4/08/2013 12:00:00 PM

The 5 Most Entertaining Things Peter Kaminsky Said at the IACP Conference

Peter Kaminsky, photo: Meesha Halm
Peter Kaminsky may be known as the erudite author and self-proclaimed “hamologist” whose books "Pig Perfect", "The Elements of Taste" and "Culinary Intelligence" have received critical acclaim, but at the opening session of the International Association of Culinary Professionals Dirt to Digital 2013 conference which kicked off in San Francisco over the weekend, he also revealed another trait – he’s freaking hilarious. Kaminsky, flanked by fellow panelists Thomas Keller (The French Laundry) and Maxime Bilet (co-author of "Modernist Cuisine"), both of whom had interesting things to say about the tension between culinary tradition and innovation, stole the show with the morning’s most interesting zingers. Here are some of our favorites.

On the dichotomy of old and new cooking techniques: 
“All cooking is a chemical transformation. It’s all science. The technology is just how you get there.”

On what he thinks of reality TV cooking show: 
"These crazy cooking shows are like cry fests where competitors are rushing around making dishes that combine ingredients that never should be allowed to be in the same county. It makes for good TV and good drama, but not for good food.” 

On the value of unfettered access to chefs through social media:
“The constant feed is like listening to an open mike. Not much of it is very interesting. We’re awash in really bad iPhone photos by people who had a couple of glasses of wine and are really in love with their dessert. Big data isn’t helpful if it's bad data.”

On the difference between chefs and home cooks:
“Most of us look at recipes from the begin to the end and then follow them dutifully like a shop manual. Chefs start at the end and they reverse engineer. They work backwards from what you want to put on to the table and then proceed to figure out how to get there.”

On recreating labor-intensive recipes from chefs:
“Thomas Keller’s beef Bourguignon took me all day to make but it was the best Bourguignon I ever had. I don’t mind spending three hours on a Sunday cooking. If it’s done in 30 minutes, what will I do with the rest of the day?"


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