Just before Eric Ripert made the shocking announcement yesterday that he —- quelle horreur! —- likes Spam, he and Monsieur Bourdain engaged in a little Twitter debate over whether the mark of good cooking is technique or ingredient quality. Bourdain claimed that the point of cooking was to use technique to make ingredients, especially less-than-pristine-in-quality ones, taste delicious.
Ripert countered with an outright refusal to accept anything less that the highest quality ingredients as necessary for exemplary cooking (then he left the conversation for awhile to make his mom a fresh, organic egg omelet).
At one point, Alton Brown joined the debate to correct Bourdain on bit of food history (after which they both mused about whether curing your own liquid smoke is akin to cooking your own meth but we won’t go all Breaking Bad on your asses at this juncture). Check out the technique vs ingredient debate below and weigh in! Do you think a chef’s skill is better measured by making unsavory ingredients tasty or by making the very best food with the very best ingredients?
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