mood eating

Thomas Keller once commented on the state of the celebrity chef and how much it matters or doesn’t, if the chef is actually in the kitchen or not. People have told him that the food at his restaurants is better when he’s actually in the kitchen. Ironically, now, with his empire that includes two four star restaurants and cafes and bakeries inbetween, he doesn’t have time to spend cooking in the kitchens anymore. Even though this has saddened him, he is confident he has trained his staff so well in the food arts of Keller, no one should know the difference. It’s the perception that he’s in the kitchen that changes everything for the consumer.

Which makes me think about how mood affects our tastes.

Example 1: This past weekend, I made Danish Tea Cakes, a recipe passed down from my dad. Grace Pastries was famous for these sweet, caramelly confections. There are even blogs written by Angelenos reminiscing about how good my dad’s tea cakes were and how much they are missed. A family friend (and tea cake fan) broke down the 840 piece recipe and passed it on to me. The little cakes turned out just as I remembered (though I only have round cupcake tins, and not the square tins my dad had). I brought them to work, ready for the onslaught of raves, but that never came. Could it be my personal warm memories of childhood desserts be different from everyone else?

Example 2: Whenever I order lobster at my friend Michael’s restaurant, does it enhance the flavor and experience knowing he personally killed and cooked the lobster, and oversaw service for me?

Example 3: When you’re in a good mood, food just plain tastes better. When you’re in a good mood, do you eat more? So why, when you’re in love, do you lose your appetite?

One Comment on “mood eating”

  1. Suzanne Langley March 21, 2008 at 1:38 #

    “mood eating”

    Totally agree with you.
    You could say the same thing about blogging………………
    If your not in the mood for it ……………..
    I could go on and on but I wouldn’t want to bore you.
    And answers to examples 1, 2, & 3 are no, no and no.
    Great blog by the way.

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