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Old 07-08-2009, 05:14 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Specializing in cuisines from other countries/regions

The Julia thread (and a few other recent threads) got me to thinking
about this...

Do you think that one can become an acknowledged "expert" at cooking
authentic cuisine(s) from other countries/regions without actually
living and/or studying a particular cuisine in the applicable
country/region of origin?

Would taking a course (in your home country) or being taught 'how to' by
a relative/friend who came from that country/region do the trick?

Any thoughts?
--
Cheers
Chatty Cathy

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Old 07-08-2009, 05:24 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Specializing in cuisines from other countries/regions


"ChattyCathy" ha scritto nel messaggio



Do you think that one can become an acknowledged "expert" at cooking
authentic cuisine(s) from other countries/regions without actually living
and/or studying a particular cuisine in the applicable country/region of
origin?
Would taking a course (in your home country) or being taught 'how to' by
a relative/friend who came from that country/region do the trick?

Any thoughts?


I have lots more thoughts than I am going to share, but I will say that I
didn't cook genuinely Italian until I studied it, cooked it and shopped for
it here. There are lots of reasons, but the hugest one is that the kitchen
is a part of the culture and until you get that you got nothing. As an
American I had attiitudes and habits that altered what I cooked. It could
be made easier, ahead of time, cheaper, spicier... I felt at liberty to
screw around with what was to me only a recipe, not an expression of
Christmas, Sunday lunch at Grandmas's or supper with my friend's family.
Another problem is ingredients, which can be more or less successfully
substituted, but without a lot of experience with the real thing, it's
damned hard to guess what will do.

(I do now screw around with recipes, but with some savvy behind the act and
a lot of Sunday lunches at Grandma's etc. behind me. I also can suggest
substitutes that work when they exist-- they don't always.)

Maybe a really dedicated learner could do better than I did, but the less
kitchen bafěggage they went in with the better the chances, I believe.


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Old 07-08-2009, 05:37 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Specializing in cuisines from other countries/regions

On Fri, 07 Aug 2009 18:14:40 +0200, ChattyCathy
wrote:

The Julia thread (and a few other recent threads) got me to thinking
about this...

Do you think that one can become an acknowledged "expert" at cooking
authentic cuisine(s) from other countries/regions without actually
living and/or studying a particular cuisine in the applicable
country/region of origin?

Would taking a course (in your home country) or being taught 'how to' by
a relative/friend who came from that country/region do the trick?

Any thoughts?


You're thinking of Rick Bayless and Julia Child? I think more than
just knowledge of the cuisine is needed, because you're acting as a
bridge between two cuisines/cultures. Master of the introduction and
all that stuff. Personality and a good business sense are big
factors. It helps to have a working knowledge on the subject, of
course, but you don't need to be an expert to succeed. If you don't
have the expertise, you can always hire someone who does.

--
I love cooking with wine.
Sometimes I even put it in the food.
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:02 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Specializing in cuisines from other countries/regions


"ChattyCathy" wrote in message
...
The Julia thread (and a few other recent threads) got me to thinking
about this...

Do you think that one can become an acknowledged "expert" at cooking
authentic cuisine(s) from other countries/regions without actually
living and/or studying a particular cuisine in the applicable
country/region of origin?


No - not really.



Would taking a course (in your home country) or being taught 'how to' by
a relative/friend who came from that country/region do the trick?


Any thoughts?
--
Cheers
Chatty Cathy


It's just not enough - IMHO the ofactory (smell ) of ethnic plays such an
important part, no class or classes can ever cement the taste and smell of
street food.

I also believe the Street foods amd such an important part and that can
seldome be learned.

Dimitri

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Old 07-08-2009, 06:22 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Specializing in cuisines from other countries/regions

Giusi wrote:

"ChattyCathy" ha scritto nel messaggio

Do you think that one can become an acknowledged "expert" at cooking
authentic cuisine(s) from other countries/regions without actually
living and/or studying a particular cuisine in the applicable
country/region of origin?
Would taking a course (in your home country) or being taught 'how to'
by a relative/friend who came from that country/region do the trick?

