I really enjoy cooking. I like it because eating is a fundamental part of every human life that everyone can appreciate inherently. I also because there is no “correct method” of doing it. There are nearly unlimited variations of preparation, ingredients, and palates.
With all of these variables, I think most people would agree that cooking is more of an art due to the amount of variables and interpretation involved. It is controlled chaos, but at the same time, a knowledgeable foodie can agree that some dishes are empirically better than others.
In some of my down time, I’ve been watching Gordon Ramsay on the BBC. There can be little doubt that he is a ninja in his own respectable and creative way. The way he addresses and attempts to deal with problems as a consulting chef and restauranteur is very much a hackers approach; a deep rich knowledge and experience with a passion for the art and finding creative and tailored solutions to problems.
All the while he speaks in a blunt effective manner tempered with occasional diplomacy. This is a very alpha behavioral modification method.
- Takes no crap, yet open to argument and new ideas
I used to enjoy Alton Brown, but not anymore. What was appealing was the clear chemistry and sort of high school science class approach to cooking. What became tired was that the guy is a slob and has no talent for the art of the experience. Having watched an episode of the lame American version of Iron Chef may have had a lot to do with thinking less of him. He has kind of the same approach as presented in the Cooking for Engineers website with Southern cultural references.
Really what I’m going for here is that to a large degree, technology proficiency is much the same as chef proficiency in that many of the goals and experience is comparable. Some pros have formal training and others have followed more of a vocational path in working their way up through the ranks. In my experience, what really makes someone a standout is passion and deep experience and enjoyment of the art. Where talent and passion is understood in the culinary industry, as it is likely to be the second-oldest profession and traditions are deeply established, most standard industry environments do not appreciate the nontraditional path of the technology artist.
I would think that all would be well served to appreciate these similarities.