In her op-ed piece in today’s New York Times, Marcella Hazan talks about the increasingly frequent elision of “chef” and “cook” and why an appreciation of the latter is so important:
I am my family’s cook. It is the food prepared and shared at home that, for more than 50 years, has provided a solid center for our lives. In the context of the values that cement human relations, the clamor of restaurants and the facelessness of takeout are no match for what the well-laid family table has to offer. A restaurant will never strengthen familial bonds.
Which is why, as we come together over the holidays, we should take a moment to think about how we might become cooks again. We could even begin, in these financially straitened times, by replacing store-bought presents with meals cooked at home.
After all, what experience of food can compare with eating something good made by someone you can hug? Like other forms of human affection, cooking delivers its truest and most enduring gifts when it is savored in intimacy–prepared not by a chef but by a cook and with love.
Read “No Chefs in My Kitchen” in its entirety online. It’s a wonderful, deeply felt reminder of the role cooking can play in our lives and reflects one of the core principles of Slow Food.