A lovely interview with J. Kenji López-Alt in the New Yorker. Kenji’s long been one of my favourite food writers for his work demolishing myths and improving techniques on Serious Eats.
I particularly like his distinction between recipes and techniques. It’s deceptively simple, but it applies in lots of disciplines – not just cooking:
“The technique is something that has wide applications. It’s a method, as opposed to a recipe, which is just the one thing. If I ask my phone, ‘How do I get from here to the post office?,’ it gives me a recipe to the post office. I can just stare at my phone and see how many feet I have to walk this way, which way I turn, and then I get to the post office. Whereas learning a technique is like being handed the map. It allows you to choose other destinations – it allows you to choose alternate routes. That’s basically the difference to me: a recipe is turn-by-turn directions, a technique is a map.”