Attitude Adjustment

My back story: I used to cook only to feed myself. Then as I learned more about the science end of the kitchen, cooking became a hobby. After a while, The Rogue Estate came into being and cooking became a hobby to share with others. A few years later, cooking was a part time job to earn extra money and these days: cooking is all of those things and my full time career. "Do what you love!", said the gurus. "ON IT!", said I. With that brief history of my personal relationship with cooking in mind, I have noticed my attitudes towards cooking and sharing have changed as my skills and reasons for cooking have changed. When I started out, I did a lot of random stuff and had little understanding of the processes and vocabulary - so any time I figured something out, or someone was kind enough to hit me over the head with it I mean teach me something, I'd treat it as a state secret. Keep it close. Everything was like the Colonel's Secret Recipe. I was privy to some special trinket like leveling up in a video game. Which is complete bullshit. Only I didn't know it at the time. As my friends and I undertook writing this blog and figuring out what our "Chef's Night" concept should be all about, sharing ideas, successes and failures became easier. It was less about state secrets and more about "this is cool, check this out".  But it was still done from a rather snobby mind set. "I know more than you do, newb!" - an angle which is readily apparent from a lot of the early posts here. And even with hearts going in the right direction, still bullshit. As I transitioned from hobbyist to professional, I had the great fortune of encountering some very patient "teach by example" mentors in the industry - in person and via books, videos, etc. A lot of folks out there who had the epiphany that I eventually had: Sharing knowledge hurts no one and helps everyone. The lifting of the veil, as it were: there are no secrets, no hacks, no spooky knowledge that can only be shared with the anointed few. There is nothing going on behind the scenes that can only be done by way of magic mere mortals couldn't possibly understand. Schooling and traveling abroad are not the only way to learn and become accomplished in the kitchen. To hold those attitudes is total bullshit. We all got where we are today because someone, somewhere was kind and gracious enough to share knowledge with us, be it in person in a kitchen, classroom or indirectly via books, videos or other media. Although we may all be special snowflakes, it is extremely unlikely that the dishes we are cooking haven't been done in many forms and fashions by thousands of other people over the course of human history - even if we're not conscious of exactly whom, when and where. A good recipe is one you can reproduce, time and time again and get consistent results, time and time again. A GREAT recipe is one you can share with others, who in turn can also get consistent results, time and time again. I offer this post as a re-dedication of  The Rogue Estate blog - wherein we, the residents and guests of the estate will share our love of cooking, eating and living with you all - sans the requirements of any secret handshakes. Also worth mentioning that while we're all lovey dovey and here to share - we'll still do so in our usual irreverent, expletive laden, sarcastic rhetoric. Cooking is FUN. Writing and reading about cooking should be fun, too. So enough of the sentimental introspection: let's get into it up to our arm pits. -/// Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 12.45.21 PM
A consummate nerd, yet still plays well with others.

2 Comments  to  Attitude Adjustment

  1. I first met Bob via a link from my son. Went there. At that time Rogue Estate was having a little trouble with a ‘competitor’ trying to back door him out of event. “This is bullshit”, said I, and proceeded to send a diatribe about my feelings on the ancient practice of breaking bread with others. Turned out that we had similar thoughts about the sharing of cooking and recipes and how each of us who choose to cook food for others, do it for the joy and not necessarily the money. (Start campfire, sing Cumbaya). Soon after, my wife and began patronizing RE, and I brought to Bob some of the humble offerings from my recent startup company. His comments were kind and sensible, and since he and Deb really liked my homemade soup, I have begun concentrating on that as an area of strength, while reading, practicing and improving other of my offerings. I am probably 2 years away from delivering food of the quality that Bob produces, but even then, I intend to keep talking with, sharing with, and tasting with others who share this attitude. Long live The Rogue Estate and fuck everybody else who doesn’t cook with love. LETS EAT, PEOPLE.

  2. Bob says:

    Craig,

    I don’t think you’re two years off. Frankly Deb and I thought you were two years ahead of us.

    and yeah. “Dat soup, tho!”

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