“I have loved cooking since I was ten, when I played as the cook helper in my mom’s kitchen. When I changed from love into passion, I considered myself an artist who was trying to become a craftsman”, said Mr. Le Hong Ngoc, Elegance Hospitality Group’s Executive Chef.
Sharing in a private talk at a very boutique restaurant named Red Bean, which reveals itself some meanings underneath, EHG’s Executive Chef, Mr. Le Hong Ngoc made me surprised by his sharing, yet more by his passion while taking about culinary culture. Being a kind of quick-response person with slim body, he talked about his career path becoming one of the top chefs in town with the bright eyes and a warm voice. After leaving his high school, he started working for a restaurant as a trainee. From there, he learnt the most basic skills of a cook. This is the fact that, while people often do cooking everyday, they apply a set of skills unconsciously, although it is unofficially trained such as How to master basic knife skills; How to boil an egg; How to melt chocolate; etc. For a professional cook, those skills must be very carefully taught. Also at that time, he found himself a strong passion in cooking and then decided to pursuit it as his career path.
Ngoc asserted, “Cooking is an art” when being asked whether any “art” feature was expressed in culinary. In fact, many people admit that cooking is an art and the cook must be an artist. Yet, many of them find difficulty in classifying cooking as an art form. The only difference between art and cooking is the emotion that the creator put into his product. Indeed, art is about the affection while cooking is about the creativity. Other things are the same.
Cooking was the original art form, and its product, food, is the unique piece of art. While other art products appear to single sense such as sight like painting, sense of sound like music, food appeals to a full set of basic senses. Colors, textures, flavors and aromas are all significant to the success of a dish.