Truly grateful for all the encouragement. It was a big internal debate--to blog or not. The comments make me feel it's the right thing.
Joel: re cooking and conducting/orchestrating concert hall music. it's funny you say that because one of the biggest fans i have of Soul of a Chef is a guy named Tom Morris, former executive director of the Cleveland Orchestra, one of the world's greats. In a speech he gives often, he retells the Keller-Hollandaise anecdote. Yes, I suspect there are many similarities that you suggest between cooking and the orchestrating of many musical ingredients in a concert, and Tom Morris obviously would agree.
Celeste: there are two curing salts we use in the US: sodium nitrite (which is the default curing salt and which I refer to generically as pink salt) and sodium nitrate, which is only used for dry-cured sausages. Neither appear to be dangerous when consumed in the quantities we do (though ingested accidentally in quantity, which would be unpleasant since they're about 94% salt, they can essentially suffocate you, something to be aware of). For curing bacon and most other meats, use this pink salt from Butcher & Packer (an excellent source, btw, for all your sausage-making needs).
Bob del G: I will definitely write about consomme at some point and will let you know when i'm ready!