What do culinary competitions mean in America? Reality shows on Bravo and the Food Network pitting chefs against one another have made compelling TV and earned huge audiences here, but actual not-made-for-TV competitions remain off the radar. American chefs who competed in them were relative unknowns, and the most well-known chefs, those with high profile restaurants, tended to dismiss them for their old fashioned, aspic-coated food platters and the hotel and country club chefs who created them. But in 2008, one of the most revered chefs in the world, Paul Bocuse, famed both for his food and his restaurant as well as his unusual media savvy, aimed to change that by attempting to elevate the competition he created in 1987 in the eyes of America. To do this, he asked two of America’s most famous Read On »

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Excerpts from the 2010 Star Chefs Conference discussion on if cooking is an art or a craft. Featuring Michael and many more, via StarChefs.

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As I’ve said before, the best things happen when you get carried away.  Two people who share this view are Diane Cu and Todd Porter, photographers and filmakers, aka whiteonricecouple.  Two weeks ago, at the BlogHer food conference in San Farancisco, they asked to film me talking, I’m still not sure why.  Diane said she wanted to film me thinking. I thought that was going to be kind of difficult. I’d just come from the concluding keynote panel with glutenfreegirl and orangette, two people I really admire, and had a few minutes before heading to a bacon curing demo orchestrated by Elise.   I’ve got no excuses other than the six cups of coffee before the panel. The book of which I speak, is Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, by Harvard Anthropologist Richard Wrangham. Read On »

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