We return to our story of Spiritual Food. (Part One can be found here).
In each group there became Master Chefs, they spent many years working hard to understand each ingredient that went into their food, they could smell a little mould in the onions, or know why this cake sank in the middle and how it could have been prevented, they grasped the balance of flavours and ideal texture to create the perfect dish. It took a great deal of training and dedication to reach this status, a Master Chef was both a scientist and an artist.
There were the Sous Chefs, the kitchen hands and the wait staff. These people studied to help prepare the food and serve it to those who were content to just eat it. Their work would sometimes lead them to moving up to the next level and some would become Master Chefs in their time, but some couldn’t cope with the study, or lacked the ability to grasp the finer, more delicate intricacies of being able to tell when your batter was mixed just right or the merest pinch of salt was needed to perfect this dish.
There were also the home cooks. The people who could create wonderful food at home. Some created poor imitations of the fine food of the Master Chefs and some whose cooking could have rivalled them if only they had the pieces of paper and recognition.
Some Master Chefs wrote cookbooks, describing how to make their food and while their recipes could be recreated at home by these home cooks and many people loved what they made and were satisfied by it, it was never quite the same as having a Master Chef cook it for you. Although, not everyone realised this.
Some home cooks were content making food their own way, using the cookbooks and perhaps adapting the recipes slightly to suit their own or their families tastes. This worked well for them and they had a rewarding and healthy diet, their families were satisfied and well fed.
Other home cooks started to believe that the food they were making was at least equal to if not better than that of a Master Chef and tried to claim the title of Master Chef.
Some Master Chefs became blinded by their own brilliance and became arrogant, believing themselves to be completely infallible. Sometimes they didn’t notice that this kitchen hand hadn’t cut up the onions finely enough or that the baking powder was a bit old and had lost its fizz. Others started to charge too much for their food, making it too expensive and therefore out of reach for most people.
Packet mixes became available. Anyone could buy a packet of Cake mix or Bread mix or Pizza dough and just add water. The foods appeared to be just as good as those prepared by a Master Chef, but it was easily (and cheaply) cooked at home. Unfortunately, many of them also contained other undesirable ingredients that most people weren’t aware of and slowly poisoned them.
Then came the fast food revolution. People could order the food they wanted and have it delivered to them in a very short time. It was fast and cheap and meant that many people came to expect instant results in everything else. There often wasn’t a lot of nutritional value in these foods, but those eating them felt a hole was filled (in their belly) and that this was perfectly acceptable.
Many turned to the Master Chefs and accused them of taking so long and being so expensive for selfish reasons. They suggested that the Master Chefs were out of touch with the modern world and reality.
Some Master Chefs bowed to the pressure and created buffet dining in their restaurants. Any number of foods were available for you to help yourself to, pick and mix and eat all you want. The sad thing was, you didn’t know who had dropped what on your potato salad or sneezed on your bread rolls, or licked the gravy spoon and dropped it back in the bain marie. While it seemed fulfilling and many people could be fed quickly and easily, with food that was more nutritious than the fast food variety, it could also make others terribly sick and disease could spread quickly and with devastating effects.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a fix for this. Some people will always go to a Master Chef for their food. Some will be happy to cook at home. Some will always want their fast food or turn to it for convenience now and then. Some people may cycle through and try them all before settling into what works best for them.
And sadly, there will always be those claiming to be Master Chefs when they haven’t earned that title, their culinary creations appear similar on a superficial level, but the proof is in the pudding!