The kitchen's a laboratory, and everything that happens there has to do with science. It's biology, chemistry, physics. Yes, there's history. Yes, there's artistry. Yes, to all of that. But what happened there, what actually happens to the food is all science.
Jeff Smith was the Julia Child of my generation. When his television show, 'The Frugal Gourmet,' made its debut on PBS in the 1980s, it conveyed such genuine enthusiasm for cooking that I was moved for the first time to slap down cold cash for a collection of recipes.
I think a lot of food shows, especially when we started 'Good Eats' back in the late '90s, they were still really about food. 'Good Eats' isn't about food, it's about entertainment. If, however, we can virally infect you with knowledge or interest, then all the better.
You know we fixate on the food so much itself: “Oh, the ultimate brownie or the ultimate this or that” -- well, let me tell you something: It’s all poop in about 12 hours, okay? The real power that food has is its ability to connect human beings to each other -- that’s the stuff right there and, to me, everything else is secondary to that.
Well, you know, when you go into a restaurant, one of the scariest things is the wine list, so whenever I'm really feeling intimidated, I'll just pick a wine type, like a Chianti or Brunello or a Burgundy, and I'll pick a year that's missing and ask for that one.