November 19, 2009

Cooking with Comedy

Julia Child did not become a world famous chef by simply cooking. She did not discover rich recipes by throwing items haphazardly into a pot of water. Rather, in order to create food, she had first to consume it. She spent a large portion of her life sampling the delicacies of various cuisines in order to extend her well-fed palette into the reaches of cultivated variety. Only then could she decipher the complexities of flavor, the aromas of wine, the textures of flour or the nuance of spice. She learned by consuming, by taking in the work of those who had gone before her. She observed with her senses the impact of what was delicious and that which was distasteful. She gained perspective and formed opinions; she earned herself a point of view. She let herself absorb the best ingredients of understanding to then wring the knowledge out of herself like so many sponges used to clean her counter tops. From this, people around the world learned and too became cooks. We can learn from anyone, allowing us their insights into a given field of interest. I make a mean french toast and am known by some for my homemade burritos. But my chosen field of interest is comedy. Humor. Play. I love observing the cooks of comedy. The best comedians induce a feeling in the pit of your stomach not unlike the hunger pangs endured when the waiter passes your table with a simmering chef's special and you've yet to be served. Hunger reaches its peak just before the first bite, and then is gone. But unlike that emptiness of hunger, the comedian offers up a fullness in your stomach. It's rare one can elicit from me a belly laugh, and when it happens it sustains. It is not replaced minutes later with discomfort and the regret of over-indulging. You can never have too much fun. Thus I enjoy consuming what other comedians have dished out; and when I discover something, be it life-changing or simply a wonderful moment, I want to share. No matter how big or small, popular or occult, successful or fleeting, they all are ingredients making up the collective consciousness of comedy.
So may I present to you perhaps the Julia Child and Betty Crocker of humor.
Or at least two morsels of an incredible treat.

1 comment:

  1. I love that video. And I enjoyed your little post here, Paul.