What makes a great chef?

Jennifer Rubell: Well I think what makes a great professional chef is somebody . . .  Well scratch that.  I think what makes a great professional chef or home cook is somebody with a terrific palate first of all.  Somebody who loves to eat; and has a really good sense of flavor; and has tasted a lot of different things in the world; thinks about food and really applies that to their cooking; and has some kind of . . . some kind of philosophy that they bring to the world of food.  Now that’s what makes a great cook or a great chef.
To be a very, very good home cook, you don’t need all that.  You just need to be able to cook a few dishes well.  But somebody who is really pushing . . . pushing the public’s sense of taste, or flavor, or the definition of cooking is going to be somebody who has a real perspective.  And they’ve arrived at that perspective through a lot of tasting, and they are then pushing it to something new.  It’s what makes a great artist in any medium.

Recorded on 12/13/07

A great home cook needs much less than a great professional chef.

Related Articles

How schizophrenia is linked to common personality type

Both schizophrenics and people with a common personality type share similar brain patterns.

(shutterstock)
Mind & Brain
  • A new study shows that people with a common personality type share brain activity with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
  • The study gives insight into how the brain activity associated with mental illnesses relates to brain activity in healthy individuals.
  • This finding not only improves our understanding of how the brain works but may one day be applied to treatments.
Keep reading Show less

Human skeletal stem cells isolated in breakthrough discovery

It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.

Image: Nissim Benvenisty
Surprising Science
  • Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
  • These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
  • The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Keep reading Show less

How exercise helps your gut bacteria

Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.

National Institutes of Health
Surprising Science
  • Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
  • Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
  • Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
Keep reading Show less