Where Does Art Come Into Cooking?

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Cooking, in many ways, is not so different from something like music or painting. There’s a popular belief that cooking is actually very much like an art form and professional chefs are nothing less than artist-savants. If this is true, where exactly does art fall into the world of cooking?

Understanding Balance

A major part of art in all forms is appreciating the balance between foundation and exploration. Tangible and intangible. Rules and liberation. It’s the classic yin and yang that has stood as a cornerstone of human existence for millennia, and it’s certainly present within the kitchen.

Finding The “Line”

If one can come to understand these two core principles, one can understand how cooking is like art. A good chef knows the technical foundations of how to prepare a cheeseburger—without which, the dish would look and taste terrible. But a good chef also knows precisely when it’s okay to try something new. To take risks. To be bold.

However, the big secret is that there isn’t an “obvious line” for anything. This is why revolutions are created, often on the heels of great art. Because an artist comes along and decides that he’s changing where the “line” is. As they say, you need to know the rules in order to break them!