Any thoughts?


I have lots more thoughts than I am going to share, but I will say
that I didn't cook genuinely Italian until I studied it, cooked it and
shopped for
it here.


Ah. I thought you might "have lots more thoughts" on the subject - being
one of the (few) r.f.c. posters here who actually has hands-on
experience with this.

FWIW, I agree.

There are lots of reasons, but the hugest one is that the
kitchen
is a part of the culture and until you get that you got nothing.


Something that hadn't occurred to me, but of course it must play an
important role.

As an American I had attiitudes and habits that altered what I cooked.
It could be made easier, ahead of time, cheaper, spicier... I felt at
liberty to screw around with what was to me only a recipe, not an
expression of Christmas, Sunday lunch at Grandmas's or supper with my
friend's family.


Don't we all (sometimes)?

Another problem is ingredients, which can be more or
less successfully substituted, but without a lot of experience with
the real thing, it's damned hard to guess what will do.



I am not surprised.


(I do now screw around with recipes, but with some savvy behind the
act and a lot of Sunday lunches at Grandma's etc. behind me. I also
can suggest substitutes that work when they exist-- they don't
always.)


Again, I am not surprised.

Maybe a really dedicated learner could do better than I did,


I doubt it...

but the less kitchen baggage they went in with the better the chances,
I believe.


--
Cheers
Chatty Cathy


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Old 07-08-2009, 07:22 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Specializing in cuisines from other countries/regions

ChattyCathy wrote:
The Julia thread (and a few other recent threads) got me to thinking
about this...

Do you think that one can become an acknowledged "expert" at cooking
authentic cuisine(s) from other countries/regions without actually
living and/or studying a particular cuisine in the applicable
country/region of origin?

Would taking a course (in your home country) or being taught 'how to' by
a relative/friend who came from that country/region do the trick?

Any thoughts?




My sister in law's stepdaughter is a bit of a loose cannon, to say the
least. For years she has been talking about going to Greece and opening
the ultimate Greek cooking school. She is not Greek. I don't know if
they would even let her into the country because she is still living in
a half way house after having spent close to a year in jail for fraud.
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:10 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Specializing in cuisines from other countries/regions


"Dimitri" wrote in message
...

"ChattyCathy" wrote in message
...
The Julia thread (and a few other recent threads) got me to thinking
about this...

Do you think that one can become an acknowledged "expert" at cooking
authentic cuisine(s) from other countries/regions without actually
living and/or studying a particular cuisine in the applicable
country/region of origin?


No - not really.



Would taking a course (in your home country) or being taught 'how to' by
a relative/friend who came from that country/region do the trick?


Any thoughts?
--
Cheers
Chatty Cathy


It's just not enough - IMHO the ofactory (smell ) of ethnic plays such an
important part, no class or classes can ever cement the taste and smell of
street food.

I also believe the Street foods amd such an important part and that can
seldome be learned.



Agreed. One also needs to be born with the innate ability, same as being a
natural athelete or having an ear for rmusic... all the piano lessons in the
world won't help one bit when one has a tin ear. Anyone who admits that
they had to reach middle age before feeling confident that they could
diverge from a recipe I'm positive can't cook a lick. One needs to be born
with the ability and then serve an apprenticeship from the time one could
walk. Taking cooking lessons as an adult is a total waste, makes as much
sense for a forty year old to begin ballet lessons... real cooking is indeed
a ballet. Chefs like Pepin and Yan are naturals and served a formal
aprenticeship from since they were young children... Julia Child was an
important TV personality in the culinary entertainment world but she had no
natural cooking ability and could barely follow a recipe, she was a paint by
numbers kind of cook... Julia's only claim to culinary fame is that she was
first... and even that was arranged for her by her influential husband
because she was bored. I never enjoyed watching Julia Child, watching her
play in the kitchen was like watching ringers play the Three Stooges.


