,” he says. “When I was a kid, I used to admire sport champions. They master a practice until they become the best. So now that I am quite good in chocolate I want to be the best.”


This Is The Earliest Known Reference To “Gumbo” And Is Found In The Interrogation Records Of A Slave,  New Orleans, September 1764

GUMBO- The Creole Cookery Book, published by the Christian Woman’s Exchange of New Orleans in 1885, calls gumbo making an “occult science” that “should be allowed its proper place in the gastronomical world.”

A dish that originated in southern Louisiana from the Louisiana Creole people during the 18th century. It typically consists primarily of a strongly flavored stock, okra, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and seasoning vegetables, which can include celery, bell peppers and onions.

According to one suggestion, gumbo is a reinterpretation of traditional African cooking. West Africans used the vegetable okra as a base for many dishes, including soups, often pairing okra with meat and shrimp, with salt and pepper as seasonings. In Louisiana, the dish was modified to include ingredients introduced by other cultural groups. Surviving records indicate that by 1764, African slaves in New Orleans mixed cooked okra with rice to make a meal.  

A more familiar version of the dish was described in an 1879 cookbook by Marion Cabell Tyree. Her Housekeeping in Old Virginia described “Gumbo Filit A La Creole”, a filé-based gumbo with chicken and oysters and spiced with allspice, cloves, red and black pepper, parsley, and thyme. The 1881 cookbook What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking, dictated by former slave Abby Fisher, contained three gumbo recipes. “Oyster Gumbo Soup” used a filé base, while “Ochra Gumbo” and “Chicken Gumbo” used okra as a base. Four years later, the cookbook La Cuisine Creole documented eight varieties of gumbo. None used sausage, but almost all of them contained ham.