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    Study of Creativity in the Culinary Arts

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    When people think of creative beings they usually think of artists, a rather obvious and valid thought. But the artist’s that first come to mind are those from the genres of music, theatre, painting, or writing— the visual and performing arts. Oxford dictionary defines art as, “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture.” The belief that artists are only involved in the visual and performance side of the arts is common among the public. While choosing a topic for this highly anticipated final paper, I was inclined to explore the creative processes of the music industry considering I have supplemented their careers by the purchase of far too many music subscriptions.

    Luckily, my group presentation was during the week of music and creativity, so I was able to relieve my urge to explore the topic. I now wanted to explore other unconventional artistic fields of how the creative process functions. This lead me to peruse lecture powerpoint slides that caught my eye during the week focused on creativity in cooking. Cooking deals with the preparation of food for consumption through art, technology, science and craft (This). Society tends to overlook the notable and delicious creativity within the culinary art. The term “culinary artist” encompasses the many paths and routes that chef can take while creating food. Chefs select imaginative ingredients to create recipes that account for not only taste, but also texture, aroma, and overall aesthetic.

    Research has shown that creative culinary artists are self-confident, imaginative, curious, sensitive, determined, and honorable. These qualities cultivate from high motivation, thinking disposition, professional knowledge, and professional interaction (Jeou-Shyan & Lee, 2007). The intense careers of culinary artists are based on advanced processes of creativity, thorough preparation and refined skill, skills often overlooked by the consumer while they are busy focused on indulging in their meal. Perhaps the most revolutionary and creative culinary discovery of the twenty-first century is molecular gastronomy. As I began research, I was astonished at the extraordinary dishes molecular gastronomists have created through the use of the scientific method in the culinary arts; there’s mango caviar, translucent ravioli, and chocolate spaghetti, to name a few (George, 2014).

    The field of molecular gastronomy depicts the creative process of the culinary arts in a scientific lens (Cousins et al., 2010). The topic of molecular gastronomy is one I have challenged myself to tackle in this paper, as it is a rather convoluted field. First, I will address the modernization of molecular gastronomy and unpack the rather complicated field through literature written by the father of molecular gastronomy, Hervé This. Then, I will discuss the creative processes in the culinary arts explored in a research project. I will then relate that study specifically to molecular gastronomy. Embellishing these points will showcase molecular gastronomy as the pique of creativity in the culinary arts. Hervé This, a physical chemist at University of Oxford, modernized the scientific discipline of molecular gastronomy.

    The term gastronomy is classically defined in Brillat-Savarian’s Physiology of Taste (1825) as the intelligent knowledge of whatever concerns mans nourishment. “Molecular” was added to the term because it limited the broad scope of gastronomy to be as the chemical and physical analysis structure of molecules during the cooking process (This). This’s objective was to modernize molecular gastronomy by expanding the art- and so he did. Hervé This’s novel, Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor, 2006 is compounded with the appreciation, application, and exploration of the field. In the beginning, the terminology behind molecular gastronomy had to be refined due to its application of scientific terminology and instruments not found in cookbooks(This).

    Molecular gastronomy is different from cooking, as This’s novel clarifies (2006). He denotes that cooking is not the same thing as molecular gastronomy because cooking aims at producing goods for consumption- not to gain or apply knowledge in an analytical way (This). Molecular gastronomy is also different from food science (This). Food science was a discipline long before molecular gastronomy (Cousins et al., 2010). Where food science deals with the composition and structure of food, molecular gastronomy deals with the culinary transformations and the sensory phenomena associated with creating a dish (This).

    Although the two sound interchangeable, the difference between them are found in the intention behind the food. Regardless of its many possible distinctions, molecular gastronomy it is still a culinary art (Vega & Ubbink, 2008). A prominent portion of This’s novel (2006) is devoted to innovating traditional recipes found in cookbooks through creative and means by the application of physics and chemistry. Transforming a myriad of traditional recipes to ones deep in scientific complexity is an extremely ambitious task; it takes impressive creative ability as well as extensive knowledge in the culinary arts. This believes that understanding the chemical and physical components of what culinary artists create in the kitchen can greatly improve their skills. This concept is a main pillar of molecular gastronomy, and gives feasible evidence as to why successful recipes work and why mistakes occur (This).

    For example, culinary artists can comprehend what chemical reactions give roasted meat it’s delicious crust and why sauces, such as mayonnaise, break even when following the traditional recipes (Kurti & This, 1994). This demonstrates that the ultimate benefit of exploring molecular gastronomy is the application of chemistry and physics to understand overall, improve the culinary and eating experience (This). His focus on the chemical processes involved in cooking can lead us to great culinary discovery. The advancements of the culinary arts shown in molecular gastronomy are demonstrative of twenty-first century accomplishments made through the creative use of science and technology.

    In my research on creativity within the culinary arts, I found a project dedicated to the exploration of how culinary creativity is parallel to a modified version of Wallas’s 4-phase creativity model (1976) in combination with Finke, Ward, and Smith’s Geneplore’s model that contains the cyclic cognitive subprocesses. The process consists of these following steps: preparing the idea, idea incubation, idea development, and the evaluation of the product. In this study the researchers applied a multidimensional, qualitative research method through the use of in depth interviews with award-winning international chefs to see how their culinary skills function in the creative processes described above.

    The identity of the seventeen chefs were kept confidential. During the interviews, chefs discussed their culinary creative process and their accomplishments. The concepts they spoke about were coded into a set of categories in order to extract meaning from the descriptions they provided. Data from the study was collected by visiting culinary artists, most often in their workplace, over the span of six months (Horng & Hu, 2008).

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Study of Creativity in the Culinary Arts. (2022, Nov 29). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/study-of-creativity-in-the-culinary-arts/

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