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Old 07-08-2009, 08:15 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Specializing in cuisines from other countries/regions


"Dave Smith" wrote in message
m...
ChattyCathy wrote:
The Julia thread (and a few other recent threads) got me to thinking
about this... Do you think that one can become an acknowledged "expert"
at cooking
authentic cuisine(s) from other countries/regions without actually
living and/or studying a particular cuisine in the applicable
country/region of origin? Would taking a course (in your home country) or
being taught 'how to' by
a relative/friend who came from that country/region do the trick?

Any thoughts?




My sister in law's stepdaughter is a bit of a loose cannon, to say the
least. For years she has been talking about going to Greece and opening
the ultimate Greek cooking school. She is not Greek. I don't know if they
would even let her into the country because she is still living in a half
way house after having spent close to a year in jail for fraud.


As a criminal she can do very well in Greece... in Greek government...
what's the Greek word for Czar?



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Old 08-08-2009, 12:04 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Specializing in cuisines from other countries/regions



ChattyCathy wrote:

The Julia thread (and a few other recent threads) got me to thinking
about this...

Do you think that one can become an acknowledged "expert" at cooking
authentic cuisine(s) from other countries/regions without actually
living and/or studying a particular cuisine in the applicable
country/region of origin?


Not in the slightest. That's like trying to learn lab-based research
without ever working in a lab. Need to be 'on site' to get the entire
story.


Would taking a course (in your home country) or being taught 'how to' by
a relative/friend who came from that country/region do the trick?

Any thoughts?


Not in the slightest. When people emigrate, they typically do not find
all the ingredients or equipment needed to cook 'native' or 'authentic'
cuisine properly. Substitutions are made cos there isn't any choice. The
cuisine gets watered down. Doesn't mean it's 'bad'; just different.

Grandmother may be an expert in cooking her local cuisine, but in a
foreign (to her) setting it isn't going to be the same as she would have
cooked at 'home'. Not a bad place to start but there's more to be learnt
in the proper setting.
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:31 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Specializing in cuisines from other countries/regions

wrote:
The Julia thread (and a few other recent threads) got me to thinking
about this...
Do you think that one can become an acknowledged "expert" at cooking
authentic cuisine(s) from other countries/regions without actually
living and/or studying a particular cuisine in the applicable
country/region of origin?


It would be hard to become a truly accomplished master of another culture's
cuisine without living there, if only because the daily ways in which people
cook and eat wouldn't always come through in cooking courses, private
experimentation or cookbooks. There is also the question of different
ingredients that may not be available outside the country under consideration.
Still, I think one can learn a lot about different cuisines without living in
those cultures. I already knew a lot about Indian food before actually going
there on a research grant in 2000.

Would taking a course (in your home country) or being taught 'how to' by
a relative/friend who came from that country/region do the trick?


I think it would do some but not all of the trick. Who's to say that the person
teaching is considered the best cook? Even if they're good at specific dishes,
that may not mean they're great at everything. So, I think comparison is very
useful. Through comparison, regional variants and individual family touches
stand out.

Orlando


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Old 08-08-2009, 03:26 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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On Fri, 7 Aug 2009 21:39:57 -0400, Orlando Enrique Fiol
wrote:

wrote:
You're thinking of Rick Bayless and Julia Child? I think more than
just knowledge of the cuisine is needed, because you're acting as a
bridge between two cuisines/cultures. Master of the introduction and
all that stuff. Personality and a good business sense are big
factors. It helps to have a working knowledge on the subject, of
course, but you don't need to be an expert to succeed. If you don't
have the expertise, you can always hire someone who does.



