Good ingredients or good technique?
Cooks cook to nourish people. You have to have an emotional connection with food. Excellent ingredients and good technique are both essential in food preparation. But, to me, if you have bad ingredients you can use a different technique to compensate. You adapt the technique to fit the ingredients. Technique, in my opinion, is more important than any recipe or ingredients, and techniques can be learned. Using the best techniques on the best ingredients would be the perfect marriage, but this is not always possible. Baking, blanching, braising and blazing are challenging and these are just some of the cooking procedures used to cook food in Western cuisine. The technique used in preparing a dish can affect what the dish is like as much if not more so than the ingredients themselves. Nowadays great technique takes into account cost-effective sources of food, food safety and the resources used to cook. For this reason, many cooks believe it is more relevant to learn cooking techniques than to learn to follow recipes; anyone can follow a recipe, but knowing a certain technique can improve a recipe or rescue one that has gone wrong or has ingredients that are not as good.
“Keep it simple” is the golden rule: simple dishes, few ingredients, excellent technique and an emotional connection to your food. “Take your time when cooking and if you are patient you will succeed and find a new way to express yourself.”