Home > Food, Restaurants > Cooks vs. Chefs and the Homesick Restaurant

Cooks vs. Chefs and the Homesick Restaurant

November 30, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Marcella Hazan op-ed piece on cooks and chefs in yesterday’s NYT pairs beautifully with Nadeem Aslam’s backpage piece on a London Pakistani restaurant in today’s NYT Magazine. I enjoyed them all the more now that Gail is both a cook and a chef. To get you started, below is the opening to the Hazan article.

“My husband is such a great chef,” my hairdresser was saying.

“Oh,” I said. “What restaurant does he work in?”

“No, no, no, he doesn’t work in a restaurant. He is an electrician. But he does amazing things on the grill when we cook out during the weekend.”

This happens a lot. “Chef” has pretty much replaced “gourmet cook” to describe anyone who cooks well.

And here’s an excerpt from Aslam’s article.

We ordered. As always, my brother, my sister and I searched the food that evening for our mother, for our aunts and for our grandmothers. Each Pakistani woman spices her curries in her own way; each pan has a different aroma, the way each human body smells slightly different. The thickness, texture and the width of each woman’s chapati is also unique to her, depending on the size of her hands, the shape of her fingers and the strength with which she kneads the dough. And that evening all three of us were overcome very soon after we began the meal: the food — the flavor of the mutton, of the samosas — was the best we had tasted since our visits to our eldest aunt’s home in Lahore. That was 20 years ago, and the aunt had been dead for 10 years.

This article has a delightful surprise. Don’t miss it.

Categories: Food, Restaurants
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