I think we might do well to separate those kinds of bridge figures with the
gifts of gab and business from the oftentimes quiet experts who aren't trying
to parley their newfound expertise into a living. I think most people from
different cultures are thrilled to have Westerners interested in what they eat.
But, once a self styled expert begins making a living from their endeavors,
issues of appropriation emerge. In another thread, I expressed my discomfort
with Rick Bayless opening swanky, high priced Mexican restaurants in place of
Mexican chefs. If any of you taught someone how to prepare your family's most
cherished recipes, how would you feel if they turned around and either
published a cookbook or opened a restaurant without sharing royalties or
profits with you?


I could look at it as a glass half full and brag that he'd still be a
nobody if it wasn't for me.

--
Avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables by getting someone else
to hold them.
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:50 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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"Orlando Enrique Fiol" wrote in message
But, once a self styled expert begins making a living from their
endeavors,
issues of appropriation emerge. In another thread, I expressed my
discomfort
with Rick Bayless opening swanky, high priced Mexican restaurants in place
of
Mexican chefs. If any of you taught someone how to prepare your family's
most
cherished recipes, how would you feel if they turned around and either
published a cookbook or opened a restaurant without sharing royalties or
profits with you?

Orlando


I don't see that as a problem. Your math teacher and English teacher don't
get royalties if you make it big in the future either. Thousands of
commercially made foods are derivatives of some family recipe at some time.


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Old 08-08-2009, 08:38 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Specializing in cuisines from other countries/regions

Chatty Cathy wrote:

Do you think that one can become an acknowledged "expert" at cooking
authentic cuisine(s) from other countries/regions without actually living
and/or studying a particular cuisine in the applicable country/region of
origin?

Would taking a course (in your home country) or being taught 'how to' by a
relative/friend who came from that country/region do the trick?

Any thoughts?


The biggest problem is getting the right ingredients. The second-biggest
problem is knowing when you've succeeded: If you never tasted the authentic
thing, how do you know if you've made it correctly?

On the other hand, I think you can learn an authentic cooking *style*
without cooking authentic food. For example, Mario Batali has lived in Italy
and is pretty well acknowledged as an expert on Italian cuisine, but he
doesn't import all his seafood from Italy; he uses whatever is local to the
restaurant where he's cooking. In that sense, his *food* is not
authentically Italian (because he's using snow crab instead of langostino,
for example), but his *cooking* is. I think someone could learn to cook that
kind of Italian-inspired food with that same degree of proficiency without
ever visiting Italy.

Bob

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Old 08-08-2009, 09:38 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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"Bob Terwilliger" ha scritto nel messaggio
Chatty Cathy wrote:

Do you think that one can become an acknowledged "expert" at cooking
authentic cuisine(s) from other countries/regions without actually
living and/or studying a particular cuisine in the applicable
country/region of
origin?


On the other hand, I think you can learn an authentic cooking *style*
without cooking authentic food. For example, Mario Batali has lived in
Italy and is pretty well acknowledged as an expert on Italian cuisine,
but he
doesn't import all his seafood from Italy; he uses whatever is local to
the restaurant where he's cooking. In that sense, his *food* is not
authentically Italian (because he's using snow crab instead of langostino,
for example), but his *cooking* is. I think someone could learn to cook
that kind of Italian-inspired food with that same degree of proficiency
without
ever visiting Italy.

Bob

I don't agree about Batali. He is accepted as an expert in the US. No one
in Italy knows who he is and if they ate a typical meal of his, they
wouldn't find it very authentic.
1) he tarts things up, elaborates things that are meant to be simple
2) his recipes tend to be heavier and loaded toward "feast" food-- as well
they might because his restaurants are pricey.
3) his menu tends toward the "every dish a star" line of thought which is
very un-Italian. Here one pairs light with heavier, simple with more
elaborate and balance is considered very important. Much of what works in a
NY restaurant is what one calls esaggerato in Italy. Probably the highest
compliment one gets here is "squisito ma niente esaggerato."




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