The voyeur chef

July 31, 2009 in General

The NYTimes Magazine has an article about cooking or, more accurately, how that act has is vanishing from American homes. It addresses the causes of that transformation, from pragmatic time constraints and demographic shifts to the technological (this excerpt stuck strongly in my mind):

“Here’s an analogy,” Balzer said. “A hundred years ago, chicken for dinner meant going out and catching, killing, plucking and gutting a chicken. Do you know anybody who still does that? It would be considered crazy! Well, that’s exactly how cooking will seem to your grandchildren: something people used to do when they had no other choice. Get over it.”

Leave it to TGR to find the futurist quote in a largely nostalgic essay.

Much of the article is dedicated to America's fascination with televised cooking, beginning with Julia Childs half a century ago (indeed, the timing of the article is suspiciously fortuitous for Nora Ephron's new movie). As a recent initiate into that sphere, I appreciated the analysis all the more.

Is cooking doomed to fall by the wayside, a casualty of the march of progress? I hope not; there is such reward in a good homecooked meal - even (especially?) when someone else prepares it.

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